Our Minister – Doctor Mike Johnston
Dr. Mike Johnston agreed to fill the pulpit as NACCP’s Stated Supply. The start date was August 1, 2015. Like Tom, he will be preaching for us three of the four Sundays a month, offering pastoral care, and moderating the Session. We will miss Tom, but as we have already seen Reverend Mike Johnston will be pushing and guiding us to do great things for NACCP and our community. We are looking forward to the challenges.
I am most appreciative and deeply humbled by the opportunity you have afforded me to serve as your Stated Supply Pastor. I have had the privilege of serving two churches previously as Stated Supply Pastor, though both of them were quite different than this congregation. I expect you to challenge me to think more progressively, though I have always thought of myself as on the liberal side of theology and social issues, and I hope that in ways I can challenge you as well.
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“The NACCP family embraces all as we seek love, justice and peace in our fragile world. We celebrate our differences as we demonstrate openness compassion and understanding.”
Founded in 1971, NACCP was a new church development of Piedmont Presbytery (now Foothills). From the beginning, this congregation was to be different from most churches. It would be “innovative, inclusive, and involved.” NACCP intentionally attracted those who may not feel comfortable in a traditional church setting, particularly those who had been alienated by the static, unwelcoming doctrines of many churches. Today, we are still that church: innovative, inclusive, and involved in our community. We believe a “community church” is involved in community-wide concerns, not simply a separate community unto itself. NACCP reaches out to serve the needs and learn from the experiences of our neighbors in Anderson and, indeed, neighbors around the world.
Over the last 45 years, NACCP has provided space for 12-step programs, the first pilot adult day care center in SC, office space for the Upstate Homeless Coalition, round dancers, bridge groups, yoga classes, the United Religions Initiative, Neighborhood meetings, political clubs, AIDS support groups, a meditation group, and the Anderson Lay School of Theology. Following a prayer service on Sept. 11, 2001, we reached out to members of the Muslim Faith to learn more about their ancient and vital religious tradition. We have also engaged in interfaith dialogue with members of Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Our by-words today are “progressive, informal, inclusive, responsible.” We are still very much connected to that little church that used to meet in a pink house in 1971, where it all started. But, being a member of the Reformed Christian tradition, we believe God always calls us to something new. Come join us as we discover what new and exciting things God has in store for us as we seek to love and honor God and our neighbors.
|Dr. Tom Richie
Rob, parent of 2 girls:
“The best thing is that the church is open and accepting to all. Teaching my children different ways of thinking of God and their relationship with God.”
Ben, 13 years old:
“In Sunday School we always discuss instead of keeping our thoughts to ourselves.”
“NACCP is a place to develop my spiritual beliefs in a safe and nurturing environment among a loving community, still serving as family to my adult children.”
“Our church format includes challenging discussions following the sermons. Also, Sunday School and discussions for children and youth, and we always welcome our loving, well behaved domestic pets. Intergenerational activities throughout the year always prove to be fun and inspirational.”
The Aramaic word Ephphatha is written above our front door.
This is what Jesus said in Mark 7:34 when he healed the man with the speech impediment. It means “be opened”. We believe God calls us to be open and loving as individuals and as a community. It is how we seek to witness to God’s grace revealed to us in the life of Jesus Christ.
Seeking justice is an important part of our identity at NACCP. This includes our interests in restoring the environment, raising awareness about mental illness, substance abuse and domestic violence, and pursuing racial reconciliation, economic justice and Peace. We are also a More Light Presbyterian (MLP) Church. MLP churches seek the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the church. A link to their web page is More Light Presbyterians.