It is hard to sum up our church’s character in a few sentences because like all churches, we mean many different things to many different people. Probably the most accurate statement is to say that we are a community who comes together in the hopes of experiencing God. Sometimes we don’t get it right, but then we come back next Sunday and try again.
If you are interested, here are some things you will find at our church:
1. We focus on content more than the ascetic. What that means is that we are not swimming in money and so we choose to spend what we have on ministries like our Soup Kitchen or our Children’s Groups or our Youth Group or our Small Group Bible Studies or our Flea Market. You will not find state of the art visual equipment and we don’t have any rock bands. We would like these things, so if you would like to help us get there, you are most welcome! Otherwise, please understand that we have a ministry focus not a stuff focus.
2. We care about you, not your social status. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, we just want to get to know you. If you don’t have a lot of money, that’s ok, we don't either. If you feel awkward, lonely, joyous, unworthy, tainted, angry, frightened, excited, obnoxious, or… whatever, we will do our best to make you feel welcome and hopefully you will experience God’s grace within our walls.
3. At some point, someone will tick you off. Hopefully it won’t be the first time you join us, but we can guarantee that there will be a time when someone will say something or do something that will make you mad. Sometimes it might even be Pastor. The good news is that it is not usually on purpose. The bad news is that you may feel hurt and want to leave the church. The thing is, living in community means that sometimes we don't always get along. We don't always say the right thing. We don't always get our way. It’s much easier to live on Facebook where you can secretly “defriend” people, but we hope that just as God spreads grace freely, that we will be as graceful as possible to one another in the midst of conflict.
4. We give freely. We want to spread God’s love into the world so we have an abundant of ministries outside of our church that we serve. Some of our passions include, but are not limited to: Richardson Park Community Action Program, Neighborhood House, Prison Fellowship, Sunday Breakfast Mission, Toys for Tots, Faithful Friends, and Overseas Missions / Emergencies.
5. We are a church that believes in our children and youth. Peniel was started in 1786 by a young Irish girl who wanted to start a Methodist Society in Newport. So it was because of a young girl we are here today, and we are eager for our children and youth to spread the gospel through in worship, music, and leadership.
6. We have a sense of humor. Our favorite thing to do is laugh. We love jokes, we like to have fun, and try not to take ourselves too seriously. Don’t get us wrong, God’s love and grace are serious business, but we like to spread it through our joy.
If this seems like a church you may want to be a part of, please feel free to drop by and introduce yourself. We are a faith community are open to all who are in need of a connection to something greater than themselves. You will be an added blessing to our church!