Our Reformed Church
The Reformed Faith Is Communal
The Reformed faith is communal. Many Reformed people emphasize the experience of covenant. The covenant first appears in the Old Testament where God shaped Israel into a people around cult and commandments. God intended God's children to live in community with one another. The Reformed Church has understood that our relationship with God always includes responsibility toward other humans.
The Reformed churches have expressed the communal reality of the faith in several ways. We emphasize the law of God, not that people must follow rules to be good enough for God, but that the law is a gift from God to help us live together in human community.
Likewise, the Reformed churches have traditionally been strong on discipline. The term sounds like punishment for wrongdoing, but that's not what the Reformers meant. Discipline meant that the community took care of its members and encouraged them to live together in a bond of mutual responsibility to the lordship of Christ in their common life.
The Reformers also had a unique understanding of vocation. Each person was called (vocatio) by God not only to service in the church, but to service to the community in whatever role he or she played. The spouse doing housework, the farmer in the field, and the shopkeeper in her store were as much called by God to service as were the preacher in the pulpit or the monk in his cell.
This concern for community did not stop at the doors of the church. The Reformed Church understood God at work in the world in art, science, government, health, in short, in all areas of life. Reformed people today are not hesitant to call government, business, or any other authority to responsibility to the Christ who is Lord of all life.