Whenever I’m asked a question like this, I tend to get visual. I close my eyes, think on the words, and let my mind wander. When I hear the word church, I see buildings with white steeples, crosses on the top, and with bells in the tower. I see a bright red door, long wooden pews, and stained glass windows telling stories about Jesus. The more I think about church, the more the buildings change. My mind visit the buildings I’ve seen, from the neo-gothic stone giants that dot urban spaces to the first church we know, a house church from 233, currently on display at Yale University’s Art Museum. Sacred spaces, set apart to be places where God is encountered, have been a part of Christian identity since Jesus’ ministry.
But buildings are not the limit to what a church is. Churches exist to house communities. They serve as focus points where God’s people gather. Our church more than the building on the corner of Pascack and Church Road. Our church is what you’re holding in your hand. Our church is people, called to walk together as Christ’s people in Northern New Jersey. Like scripture says (Colossians 1:18), we are here as part of Christ’s body in the world. We are connected to each other through the God who calls us to be together. If you find yourself living just down the road from the church or on the other side of the world, through the Spirit, we are always together. We are friends and members, called to love each other and the world.
I invite you to use this directory as a way to connect with each other. And as the information changes and grows, use this directory as a living document. Cross things out, add information, and keep space open for the new names and addresses that we’ll hand out as new people join our community. This is Christ Lutheran Church. This is Christ’s church. We are doing God’s work with our hands.
Yours in Christ,
We’re reprinting an updated church directory. The last one was printed in 2012. I wrote this to be an introduction to the directory itself.