Additional Background

We are both part of a long-standing Protestant tradition and part of a newer and ever renewing expression of Christian faith. The long-standing tradition of our church traces itself back through the Reformation break-off from the Catholic Church 500 years ago and the Puritan tradition that broke off from the Church of England in the 1630s.

The people who founded our church traveled to the New World to flee religious persecution--basically, religious refugees--who spent time in Boston and New Haven before starting a church and settlement in 1639 that became Milford. As the Puritians morphed into the Congregationalists, churches like ours continued to emphasize learning the Bible, direct relationship with God, and a strong Christiian conscience through which the Holy Spirit would guide God's people. As a result of this, the Congregational tradition was on the forefront of challenging slavery and Jim Crow laws among other things.

The newer dimension of our church came into play when, in 1957, the Congregationalist Christian church and Evangelical & Reformed church merged to form the United Church of Christ (U.C.C.), This tradition has remained on the frontlines of social issues such as gender equality and gay rights. Each church within the U.C.C. makes its own decisions as to what it will believe and how it will minister in Christian discipleship.

This congregation has taken seriously Christ's call to shelter the homeless (helping form Beth El Center in the 1980s and creating the Sojourners Haven transitional apartment), heal the sick (loaning out medical equipment through the Emma Davis Medical Equipment Ministry), and feeding the hungry (with our food closet, which helps feed adults in need; and vibrant new Food 2 Kids Program, which feeds over 160 food-inseccure schoolchildren each weekend).

We take seriously the call to form children and adults in faith, with adult formation classes, Sunday school, Confirmation, and youth groups for middle and high school students. We like to say that God is still speaking in Milford, and we are still listening!

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