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Bolton Congregational
    Church UCC
228 Bolton Center Road
Bolton, CT  06043
860.649.7077 (Phone)
860.649.5419 (Fax)
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What does “Congregational” mean?

 

Will I “fit in” if I come to worship at the Bolton Congregational Church for the first time?

 

What are your beliefs and doctrines?

 

Can I be married at the Bolton Congregational Church if I am not a member?

 

Do I have to be a member to have my baby baptized at the Bolton Congregational Church?

 

Can I rent a room at the Bolton Congregational Church for a special event?

 

Can I get information about my “family tree” from the Bolton Congregational Church if my family has roots in Bolton?

 

What happened to the steeple?

 

Do I have to live in Bolton to attend services at the Bolton Congregational Church UCC?

 

What if I am not Congregational? Can I attend services at The Bolton Congregational Church UCC?

 

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What does “Congregational” mean?

It simply means that our church is governed by the congregation.  There is no outside authority (such as a bishop or presbytery or diocese) to direct our beliefs or actions.  The members of the church make all the major decisions in the life of the congregation, from calling the pastors…to approving the church budget each year…to setting policies for the church.  These decisions are made by voting at our annual meeting each year in January, or at special congregational meetings, or through the work of boards and committees. Congregational churches have their modern origins in England and Holland, and began to thrive in New England and beyond in the days of the Pilgrims and Puritans.  That’s why you will find that the oldest churches in our country are Congregational.
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Will I “fit in” if I come to worship at the Bolton Congregational Church for the first time?

We certainly hope so!  We have lots of “helps” to assist visitors – such as notes in the worship bulletin that will tell you where to find a hymn or a Scripture reading, or which version of the Lord’s Prayer we say.  There is not a lot of ritual in our services that would be unfamiliar to visitors or hard to follow.  We generally have a special “Children’s Message” for young ones during the 10:00 am service on Sunday, and our Communion service is open to all who believe in Jesus Christ regardless of denominational affiliation.  Most of all, we have a great team of lay Deacons and many more enthusiastic members who should greet you and offer to help you in any way possible.  And don’t forget that we have contemporary Thursday evening service twice a month that are very informal – especially designed for folks who are looking for a welcome place to worship!

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What are your beliefs and doctrines?

Our church, along with the vast majority of other Congregational/United Church of Christ churches, does not require members to subscribe to specific doctrines or creeds.  We believe that often such doctrines become instruments of judgment and exclusion that divide, rather than unite God’s people.  However, while you will certainly find a variety of individual perspectives among the members of our congregation, we are also confident that you will find that all of our members’ lives and faith are guided by the supreme Christian principles of: love of neighbor, humility before God, compassion for the needy, respect for life and all living things, and a commitment to peace and justice for all of God’s people across all of Creation.
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Can I be married at the Bolton Congregational Church if I am not a member?

In many cases, yes.  While membership is not a requirement, our church should not be chosen for a wedding simply because it is “quaint & attractive” or convenient to the place where the reception will be held.  Our hope is that non-members who wish to be married here will also have a sincere desire to begin nourishing their new married life by participating in the life of our church and continuing to grow in Christian faith as a married couple. Please contact one of our pastors about setting up an appointment to discuss your wedding plans!
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Do I have to be a member to have my baby baptized at the Bolton Congregational Church?

Membership is not required in order for parents to have a baby baptized in our Church.  However we do ask that parents attend our worship services for awhile prior to the date of the baptism, so that they can become acquainted with the worship “atmosphere” where the baptism will take place. Parents are also expected to be faithful to the baptismal promises they will be making by continuing to bring their child into the Church environment for Christian Education (nursery, Sunday School, etc.) in the months and years that follow.
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Can I rent a room at the Bolton Congregational Church for a special event?

Our Church is happy to provide space for many community groups (scouts, civic clubs, etc.) to use in return for a nominal donation to cover utilities and other expenses.  Unfortunately we are not able to rent out rooms (or tables or chairs or our tent) to non-members for personal use due to the understandable risks involved – as well as the fact that the Church’s energy needs to remain focused on serving God’s people and not monitoring use of facilities.
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Can I get information about my “family tree” from the Bolton Congregational Church if my family has roots in Bolton?

Our Church Office houses records from the last 50 years or so.  Earlier records have been transferred to the Connecticut State Library in Hartford.  You might try the Bolton Town Hall, too, which may also be able to help you.
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What happened to the steeple?

While there are a few people who swear that there once was one, we have no official church records indicating that a spire-like pointy “steeple” ever existed atop our Meetinghouse.  The truth is, the architecture of our beloved Meetinghouse – with a simple bell tower on the roof – was a popular style in the 1800’s, and you will find many others like it as you drive around New England (including some that are of the “clock tower” variety as well as the bell tower).
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Do I have to live in Bolton to attend services at the Bolton Congregational Church UCC?
Years ago, when traveling more than a mile or two was very difficult, people generally attended worship at a church in their immediate geographical area – a region known as a parish. Today, with modern roads and cars, it is common for people to attend worship in a town other than their own, and at Bolton Congregational Church we have members and visitors who come from more than a dozen surrounding towns. So... Yes, wherever you live, you are welcome to join us! We look forward to welcoming you here sometime soon!
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What if I am not Congregational? Can I attend services at The Bolton Congregational Church UCC?
Absolutely!  While the Congregational tradition goes back almost 400 years to the days of the Pilgrims, our current membership includes people who comes from a wide variety of religious backgrounds as well as lifelong “Congregationalists.”  Former Roman Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, UUA’s, and believers from many other faith traditions (as well as people who have never belonged to any church) have found a home here.  We hope you will, too!
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