From time to time the development of our humanity requires a spirit of renewal. We can observe this in humanity’s history. We also know this in our own personal lives. This spirit of renewal helps enliven and strengthen our work, our sense of direction, our lives. Just such a spirit of renewal set in motion the founding of The Christian Community in 1922.
The Christian Community recognizes Christ’s deed of life and death as the pivotal renewal in humanity’s history. He brought a new relationship between human beings on earth and the beings of the spiritual worlds. Through his indwelling in the sacraments, this revitalizing impulse continues to be available to us individually and in community. Christ replenishes our life in sacramental community, which in turn offers us as individuals the opportunity to find and connect with his regenerating impulse in our own lives, in the life of the whole of humanity, and in the life of the entire earth.
Furthermore, The Christian Community recognizes the Christian way to be a path of freedom. Fostering freeness and responsibility in the individual is seen as crucial in approaching a relationship with Christ Jesus’ deed and message. All who come will find a community striving to cultivate an environment of free inquiry in harmony with deep devotion.
There are approximately 350 independent Christian Community Congregations worldwide, with 14 full congregations in North America. Services are also held through visits to affiliate congregations in several additional locations. Each Christian Community congregation is financially independent and exists through the voluntary pledges and donations of its local members. There are regional and international administrative bodies to coordinate the work at those levels.
For all of the above reasons, most congregations of The Christian Community in North America, the first of which was founded in North America in New York City in 1948, are small and intimate.
The Christian Community is part of an international movement for the renewal of religion, founded in 1922 in Switzerland by the eminent Lutheran theologian and minister Friedrich Rittlemeyer, with the help of Rudolf Steiner, Austrian thinker and mystic.
The Christian Community is a church centered around the seven sacraments in their renewed form. The text of our Creed, is a metamorphosis of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.
In keeping with the spirit of freedom, members are not required to sign articles of faith, and are encouraged to form independent judgments in religious matters. Nor do we have any formal written dogma. Each priest has the freedom to teach anything which does not contradict the content of the sacraments whose texts form the “bedrock” of The Christian Community. As a result, the teachings are rich, varied and evolving. They are inspired by traditional Christian theology, the original work of Rudolf Steiner and by independent research and insights of priests and members.
There is also room in this modern Christian theology to incorporate such ideas as reincarnation and karma, a truly cosmic conception of Christ, and the role of spiritual beings at all levels of existence. The Christ Jesus is recognized as the Guide and Redeemer who ‘goes before us’ leading us to our true humanity.