Holmdel Community United Church of Christ is a progressive, suburban congregation with American Baptist and Dutch Reform roots that stretch back to the 1660s. We are a regional church with most members living relatively close to the church and others traveling up to 40 minutes to attend.
Our Sunday worship service is largely traditional, with the pastor leading worship through most of the standard service, our Children’s Minister delivers a Children’s Message, and the Minister of Music selects the hymns and directs the choir/orchestrates the music. From time to time we go non-traditional. We take into consideration the balancing of tradition with modernity; our beautiful sanctuary sits on foundation stones laid in 1705 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. This is where we meet for worship and its beauty is one of our joys.
Our Sunday worship is strong on music (traditional choir, individual voices, a singing congregation, and our own garage band), and our fellowship after the worship service is much more than a coffee hour with plenty of delicious food. We have been an active mission church for many years and have recently added a social justice committee. We fly an LGBTQIIA+, and a Black Lives Matter flag.
We are a progressive Christian church that takes the Bible seriously but not literally. Having declared ourselves Open and Affirming in 2009, we stand with our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters and speak often and openly, if carefully, on the political issues of the day.
We enjoy the company of our community. We offer many small groups for learning, serving, and fellowship. We are a diverse group of people, some quite traditional and some quite progressive in our understanding of Christ and the gospel; we range in age from 0 - 90+, and we include families, couples, and singles. Best of all, we enjoy our time together.
Reaching Beyond our own Community
We believe in demonstrating our faith through action. We use Jesus as our role model in:
- Missions by doing work to help people in need now,
- Justice and Peace by working to correct short and long-term injustices within our society.
“Serving with Joy” is a slogan we adopted some time ago. The term came from the diners at our 2013 Turkey Dinner who marveled at the cheery demeanor of everyone in the kitchen as we cooked, served, and cleaned up after more than 500 meals in an evening. Most of our members volunteer to do something for this event, and we have traditionally donated 100% of the proceeds to a different charity each year.
Our mission projects are diverse: mostly local, but also international. We prepare and serve a monthly lunch to 35 people (75 people pre-Covid) through the Bayshore Lunch Program in Keyport. We partner with other local churches at the Calico Cat Food Pantry and Thrift Shop. We collect, bless, and distribute food every month. We are working with Family Promise to support homeless families. We annually participate in Crop Walk and this past year their Walk4Ukraine, We strive to stay relevant, running a drive for Afghan refugees at Ft. Dix when our country so abruptly pulled out of Afghanistan. We are actively involved with Sylvia’s Children, which supports the Mbiriizi Primary School in Uganda, which educates about 2,000 children, many of whom are AIDS orphans.
Pre-Covid, our youth group spent a week in the summer fixing up houses and also performed similar work on an ad hoc basis closer to home. The youth group is rebuilding now and we are looking for a different service project for summer 2023.
Our Justice and Peace Committee was established in January 2021. It has addressed education for our own church community, worked on voter encouragement, demonstrated our support of marginalized communities like people of color and the LGBTQ community at various events, and food insecurity.
In short, we are a busy, hard-working, and enthusiastic group of people who love our church and are passionate about making the world a more just place and serving others.