William Albright’s message

Message from the Minister

“I was glad when they said unto me,
let us go into the house of the LORD.”
Psalms 122.1

Welcome to Park Avenue Congregational Church, United Church of Christ! Our church is in an historic part of the Arlington Community, having celebrated our 100th anniversary as a congregation in 1999. We are proud of our Congregational heritage as well as our place in the wider church throughout our membership in the Metro Boston Association of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.

When you come to our church on the corner of Park Avenue and Paul Revere Road, you will first notice the red brick building with its distinctive spire. Within that building you will find a vital congregation that welcomes a wide range of groups into its midst each week, from the daycare that shares space with our Sunday School to the country dance groups that use our parish hall.

If you come for worship on a Sunday morning, you will most likely approach our sanctuary through the entrance on the uphill side of Park Avenue (actually on Wollaston Avenue). As you enter, you will be welcomed into our architecturally unique worship space with its historic Skinner pipe organ. But as rich a part of our heritage as these things are, the best part of your experience will be the people you will encounter while worshipping here.

In our Congregational tradition, we believe that all our members are ministers, not just the ordained staff. This means that we share a commitment to love and serve God in Jesus Christ, one another as the body of Christ, and our neighbor in our mission to the world around us. An excerpt from our recently adopted goal statement says it well. As a church, our goal is “to welcome and be open to all who seek God’s love and to make real in our community the love of Christ for all people”. And as individual members, we strive “to include and nurture understanding of all individuals of whatever gender, age, race, color, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, physical appearance, economic or marital status”. We believe that it is the energy of the Holy Spirit within and among us that makes this possible.

Theologically, we acknowledge Jesus Christ as the sole head of the church and the Bible as an ancient but relevant source of our faith and practice. In our worship, all are welcome at Christ’s table in the sacrament of Holy Communion (also called the “Lord’s Supper”) which we celebrate at least once a month. In Baptism, we acknowledge God’s unmerited grace toward all as we welcome both infants (with their sponsoring families) and adults to that sacrament. The typical Sunday worship experience at our church is rich in word and music with hymns, anthems, prayers, scripture readings and sermons. Children enjoy a weekly “Children’s Corner” and active Sunday School and youth programs. We offer a variety of opportunities for adults as well, in such areas as education, mission, spirituality and the arts.

Over the years, so many prayers have been offered in this place, so many acts of loving-kindness have been shown here, so much wisdom has been shared with this community that I am moved to proclaim “How Awesome is this Place. There is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.”

When you come to our church, I invite you to experience all these and more. But most of all, I invite you into a creative and vigorous community of the people of God who strive to be faithful to the welcome, worship and witness that lies in the heart of our faith.

I look forward to meeting you. In the meantime, feel free to contact me at the church at 781-643-8680 or by email.

Your Servant in Christ,

William A. Albright, Minister