How can I get involved at CPC?
The Biblical term for involvement is the word "fellowship." By fellowship, I do not mean social gatherings per se, although it could include this. Rather I mean the way we experience God's presence as through our participating together in the gospel as a church in meaningful ways. Another word we use for this is "one anothering."
For instance, the word "fellowship" is used by Paul to describe the sacred ritual of the Lord's Supper enjoyed every week in our corporate worship at CPC.
"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a fellowship in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a fellowship in the body of Christ... (1 Cor.10:16ff)
In the words of the author of Hebrews, clearly the most important way to get involved at CPC is "not to forsake the assembling together as is the habit of some." The formal and corporate worship of God each Sunday is crucial to growing in the grace and truth of the gospel. God meets us and sustains us in the gospel through the ministry of word, sacraments, prayers and one-anothering. As the Hebrews author seemed to know, it may be true that we might not always appreciate or comprehend the value of this corporate fellowship with God. Perhaps it is like a person who is starving, the longer they are without food, the less they know they need it! Make no mistake about it, corporate worship is essential to our relationship with God and our full participation in the gospel!
Another way the word "fellowship" is used in the Bible is in 2 Cor. 8 concerning the offering of our gifts and services one to another in the service of the gospel. Paul described believers as literally "begging us earnestly" for the privilege of sharing in the service to the saints. Along these lines, the Bible describes the church using the metaphor of a human body. With an "organic" conception of the "body of Christ," Paul in Romans 12 explains how one part of the body cannot say to the other part, "I have no need of you," even as no one can say "you have no need of me." And so, the exhortation by Paul is "having gifts that differ . . . let us use them." (Rom.12:6) We encourage every person at CPC to find some service(s) in the church wherein the grace of the gospel can be experienced through "one-anothering" both in word and in deed. So important is this that the main focus of the Servant Leader Board at CPC is to "foster the authentic expression of the communion of saints at CPC." (See also "One anothering at CPC" in our welcome booklet)
Beyond these two more general and essential aspects of getting involved at CPC, there is a host of other ways for you to "get involved" in order to help you grow in the gospel. You will want to read about our Community Groups as an expression of the "church in miniature" meeting in locations throughout greater New Haven. You will want to read about the training and learning opportunities offered by our Study Center at CPC. You will also want to read about our college and youth ministries at CPC, and our incredibly gifted Music and Worship Arts at CPC. And you will want to read about Hope for New Haven and the ways we seek to bring the "hope of Christ" to our city in both word and deed. And when you are ready, you will want to read Membership at CPC that explains both why we practice church membership and how to go about joining our church. No matter where you are in your personal journey with God, there is a place for you here at CPC, really!