We Celebrate a Vision to Be…

An open and loving community of faith where all people experience the
Love of God in Christ.

We Celebrate a Mission to Offer…

Open Hearts
First Christian Church of Orange is a faith community witnessing to the life
and ministry of Jesus Christ. We welcome both friend and stranger.

Open Minds
We believe that all are God’s children, worthy of love, respect, dignity and
acceptance.

Open Arms
We are a true church family, celebrating life’s triumphs together and providing comfort during
life’s challenges.

Our Denominational Tradition is to Practice…

Open Communion
Celebrated weekly and open to all.

Baptism by Immersion
Generally practiced is baptism by immersion, but we honor other traditions as well.

EveryoneWelcome

Membership

To become a member of FCCO individuals come forward during the Hymn of Invitation during worship. At this time the person who has come forward is asked, “Do you want to be part of a community that strives to follow the teachings of Jesus?” Church membership implies an intentional relationship with a community of faith where gifts and resources are shared, faith is practiced, and faith formation takes place. In community we support and encourage one another in worship and service.

Note: It is a practice in many congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to receive members by asking them to make a public declaration of faith. This is done by asking, “Do you believe in Jesus the Christ….” or “Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ…” At FCCO we understand that people can have a strong desire to follow the teachings of Jesus but struggle with professing Jesus as “Christ.” Because we value inclusion we welcome members who are still evolving in their understanding of Jesus. Following Jesus is a lifelong journey of understanding and practice.

Baptism

Baptism by immersion is the practice of being fully immersed in a tank or body of water as a symbol of death and resurrection to new life. We practice “Believer’s Baptism” which means individuals decide for themselves to be baptized. A conversation with a pastor is the best way to prepare for and plan your baptism. The baptistery is located in the front of the sanctuary and baptisms takes place in the context of worship. This form of public baptism stirs others to recall their own baptism and recommit to follow Jesus. It truly is a celebration!

Child Dedication

When believer’s baptism is practiced by a congregation it is accompanied by the practice of child dedication. Parents of a child establish a date with a pastor to come forward during worship to make promises to God and to the child. Parents promise to raise their child in a way that will encourage that child to make his or her own decision to follow Jesus. The congregation promises to be for the child a community of love and support and a model of discipleship. Together, congregation and parents celebrate God’s blessing upon the child.

Communion (The Lord’s Supper)

Communion is celebrated weekly in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in recognition of the love and call that binds us together in Christian unity. At the table we renew our call to discipleship as we remember Jesus’ life and teaching. At the table we speak of gathering, sharing, serving, forgiving, and welcome following the example of the last meal Jesus ate with disciples and the many meals he shared during his ministry.

In the invitation to commune during worship you might hear the words, “All are welcome at Christ’s table.” All means all, even children. Jesus extends the invitation and it is not our place to restrict or deny access to the table. Historically, the practice in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been to encourage children to wait until they are baptized and receive instruction to receive communion, however, this practice is changing. Children understand what it feels like to be included and excluded and inviting them to partake is a way of fully including them in the life of the church. Parents may feel strongly either way and the participation of children in communion is left to the parent’s discretion.

Every Sunday FCCO passes chalices and plates of bread and matzo. This form of communion is called intinction. Bread is dipped into the chalice and then eaten. An alternative to this form of communion is offered in the front of the sanctuary for those who desire to drink from an individual cup.

Inclusive Language

The use of inclusive language is encouraged at FCCO. This means that an effort is made to use gender-neutral language whenever possible. Words to familiar hymns are sometimes changed to be more inclusive. Scripture is often read with attention to inclusive language. Inclusive language is also taken into consideration in the way God is addressed in prayer. Multiple names and metaphors for God are used to expand our concept of God beyond traditional addresses such as “Father.”

BeLoved

First Christian Church of Orange (FCCO) is OC Proud! We believe that everyone is a beloved child of God. Everyone deserves to be loved.

beloved

FCCO is an “Open and Affirming” congregation. This means we are explicit in welcoming gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning individuals. We aspire, as people of faith and followers of the teachings of Jesus, to have open hearts, open minds, and open arms to all people. If you are looking for a progressive church where you are affirmed as beloved and will most certainly be loved, check out FCCO. Dress is casual and worship is eclectic.