The United Church of Christ is an openly diverse denomination that formed in 1957 when the Congregational Christian Church and the Evangelical Reformed Christian traditions merged. We believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God. In the United Church of Christ, we take the Scriptures seriously, but not literally.
Calvary is an Open & Affirming congregation that welcomes people from all walks of life. We truly try to embody the extravagant welcome of Jesus Christ, so that no matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here – regardless of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or cultural background. At Calvary, God truly is still speaking.
The worship of God through Jesus Christ at Calvary combines the best of many traditions. We believe in meaningful liturgy, inspired preaching, the centrality of the Sacraments, and the chance for all people to participate in leadership, prayer, and sharing their faith. This is a photograph of Alois Lang, the artist who created the beautiful carving that adorns the front of our Altar, a reproduction of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”.
There are two choices for worship at Calvary on Sunday mornings.
8:00am – This is a weekly Holy Communion service held in our Chapel (near our parking area and up the steps on Oley Street). Singing is accompanied by acoustic guitar, and the format is liturgical but casual. The service normally lasts 40-45 minutes, giving worshipers a chance to attend Sunday School and Adult Forum.
10:30am – (9:30am from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend) – This service is larger, and is held in the Sanctuary (at the corner of Oley St. and Centre Ave.). It features Holy Communion about once a month, and special music every week. This service is usually an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes long. There is also a ramp available on 4th Street for those who have difficulty with steps.
For those who are unable to worship on Sunday, there is a Bible Study/Worship Service on almost every Tuesday at 7:30pm. This service includes many of the components of the 8am Sunday service, and instead of a sermon there is an interactive Bible Study.
Also – Keep an eye out for special services during the year!
Lent – Ash Wednesday – Noon & 7pm, Lenten Soup Suppers every Wednesday from 6-7pm. Holy Thursday & Good Friday – Noon & 7pm.
Easter – ONLY 10:30 Worship with Breakfast from 9-10:15.
Advent – White Gift for Bethany Children’s Home, Special Harp Music, and more.
Christmas Eve – 7pm & 10:30pm with special music for 30 minutes before each service.
And many more…
Calvary is committed to non-judgmental help to anyone who needs it. We are connected to regional, national, and worldwide outreach through the Reading Association, the Pennsylvania SE Conference, and the National Church. We are also committed to feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and clothing those in need. Our food cupboard is available as an emergency source of food for 2 to 3 days, and we assist people regularly with overdue bills. We participate as a site for Family Promise, and we work with Berks Women in Crisis, Mary’s Home, the Reading Berks Conference of Churches, Opportunity House, Ready.Set.Read!, the Reading Public Schools, just to name a few.
Along with worship, we provide opportunities for adults and children to grow in the Spirit of Christ. Sunday School for all ages (adults too!) is at 9am from the Sunday after Labor Day through the Sunday before Memorial Day. We also provide a week-long evening Vacation Bible School for all children and adults in the Summer.
We are also pleased to have developed a relationship with Albright College’s Religious Studies Department. We work with the department to offer lectures and learning experiences for laity and clergy.
ALSO – If you would like to receive Pastor Steve’s Weekly Wednesday Prayers, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.