Welcome to the Greater Portland Church of Christ

We are independent, part of a fellowship known as Churches of Christ. Each local congregation worships God and serves Him in the name of our Lord Jesus. We hold to the early ideals of the American Restoration Movement, attempting to be like the churches in the New Testament in faith and dedication.

As an autonomous congregation, there are things we do that other Churches of Christ may not do, and vice versa. Our assemblies are quite informal. As we try to serve and encourage one another in our Christian walks, both men and women may be seen and heard in sharing songs, Scripture, prayer, and in communing together.

We hope you feel welcome and that you will worship and learn along with us. God bless!!

WELCOME TO VISITORS FROM OTHER CHURCHES OF CHRIST!!

Visitors come our way often from other congregations, near and far. It’s a delight to have you!

Some of us are “native” Mainers — others are “from away.” We enjoy talking with members from elsewhere about common experiences and mutual friends.

Our assembly varies, depending on the leader. Some of our traditions may differ from those to which you are accustomed. Please remember that Churches of Christ believe strongly in congregational autonomy. The churches in New Testament times had many variations, yet were united on the essentials of the Gospel. In witnessing for Christ here in southern coastal Maine, the diversity of our backgrounds and the needs of the community help determine how our assembly is conducted. We are not limited to customs experienced elsewhere. On the broad spectrum of Churches of Christ today, we might be considered moderately progressive.

Our scheduled 9:30 a.m. Sunday worship is followed by a brief period of fellowship at about 11:00. Then the assembly continues with Bible study and discussion on most Sundays – less frequently in summer months. We have no regular meetings on Sunday evenings since most members commute long distances. Special activities are scheduled on an ad hoc basis. Our teens are encouraged to participate in regional youth events as well as Camp Gander Brook.

More than a dozen congregations exist in Maine. A listing (blue) may be found in the rack by the entrance.

If you have moved this way and think you may want to place membership, some of our members will be glad to meet with you to share about the nature and history of the congregation and how you might fit in.

WELCOME TO VISITORS FROM THE COMMUNITY!!

We are delighted to have you visit and hope that many of us will get to meet and greet you personally. We would be glad to have you return often and to consider making this your church home.

The Greater Portland Church of Christ is a community of diverse individuals who have a common Christian faith. We are dedicated to helping one another live faithfully and represent our Lord Jesus Christ. We come from different walks of life and backgrounds. We are couples, singles, empty-nesters, retirees, widows and widowers, and single parents. We live in several different towns across southern Maine. Our occupations and professions vary, as do our experiences and interests.

While many of us have been long-time members of Churches of Christ here or elsewhere, some of us, perhaps like you, have come from other backgrounds and found a church home right here.

WHAT TAKES PLACE IN THE ASSEMBLY?

The church gathers every Sunday morning at 9:30. Our style of assembly varies, depending on the leader and the topic or theme of the worship. While always informal, it might seem traditional, progressive and contemporary, or a blending of both.

  • Readings from the Scriptures are important. These are usually by individuals, but sometimes the congregation participates responsively or in unison readings from the church Bibles.
  • Prayers are important in every gathering. Most often they are led by one member, but occasionally there is a time of prayer open to all. All are free to request prayer or to share special needs or concerns during our Family Prayer time.
  • Congregational singing is a major part of our assemblies. Occasionally, an individual or small group may share some teaching or encouragement through music just as New Testament Christians did. (They would “speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.”)
    Most visitors quickly notice that we have no piano, organ, or band. We prefer our tradition of using our God-given instruments – our voices – in praise to Him in a cappella singing. There is also more emphasis on singing and knowing a variety of songs than in many churches. A few of our members sing harmony (alto, tenor, or bass). The leader sings the melody. We hope you find it meaningful and enjoyable. Feel free to join in.
  • Communion (the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist) is part of every Sunday assembly. Bits of bread and cups of grape juice represent Jesus’ body and His blood. These symbols remind us of the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior — the “good news” — the Gospel. The communion is for baptized believers, but is closed to no one.
  • An offering is taken each Sunday morning. This is how members make their weekly contributions to support the work of the congregation. Visitors should not feel obligated to donate.
  • A lesson from a Bible text is usually presented by a member or guest speaker. Occasionally we may have a sermon on DVD. There is no full-time minister at this time.
  • Fellowship periods follow the worship and help in keeping up our friendships and in sharing joys and needs. Pot-luck dinners are held, usually on third Sundays, September – May. You are most welcome to stay and participate.
  • Currently we have no Sunday School classes for children. Adults reconvene on most Sundays, especially September – June, for Bible Study and discussion.

ORGANIZATIONALLY, Churches of Christ are a worldwide network of congregations, but each congregation is independent, autonomous, self-governing. We hold congregational meetings periodically to discuss the work of the church and make necessary decisions. A number of committees or ministry teams carry out regular responsibilities such as missions, benevolence, fellowship.

ACTIVITIES FOR TEENS take place on a regional basis. Our youth and their parents are encouraged to participate. Camp Gander Brook in Raymond serves young people from throughout New England. We support this effort and send several camper-age children for one week each summer, though they often attend more.

MEMBERSHIP — We believe it is God who adds to His family, the church universal, when one believes in Jesus as Savior and expresses a trusting faith in baptism. Each Christian should then become an active part of a local congregation of disciples.

This church welcomes new members. We try to help each other to know more about Jesus and to live for Him as Lord of our lives. We study and teach the great truths of the Bible, to better understand and share them with each other and our community.

If you might be interested in becoming a member of the Greater Portland Church of Christ, we ask that you engage with one of our teachers in a brief series of classes on the Christian faith, the church, the Christian life, and the history and nature of this congregation. Just let your interests be known.

OUR HERITAGE — Churches of Christ trace their recent history from a back-to-the-Bible movement that began shortly after this country was formed — the American Restoration Movement. You may read more about it in our publication: A BRIEF BACKGROUND OF CHURCHES OF CHRIST (in the rack by the entrance).

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.

I Cor. 15:3, 4

For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

John 3:16