Someone's always asking...
What is Countryside Christian Fellowship?
Countryside is a community of Christians located in Eugene, Oregon (in the community of Coburg.) We don't live together, but we do gather together to love the Lord, to worship and serve Him and others. You might want to check out About Us where you'll find additional information about the beginnings of the church meeting in Coburg, what we believe, and more. Countryside is a non-denominational congregation. To us that means everyone is welcome. Many of the folks at Countryside come from denominational congregations, and all are quite comfortable here.
What do you believe about God?
We believe what most Christians have believed since the time of Jesus. For instance we agree with both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed which have expressed the core of Christian belief for hundreds of years. You can go to our own creed/statement of beliefs if you'd like to look into it further.
Are you a Charismatic congregation? An Evangelical one? Liturgical?
Those aren't easy questions to answer as people tend to use the same words but attribute different meanings to them based upon their experience. There are Christians that would call us charismatic, others who would say that we're traditional, evangelical, contemporary, liturgical or Pentecostal. Then, we'd have to decide if we were talking about style or beliefs or some other thing entirely. As you can see, the whole labeling thing can get quite messy. We are evangelical in that we take seriously God’s greatest commandment to love God and love others — to live like Jesus. We preach and teach from the Bible because we believe it is the inspired word of God, and we desire all people to enter into a saving, Kingdom relationship with Jesus. We are also charismatic in that we believe God is present, active and gifting among His people. We rely on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church for the conviction of sin, the illumination of truth, and the restoration of all things. And, though we don't usually refer to ourselves as liturgical, we, like all congregations, have a liturgy — an order — to our worshiping. We are respectful to the historic traditions of the church, have some connection with the rhythms of the church calendar and daily expressions of prayer and worship, and connection to the church, past and present, local and universal, by God's Holy Spirit. Here's the deal: we love Jesus. Join us and see what ‘style' God has raised up at Countryside with which we worship in Spirit and truth.
You offer communion every day, why is that?
There seems to have been a great deal of frequency with which the early church enjoyed the Lord's Supper together. In fact, it's one of the things we're told to which the early church was devoted. The historic church found expression in the same rhythms of worship and devotion that was evident in the early church, and among the Hebrews, God's people, before that. We believe that the Lord's Table is the central place and act of affirming our faith, and the center of our worship. Celebrating the Eucharist at Countryside, for the most part, is not a formal affair (it happens a little less frequently during our main services). Rather, the communion is an expression of our worship of the Lord, our prayer to the Lord and our intimacy with the Lord. What better way to start any day than meeting with the Lord at the Table? Any believer is welcome to join us in breaking bread at Countryside.
What is it like when you gather to worship the Lord?
Worship is what we do at Countryside. It is everything we do in one way or another. But when most people ask this question they wonder what our "church service" or music is like. In some of our gatherings we use a full band, in other services we take a more simple approach with a single guitar and voice. You'll likely see some of the folks lifting their hands to the Lord. As others feel led, they may stand or kneel during a worship time as well. All these expressions are offered in an appropriate spirit of freedom and reverence. There might be a communion celebration in the meeting, baptisms are often a part of our services, as are baby and family dedications. As to the gathering itself, we worship the Lord together with music and prayer and Scripture, and we study the Scriptures together, and that's just about that. We seek to keep things pretty simple (but we have a lot of fun) and dress is always very casual, and even more 'very-casual' during the summer when the shorts and Birks come out. When we're outside in The Garden during the summer, be sure to bring a blanket or stadium cushion.
Do you really study the Bible?
Yes, we really study the Bible. Terry likes to say we use the Bible to teach what it looks like, and what it means, to be a follower Jesus. For the most part, Thursday nights are our main study times, chapter by chapter, book by book. On Sunday mornings we usually study a specific verse or two, or a topic, from the chapter that we'll be studying later in the week. We also encourage the congregation to not only read ahead in the texts we will be sharing and studying, but also to read the Scriptures together as a congregation. The Today's Scripture & Prayer page has the Scripture for the day (a Psalm for each morning and night, and selections from the Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels), as well as weekly and daily prayers.
May I become a member of Countryside?
Countryside has no formal church membership. Those who know Jesus as Lord, are actively involved in worship and serving the body, are those that are members at Countryside. As a community we value the daily rhythms of our lives in Christ, it's part of how we live our lives as followers of Jesus. These are practical ways that we move towards the center, who is Jesus, and express our belonging and membership.
We intentionally follow Jesus, expressed initially in water baptism, as we journey forward in loving God and loving others.
We participate in the worship life of the church family.
We experience an on-going connection with God through reflection on Scripture, in prayer, and at the Table.
We further develop our faith-family relationships, relationships that nurture our faith and mature our following of Jesus (through small groups, and in other ways).
We commit to serving God, usually in some specific form of ministry (ministry is service, “giving away however much or little of God we have.”)
We are generous in our financial support of the church and our neighbors in need.
And, we learn to make choices shaped by our faith. We can't be a follower of Jesus unless we're actually following Jesus.
Welcome to the family!
We're hungry and thirsty! Do you really charge for coffee?
Well, we are in the Pacific Northwest! Actually, because the Lord has blessed us with the coffeehouse we don't have that can of Folgers perking in the kitchen anymore. But, you can get a really good (and cheap) latte or mocha anytime, and if you're cash poor, please have a cup of java on us. Countryside also serves breakfast on Sunday mornings, and dinner Thursday nights. The truth is, we see much ministry and love expressed in agape meals and through hospitality in the Scriptures, and we live accordingly. All of the proceeds in the coffeehouse go to support missionaries who are a part of the church at Countryside.
We have children, what do we do now??
With a smile we say, "pray." As a congregation we seek to minister to the families that are a part of us. A nursery and ministry to children through the sixth grade are available during our main gathering times, providing a safe and nurturing environment for your kids. Since we ask that the little ones not be in the sanctuary or coffeehouse during the Bible studies, there are also some closed-circuit TV areas where you can view the service and minister to separation anxiety all at the same time, if necessary. You're also welcome to join your child in their class until they have acclimated, if you wish. However, we find that most children adapt easily and enjoy being ministered to on their own level, while their parents connect in worship and study with the adults. We also have discipleship opportunities for Middle School and High School students.
I was looking for more stuff to do; why aren't there more programs?
Countryside is a decidedly missional gathering of Christians. For us, that means that in many ways the Fellowship is a home-base for ministers (believers) who are bringing the Gospel and the Kingdom to light in their lives outside of our meeting together. We do meet together daily for communion and prayer, and there are a couple of main gatherings each week. Additionally, though we don't own a "full slate of ministries for the entire family" so to speak, various small groups, and occasional events are part of our life together. We're not all that interested in filling up every day and night and weekend with "church activities." What we want to do is disciple that we might grow in faith and grace, enjoy the Scriptures, celebrate in worship, baptism and the Lord's Supper and be a central spot for encouragement and edification for all those who call Countryside home, sending us out to bear witness to our neighborhoods and the world the love of Jesus.
Why should I be baptized?
Well, because the Bible shows that from the earliest days of the church baptism was a deliberate point of commitment and witness to Jesus and connection to the Body of Christ. The Bible emphasizes the need for all believers to express their faith and testimony publicly in baptism once they've become a Christian. There are special baptism days every summer in The Garden. Talk to one of the pastors if you want to be baptized.
I need prayer, what do I do?
First, pray! Often the best praying for us is when we pray for ourselves. However, we also understand wanting to be prayed for and you're always welcome to connect with a pastor, elder or other leader at the Fellowship after a service. Often though, the best prayer opportunity is to meet up with another brother or sister in the coffeehouse over a latte, or just ask a friend here to pray. Maybe the Lord will use you to pray for others? There are prayer services nearly every day at Countryside. You can also make requests for prayer using the forms in the bookstore or bulletin.
Do you have baby dedications?
Yes. It is a great joy for the Body of believers here to stand with families, new parents and new kids and commit to their ongoing fellowship and discipleship. Just speak to one of the pastors or elders after any worship gathering.
Do you do weddings at Countryside?
Yes, weddings are often part of our ministering to those within the congregation that is Countryside Fellowship.
Does Countryside offer counseling?
Countryside does not offer long-term counseling. We do have spiritually gifted leaders available to offer Biblical discipleship and advice and spiritual encouragement to those who are a part of the fellowship. We strongly suggest you get involved in a small group at Countryside, being nurtured by God's people and becoming accountable to the Lord along with other believers. You can also connect with someone after a service.
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