Who We are . . .
(From our Mission Statement) As members and friends of the Larchmont Avenue Church (LAC), we gather together to rejoice as witnesses to God’s love, growing with grace, going forth to serve. We are a community of Christ, dedicated to strengthening our commitment to live as Christian disciples through:
~ Service, and
Living this mission, we at Larchmont Avenue Church seek to provide a warm and open Christian home that fosters the spiritual growth and development of each individual through worship, music, prayer and fellowship.
We encourage all members, young and old, families and children to serve with compassion and care for one another, for our neighbors and for the global community.
We strive to create greater opportunities for intergenerational participation in educational programs, biblical and theological studies.
LAC is in the Village of Larchmont, twenty miles north of New York City. It is a community church of 772 members, richly blessed with talented people who serve on the Session, Trustees and Board of Deacons. Diverse religious traditions in the local community and among church members provide opportunities for interfaith dialogue, in which LAC plays a leading part.
LAC is a youthful church with 53% of its members under the age of 50. The congregation also includes 150 members (70 years and older) who are facing the challenges of aging. The Church actively seeks to provide intergenerational programs where youth and older members learn from one another, including a weekly fellowship hour, Laity Sunday, Youth Sunday, Advent and Lenten Workshops, an annual block party and missions to Nicaragua. Youth also sit on Church boards and committees.
Sunday worship is complemented with an adult education hour. The Church’s thriving Sunday School of 163 students currently has 9 classes and 30 volunteer teachers. Lively middle school and senior high programs focus on fellowship, fun, working together and growing in faith.
Music is an integral part of LAC worship, recently enhanced with the installation of a pipe organ. The music ministry has four choirs, including two Sunday School choirs.
LAC houses a non-sectarian community nursery school of over 120 preschoolers. The Church is also a gathering place for such other organizations as the Midnight Run, Alcoholics Anonymous and the Women’s Club of Larchmont.
Gifts, skills and experiences our congregation brings to fulfill our mission:
LAC members reside in a community with an unusual concentration of talent, attainment and cultural diversity. Congregants are well-educated, articulate, goal-oriented, and motivated with skills in communications, organization and administration. Many are from diverse religious traditions and have lived in other parts of the country and the world. The qualities that have enabled members to be successful in their careers, whether outside of the community or at home, are gifts brought to the Church and the fulfillment of its mission.
At times, these same gifts and talents have also created some challenges for the Church. Talented and successful people are accustomed to being in leadership roles and can have strong views on matters. We as a church have worked hard to address concerns expressed by some members in a calm, rational and caring manner, to open direct communication between those with differing views, and to learn to listen with open hearts and minds.
Outreach is an integral part of who we are as a church. Serving and giving is a shared journey of spiritual growth and mutual learning for those who have and those who have not. Within the past year, LAC has given over $126,000 as well as on-site support for global relief efforts, gulf coast and local flood recovery, social services for neighboring families, feeding the hungry, and housing assistance. The Church has strong links with local communities in Nicaragua deepened by annual exchange visits and mission support.
The Ministry of Larchmont Avenue Church reflects an understanding of Scripture as a living experience of the Gospel within the context of our times infused with the Spirit of Jesus, rather than a dogmatic, literal reading of biblical texts. We believe that in fulfilling Jesus’ message, the gift of God’s grace is for all peoples. We recognize that our role as disciples of Christ in a pluralistic society is to dwell with others with acceptance and openness, regardless of not only religious tradition, but matters of personal lifestyle. Acting on Jesus’ message of social justice, we often grapple with our affluence in a world of extreme needs.
Ours is a congregation that is seeking to better understand the meaning of God’s Word in our lives, not with the conviction of having found the truth of God, but with humility and the recognition of our limitations. At the same time, we are firmly grounded in the certainty that there is a God of love and compassion and ours is the journey (and struggle) to find the Grace of God and remain within it, so as to manifest our acceptance of God’s love in living our lives with caring for those around us--both within our immediate community and beyond.