We celebrated our 250th anniversary in 2007, but we’re a church that’s always trying new things. Our Beekman Road “campus” is historic, as our sanctuary was built in 1833, and has a classical look. But we’ve recognized that its location and style might not serve everyone’s needs, and so in 2008 we started 2 new church plants. Odyssey is a congregation that meets at Dutchess County ARC in Poughkeepsie, and Common Ground is based in Poughkeepsie. They are part of HRC, but have their own unique “personalities”. No matter which site you visit, what you’ll find are caring people, dedicated pastors and a desire to share God’s love with all those we meet.
Ask any of our members, and they’ll probably be able to tell you that we at HRC have a mission “to know Christ and to make Him known”. But what does that mean? And can you have one without the other? Spiritual growth, the process of becoming more like Christ, is active, present, ongoing, a pursuit that we invite you to join. This can happen in any number of ways, through worship, small groups and/or Bible study. But once on this pursuit, you’ll find that you’ll want to respond to God’s love in your day to day life. At HRC, we believe there are many ways that you can serve Christ, to reflect Christ, and to make Him known, from extending a helping hand to a shut-in, to travelling around the world on a mission trip. Explore them here on our website, and contact us to learn more!
We live out our mission with our core values, belief systems that we want to make ordinary and see in everything that we do. They are radical love, radical justice, radical welcome and radical gospel. Why radical? How do you make something radical ordinary? And why these particular values?
As we were wrapping up our 250th anniversary celebrations in the fall of 2007, Pastor Holbrook wrote this in our newsletter:
“What are the values from our past that drive our mission into the future?” I think we have seen four things: Ordinary Radical Love, Ordinary Radical Justice, Ordinary Radical Welcome, Ordinary Radical Gospel. As I presented these values to our leadership there was a question about the word “radical.” At first I did not add the word ordinary, but I think this description by Shane Claiborne in his book: The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical describes what these values mean as we go to the “root” of our history and our ministry:
The word radical itself means “root.” It’s from the Latin word radix, which just like a rad-ish, has to do with getting to the root of things. But radical is not something reserved for saints and martyrs, which is why I like to complement it with ordinary. Ordinary does not mean normal, and I lament the dreadful seduction which has resulted in Christians becoming so normal.
There are four different centuries where I see these “ordinary radical” values lifted up. The first ordinary radical, love, has its roots in the ministry of Isaac Rysdyck (1765-1790). The key issue was: Will Hopewell love across the differences of traditional versus contemporary? The key scripture for this time is Ephesians 2:14: For Christ is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. A core value of this congregation has always been an ordinary radical love. When we took our Natural Church Development survey in 2005, loving relationship came out as our highest factor. That was established early on and continues through this day.
Our second value is ordinary radical justice. The root of this can be seen in the transition during the ministry of Graham Taylor (1873-1880). The key issue in this time was: “Will Hopewell touch the needs of the world outside its doors?” The key scripture that defines this value is Jeremiah 29:7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
The third value is ordinary radical welcome. The root of this value is in the ministry of Dave Hondorp (1978-1997). The question that defines this value is: Will Hopewell welcome a multi-cultural ministry? Galatians 3:28 says There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
The value that ties all of these together is the Ordinary Radical gospel. The root of this value is a focus on evangelism for the 21st century. The key question is: Will the way of Christ tie everything we do together? John 14:6 says Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Christ’s way is the way of love, of justice, of welcome, the way of life.
We “grow” radical followers of Jesus through our six “G’s”, which are:
- Grace- Accepting and sharing the grace of God in Christ
- Growth- A commitment to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ
- Groups- Everyone connected with a ChristCare group for Biblical Equipping, Prayer and Worship, Community Building and Missional Service
- Gifts- Discovering and using our spiritual gifts
- Giving- Giving of our time, talent and treasure towards God’s mission in the world
- Go- Going in mission to where God is working.