About Us

Who We Are

We are sometimes asked, “What is the difference between the United Church of Christ and the Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and other Protestant denominations?” My answer, “Polity, primarily.” There are important differences in the way we interpret our faith and our worship styles, but our beliefs are fundamentally alike— same God, same Bible, same Jesus, same Holy Spirit. The greatest distinguishing characteristic is polity, that is, how we govern ourselves.

The United Church of Christ is grounded in a congregational form of polity. It is basically a church democracy. In fact, the congregational way was quite influential in the formation of our nation’s government. The first Congregationalists came out of the English Reformation. The basis of their belief was the Bible and a personal relationship with God. They felt that no human authority should come between the individual and God. Each person is open to the grace of God and each is accountable to God.

These religious beliefs found corporate expression through following Paul’s concept of the priesthood of all believers. Each church relates directly to God for guidance and accountability. The members of the congregation covenant with each other for guidance and support in seeking to know God’s way. In fact, every gathered body of the denomination is a church unto its own. When our regional and national bodies meet (Suffolk Association, New York Conference, and the General Synod of the UCC) they are also guided by, and accountable to, God. This is why the local congregations do not vote on the actions of the larger bodies, nor are their actions binding on the local churches.

Worship

JOIN US

All are welcome here. We invite you to visit us on Sundays at 10 am. Come experience great music, hear sermons that speak to what’s on your mind and in your heart, share a prayer or two, and stay afterwards to meet some genuinely good people.

WORSHIP

SERVICE TIMES

Sunday mornings 10:00 am

Please join us for Sunday Worship at 10 am
then stay afterward for Fellowship Hour.
All are welcome.

LOCATION

We are located at 30 Washington Drive
Centerport, NY 11721

HOLIDAY WORSHIP

Ash Wednesday 7:30 pm
Maundy Thursday 7:30 pm
Easter Sunrise Service at Fleets Cove Beach 6:00 am
Easter Sunday 10:00 am
Christmas Eve Family Service 5:30 pm
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 10:00 pm


OUR MISSION

Open and Affirming

The Congregational Church of Huntington, United Church of Christ, is a theologically open Christian congregation in which the inherent worth of each individual is affirmed and valued. As Paul said, “…in Christ there is no longer Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one…” (Galatians 3:28). In this spirit we give thanks for the diversity in which God created us. We strive for openness and acceptance in our church embracing the richness that a variety of views brings to our congregation.

We affirm that each of us, no matter what our background, has a right and a responsibility to interpret scripture in the light of our own understanding. As a covenantal community, we also have the responsibility to support each person’s faith journey as we live, grow, learn, and change, according to our understanding of God’s call to us.

In the light of the gospel we seek to work together to support human relationships that are based on treating each other as whole persons, with mutual love, responsibility, accountability, trust and nurture. Acknowledging that gay and lesbian individuals are often alienated from churches, we wish to affirm that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons are welcomed within the membership of The Congregational Church of Huntington, United Church of Christ, in the same spirit and manner of any other member.

Approved by the Congregation on June 6, 2004.

HISTORY

The Congregational Church of Huntington is member of the United Church of Christ (UCC). The UCC is a Protestant denomination with churches throughout the United States. The historical forebears of our congregation are the Pilgrims who came to this new land to escape religious persecution in England. They established the Congregational Church, which is particularly prominent in New England. Congregationalists believe in the historical tenets of the Christian church, including the Trinity, the sacraments of baptism and communion, and the Bible as our holy book. Congregationalists are distinctive for our democratic form of governance, the belief in the continuing revelation of God, and the importance of working for peace and justice. They also emphasize education. Congregationalists are responsible for establishing many of our country’s universities, including Harvard and Yale in the Ivy League, to Dillard and Talladega in the south. In order to live out Jesus’ command to love all our neighbors the Congregationalists were the first denomination to ordain a woman, to ordain a gay man, and have worked throughout their history for peace and justice. The denomination was formed from a merger in 1957 of the Congregational Christian Church and the German Evangelical and Reformed church.

OUR CHURCH

On October 31, 1955 a dedicated group of Congregationalists met to organize a church for the town of Huntington. As new residents in Huntington, these charter members wished to found an intentionally progressive Protestant church to worship God and to promote peace and justice in Huntington and the world. By the first Sunday in Advent they were holding worship services at the Huntington YMCA, and in January, 1956, they called their first pastor, the Rev. Robert Balfe. This energetic beginning set the tone for The Congregational Church of Huntington, United Church of Christ, which continues to this day. We are a congregation of committed Christians who work together to know God in our lives, and to share God’s love with others.

The new church grew rapidly and soon they purchased a building site on Washington Drive in Centerport. The first building was completed in 1959 and served the worship, educational and fellowship needs of the congregation. In 1958 the congregation had called the Rev. Malcolm M. Mooers to be their pastor, and he guided the congregation until his retirement in 1988. The distinctive church sanctuary and office wing were completed in 1965. During Rev. Mooers tenure the congregation was known for its advocacy for civil rights, for low income housing in Huntington, and for educational opportunities for all people. In 1969 the church started our high-quality pre-school, Noah’s Ark Nursery School.

The Rev. Mark Bigelow became the third settled pastor of the church on January 1, 1991. During his time the congregation has continued its strong worship services with an emphasis on diverse quality music and preaching that engages the Bible with contemporary issues. In 2004 the congregation voted to become an Open and Affirming congregation. This is a pro-active statement that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons are fully welcome to participate in the life of the congregation. During Pastor Mark’s tenure the church was also instrumental in founding the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum and has continued to promote interfaith understanding and cooperation. We currently show our concern for our neighbors through the Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative(HIHI), our Peace and Plenty food program, the Community Food Council of Huntington, and our Reading Circle Literacy program.











OUR CHURCH LEADERS

MARK BIGELOW

PASTOR

Rev. Mark Bigelow serves as Pastor of our church. Mark oversees all the church programs while focusing on worship, pastoral care, outreach and programming for our youth. He particularly likes to preach and lead creative worship services that speak to the spiritual needs of our congregation. A native of Littleton, Colorado, Mark graduated from Columbine High School and then went to Doane College, in Crete, Nebraska, where he studied Philosophy and Religion. After college he attended Union Theological Seminary, in New York City, for his Masters of Divinity. In his first church position Mark served as Associate Pastor for Education and Youth at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Englewood, Colorado. Two primary areas of interest are interfaith dialogue, and religion and sexuality. Mark is a founding member of the Long Island Multi-Faith forum and is past chair of their education committee. He is a past board member of the Planned Parenthood Federation of American where he has chaired their long-range planning committee. In addition to his work at our church, Mark is Pastoral Care Coordinator for VNS Hospice of Suffolk.

Mark is married to Ronnie Todaro and they have a five-year-old daughter, Allie. Mark also has two daughters, Anna and Mari, who have recently graduated from college. In his free time he likes to sail, cook, and read.

DAVID BROOME

MUSIC DIRECTOR

A diverse pianist/composer of great imagination, David Broome's curiosity for music has led him to create new possibilities for the concert stage. His recitals have been appreciated in America and across Europe and he has been described in the New York Times as a ``deft and focused performer,`` as well as an artist who composes ``juicily atmospheric music.`` As a New York-based performer, David has presented a wide variety of genre-bending, unclassifiable music at such venues as Merkin Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, The 92nd St. Y, The Whitney Museum, The Stone, and Issue Project Room, among others. He also frequently collaborates with dancers, video artists, actors, and comedians in performance.

David has worked with a wide array of composers from the up and coming, to more established ones such as Beat Furrer, David Lang and Meredith Monk. He has recorded works by J.G. Thirlwell (now available on the Tzadik label), Reiko Futing and John Supko. Mr. Broome has also lectured on composition and music notation at the Art Institute of Chicago, Hartwick College, and Southern Wesleyan University.

David’s compositions have been presented by the MATA Festival, HI-Fi New Music, Red Light New Music, and the 92nd St. Y’s Fridays @ Noon. He has also received support from the Argosy Foundation, the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, NYSCA, the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Conner Foundation, and Meet the Composer. He has participated in artist residencies at the Banff Center, Harold Arts, the Seedlot Project, and the Rensing Center. David holds a Master’s of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor’s of Music from Towson University where he studied with Phillip Kawin and Reynaldo Reyes.

As a church musician, David began playing at the church he grew up in, Fallston United Methodist, outside of Baltimore, MD. His first job as Director of Music was held at St. Lukes Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD. After moving to New York, he worked as the organist at St. John and St. Marys Catholic Church in Chappaqua, NY until his current appointment at The Congregational Church of Huntington.

In addition to all these musical endeavors, David also likes watching movies, making games out of mundane activities, and is an amateur potter.

SHERI FALLACARO

CHURCH SCHOOL DIRECTOR

Welcome to The Congregational Church of Huntington! I was welcomed into this congregation the day I was born. My grandfather was the minister of the Congregational Church of Huntington for 30 years. Now we are blessed to have Pastor Bigelow with us! Sundays were filled with my entire family going to church, but the best part wasalt going to church school! What fun we had! As I grew up in the church, I began teaching Sunday School after I made my confirmation. I was now able to give to others, as others had given to me.

Upon graduating from Plattsburgh State University in 1999, with a dual major in elementary and special education, I returned to the Congregational Church of Huntington to continue teaching Sunday School. In the years that followed, I was married in the church and had my two children baptized here. I now watch them every Sunday go into the same classrooms that I once did, to learn about our religious beliefs and have fun.

I began as the Coordinator of Church School for the Congregational Church of Huntington in June 2010. Our program caters to children from birth through grade five. Beyond grade five, the children enter the youth class. I love what I do! In this time I have seen tremendous growth in all of our children, who are taught by an amazingly dedicated and caring group of church members. The children are involved in weekly learning activities, service projects within the church community, and service projects within the Huntington community. The experiences that our children have are priceless. We hope to see you soon in church school!

Sheri Fallacaro
Church School Coordinator