Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
What does your church believe?
Reformed churches stand united in the belief that the Bible is the Word of God and the final authority for faith and practice. We hold that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of those who have faith in Him. We also believe in the historic Christian faith as confessed in The Apostles’ Creed. If you’d like to learn more about the Reformed view of the Christian faith or about our denomination’s statements of belief and practice—documents we call confessions and creeds—please visit the Reformed Church in America’s website: www.rca.org/rca-basics/creeds-and-confessions & Our Beliefs page here http://manhassetchurch.org/our-beliefs/.
What does “Reformed” mean?
This is a question that is asked a lot. The word needs to be explained from an historical context as well as a theological one.
When the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century moved across Europe, many of the churches that were established desired to be “Reformed and always reforming according to the Word of God.” We trace our origins to the theological writings of Martin Luther (1483-1546), Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) and John Calvin (1509-1564), among others, who courageously sought to reform the church. They “protested” or rebelled against some of the doctrines, practices and rituals of the Western Church (i.e. the Roman Catholic Church). This began the movement that would eventually become the Protestant branch of Christianity.
Protestantism includes many different denominations, or subgroups, formed according to specific beliefs and or traditions within the bounds of Christianity. Denominations also arose out of particular geographic locations. Many Protestants migrated to other parts of Europe because of religious persecution and for other reasons. Some made it to Scotland and, under the leadership of John Knox, formed the Presbyterian Church. Others from the Netherlands formed what was known as The Dutch Reformed Church (Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk or NHK, which existed from the 1570’s-2004), in which The Reformed Church in America has its roots.
To this day, Reformed Christians submit themselves to Scripture, “sola Scriptura” (Scripture alone)—the belief that the Christian faith is based on the Word of God. We also insist that God alone does the reforming work in the human being and in the church, and that God alone deserves the glory.
Our theology is largely dependent on the work of Reformed Christians, including the sixteenth-century reformer John Calvin. According to Calvin, the sum of human wisdom is broken down into two parts: knowledge of God (through the study of the Scriptures) and of ourselves (i.e. by looking to Jesus Christ). In addition, Calvin taught that God is completely sovereign in salvation. In other words, God always takes the initiative to help people overcome their unbelief. Faith is a gift from God and people come to faith by grace alone. Christ is the Head of the Church. The Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Word and through the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, nourishes and sustains the people of God as nothing else can.
Where is your church located and do you have parking?
The Community Reformed Church is at 90 Plandome Road, Manhasset, New York 11030. We are just north of Northern Boulevard and the first driveway on your right once you are on Plandome Road (just past the cemetery). You may park in our lot (off George Street) or you can park anywhere on Plandome Road. On Sundays you can take advantage of the free parking in the Manhasset Park District lot next to our parking lot.
Do you have Nursery Care?
Yes! Our nursery, located downstairs, welcomes newborns and children up to age three during services (September-June). Our nursery attendant works with parents to ensure that their children feel welcomed in our space. For more information, please contact the church office by calling – 516.627.3494 or reach out to us through our contact form.
Does your church offer Children’s Sunday School?
Yes! Children’s Sunday School (ages 3-13) is offered at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings and is a collaborative ministry with Christ Episcopal Church next door (1355 Northern Boulevard). During the Sunday School hour we also offer Bagels and Bibles for youth (through 9th grade). For more information, please contact the church office by calling –516.627.3494 or reach out to us through our contact form.
Does your church offer Confirmation classes?
Yes! Confirmation takes place when one of our baptized youth is ready to claim the Christian faith as their own. This spiritual step is generally offered to those youth who are deemed mature enough by their parents (usually the year prior to entering high school). Those youth that haven’t been baptized are also invited to participate and can be baptized on the day of their confirmation.
The classes are conducted by the minister and the elders of the church. The youth typically will meet weekly starting in the fall and finish sometime during Lent (early spring). The classes cover the Heidelberg Catechism, The 10 Commandments, The Apostle’s Creed, and The Lord’s Prayer. In addition, God, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the nature of the Church are also taught. Confirmation classes are a great way for our youth to memorize Scriptures, ask questions and learn about the Christian faith. Each student is also asked to write his or her own credo (or, “I Believe” statement). Before the youth are confirmed on Easter Sunday, they are required to meet with the elders of the church. If you have any questions about Confirmation, please contact the church office by calling – 516.627.3494 or reach out to us through our contact form.
Is there public transportation to your church?
Yes! You can take either the Long Island Rail Road or the Nassau Inter-County Express N20 bus to our church. The Manhasset Train Station is only a few minutes north of the church and it only takes a few minutes to walk. Use the Port Washington Line (red). For service status and train schedules, please visit www.mta.info. [Please note: Sunday morning trains are “Off Peak.”] You can also take the N20 Bus—Nassau Inter-County Express – Flushing Main-Street Sta. via Northern Blvd., Direction West Long Island—to the Plandome Road stop. For more information, please visit www.nicebusschedules.com
When are your services and what should I expect?
We offer one Sunday morning service at 10:30 am. Services run about one hour and focus on the worship of God and building each other up in the faith. While the ministers occasionally robe for special services, dress is casual. Prior to our worship, a time for prayer will be offered from 10-10:30 am in the Meditation Room (back of the sanctuary). This is a great opportunity to make your requests known and spend time with others who are committed to praying for the church and our world.
As Reformed Christians we hold that the Christian faith needs to be carefully examined by thoroughly studying the Bible and theology. Sermons, based on the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the New Testament, seek to inspire and challenge us on our spiritual journeys. During services, our faith is regularly vocalized and confessed, and we typically blend traditional and contemporary music. The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are also observed. We celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper on the first and third Sundays of the month. We also offer Prayers for Christian Healing and Anointing of Oil on the second Sundays of each month.
During July and August, we offer summer worship at 9:30 am and partner with the Community Church of Douglaston (RCA). Please check our website to confirm the time and location of service during the summer months.
Several seasonal services are also offered throughout the year:
• Blue Christmas – 3rd Thursday in December, 7:30 pm
• Christmas Eve – 5 pm Family Service
• Ash Wednesday – 7:30 pm
• Maundy Thursday – 7:30 pm
• Good Friday – 7:30 pm
• Easter Sunrise – 6:30 am
Again, please check the website or call the church office for service times, location or for any other questions you may have.
What is a sacrament and how do you observe them?
The word sacrament is from the Latin sacramentum, meaning “something sacred.” In the early church sacramentum came to stand for many things sacred, including rites that had a hidden meaning. During the Reformation, the reformers used Scripture as a guide and limited the number of sacraments to two: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In baptism and the Lord’s Supper, God’s love is made visible to us and our faith is strengthened.
We believe baptism is a sign and seal of God’s covenant of grace with us and our children. This sacrament is the visible word of God that we are renewed in Christ, buried with him unto death, that we might rise with him and walk in newness of life. In Reformed churches, baptism is always performed in the context of a congregation of God’s people. The congregation commits itself to the spiritual nurture of the infant, child, or adult being baptized. We typically sprinkle water on the person being baptized.
Regarding the Lord’s Supper, we believe Jesus Christ is host at the table he sets before the people gathered. As host he invites any and all who love him and desire to live for him, who are members of his Church in any and all of its branches, to join in the feast of love. The table is open to all baptized Christians who have professed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior or, in the case of a child, who has met with an Elder or Pastor and given attestation of their love for Christ and an understanding of the Sacrament appropriate to their age. We often observe the Lord’s Supper by intinction (a Latin word meaning “to dip”).
How does your church serve the community?
We are constantly reaching out to our community, through our Green Faith practices and educational programs, financial contributions and volunteer opportunities. Every week, we open our doors to those in need and collect food for our local pantry. Our commitment to service starts with our children, who make Valentines for Vets and shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child to our youth, who participate in car wash fundraisers, Lenten service projects and an annual mission trip. Adults generously give time and money to create Easter baskets for needy children, deliver Christmas packages to the homebound and serve at our local homeless shelter. Each summer, our congregation fully funds a one-week spiritual arts camp for underserved children in our community. This is one of the highlights of our year!
What is really important to your church?
Our faith calls us to bring people together so we can connect with God and deepen our spiritual lives. We do this in a variety of ways: worship, small groups, discipleship groups, retreats, and Bible studies (to name a few). Together we look to the Scriptures, seek to apply its truths to our lives and have fun in the process. We also address environmental and social justice concerns, pray for the peace and welfare of others, and serve those in need.
Here, everyone is welcomed in faith and love. Here, people discover more about themselves in the process. They come to honor the image of God revealed in Jesus Christ, and in people young and old, in all living creatures and in the earth. When Jesus said to his disciples, “I have come that they may have life and more abundantly,” the offer was to each of us.
Because of Jesus’ offer to all people, we intentionally create worship and learning opportunities so people may hear that call more clearly—to live abundantly in Christ.
In what ways does your church measure success?
As a Reformed church, we measure our overall success and effectiveness as a maturing congregation by focusing on the following mission measures:
1. Giving testimony to salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
– Ephesians 2:8-9, Genesis 15:6
2. Actively seeking spiritual growth and biblical wisdom.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Joshua 1:8
3. Demonstrating love for God and life transformation with prayer and holy
– Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 4:2, 1 Peter 1:13-16
4. Engaging purposefully as a church community, building each other up.
– Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 4:11-16
5. Regularly serving Christ by loving and serving others.
– John 13:5, John 13:34-35, John 15:13
6. Intentionally leading others to Christ and developing stronger disciples.
– Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:2
What is your church’s denomination?
The Community Reformed Church is a ministry of the Reformed Church in America, America’s oldest Protestant denomination with a continuous ministry since 1628. Our ministry began with 65 families in the Village of Lake Success (part of Great Neck, NY) in 1732. We moved to our current location in 1816 and today, celebrate a legacy of love and faithful Christian service to this community for almost 300 years. To learn more about our denomination, please visit www.rca.org.
Does your church cemetery still have plots available?
How is your church governed?
The local governing body of our church is the Consistory. This body is made up of the minister, elders and deacons. These servant leaders have oversight over the church’s property, personnel, policy and finances. Deacons concern themselves with justice, pastoral care and acts of mercy. The elders are focused on the spiritual vitality of the church and in particular, caring for the spiritual wellbeing of its members.
Reformed churches are marked by theological understandings consistent with John Calvin’s teachings and usually a specific form of church government. The final authority in Reformed churches does not come from the voice of one person (as in the “episcopal” model) or the independent influence of the congregation (as in the “congregational” model). Instead, authority is vested in a series of representative groups set up much like our own governmental system. Using political terms, the late Dr. Herman J. Ridder has described it as such: “Our church is not a totalitarian state or a pure democracy, but a republic.” That is, in the Reformed church, as in a republic, the supreme power resides in the people who exercise their right to vote for officers and representatives who represent and are responsible to them.