About Congregationalism




Congregationalism is a Protestant denomination which was founded
in England during the late 1500's.  After seeking refuge in Leyden,
Holland from 1609 through 1620,  a group from the Leyden
Congregational Church sailed across the Atlantic in the Mayflower
to bring Congregationalism to America.
Subsequently, Congregationalists

who remained in England penned The Savoy Declaration in 1658,
which formally set forth the fundamental principles of Congregationalism.
What are these principles?  They include the recognition of God as
the singular church authority; governmental autonomy; respect for
individual interpretation of the Bible; and an encouragement of a
direct relationship with God.
Members of St. John's Congregational Church are inspired and
encouraged to critically analyze their spiritual relationship with God
and Jesus Christ, as well as their roles within their families, their church
and their community.  Congregationalism is based upon the
aforementioned principles, yet it also is blessed by a sense of freedom.
This freedom is a result of our congregation's mutual decision to be
bound together not by law or by dogmatic doctrine, but by an
agreement of love.  This is the Congregational Way.
Rev. Arthur A. Rouner, Jr. in his book,
"The Congregational Way of Life", explains:
The covenant relation is the real charter
of the church... Congregationalists find
the Bible saying that Christ alone, in the
midst of people, is enough.  If He is
there in the gathered church,  then nothing
else is needed... It is His presence that gives
authority to our order, that gives validity to
our sacraments, that exercises discipline
and that keeps our faith true to Him and
real in power... The quiet knowledge,
the love and the openness toward God
are the characteristics of Congregationalism
at its best... These, which are the great traditions
in our heritage, make the Congregational Way
the way of the Covenant People.

The text of this page was written by Bob Dilts.