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Questions about Arusha Community Church Top
What denomination is ACC? Top
ACC is interdenominational, and is made up of people from many different Christian traditions: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal ... the list goes on. The congregation has formal registration under the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania, in order to comply with the laws of Tanzania, but its leadership moves among the various groups mentioned.
What are the beliefs of ACC? Top
As with any congregation, the beliefs of individual members may vary somewhat widely. ACC is generally Protestant in orientation (though with a fairly large number of Roman Catholics in attendance and in leadership positions). Its worship style tends to be non-liturgical (though often including elements such as confession of sin and absolution, confession of faith, words of institution, Lord's Prayer). Perhaps most representative of the congregation's beliefs would be the Apostles' Creed, which is used each Sunday as a confession of faith:
What are the worship services like? Top
Because of the interdenominational character of the congregation, worship services will vary from Sunday to Sunday. "Family services," which are held once each month, are less formal and are aimed at the children. The Lord's Supper is celebrated twice each month. A fairly typical service would be the following:
Worship leadership, as well as the preaching of the sermon, is handled by different people each week. Most often, it is members of the congregation who lead and preach, but guest preachers are fairly common as well.
What is the leadership structure of ACC? Top
ACC is a "member-led" congregation, with leadership based in a church council.. The council is assisted in its leadership role by a group of committees, and the membership of both council and committees is made up of both lay (primarily) and ordained men and women of the congregation.
Does ACC have a pastor? Top
ACC has so far chosen not to have a single pastor as leader of its worship and ministries. In part, this decision has been a practical one: with the wide diversity in denominational make-up, it would be difficult to decide upon a pastor from one denominational tradition or another. But there is another equally strong concern: the congregation values its tradition of lay leadership and involvement. While indeed some of the leaders are themselves ordained -- serving in various ministries in the Arusha area -- none of those who are ordained function in a way any different from those who are lay people.
The congregation is at present investigating the possibility of hiring a coordinator of ministries. This person may or may not be ordained, but will not be called or considered a pastor. The desire is to maintain what has been the strength of the congregation for more than 20 years: a strong and active core of lay leadership and involvement.
What type of ministries are found at ACC? Top
A major ministry is that of word and sacrament, of course, found in the worship services of the congregation. A Worship Committee assures that each service a preacher, a leader, musicians, and other necessary leadership.
But ACC is also involved in other forms of internal and external ministry represented by its several committees:
The Projects and Benevolence Committee (PBC) perhaps needs the most explaining. The congregation is committed to making a difference in the surrounding Tanzanian community, and is able to do so because of not supporting a pastor or other major staff. A large percentage of money given in offerings to the congregation is used to assist in meeting the health, housing and educational needs of a large number of people each year. It is expected that this will not change greatly with the addition of the coordinator of ministries mentioned above.
Does ACC have programs for children and youth? Top
Yes. In addition to the Education Hour, held each Sunday morning at 9:15am each Sunday morning (except during holidays) there is a confirmation program as well as youth activities of various kinds. The congregation has many young families, and childrens sermons fill the front of the church.
What kind of musical program do you have? Top
ACC is blessed with a number of members who play piano, violin, flute, guitar and other instruments during our worship services. In addition, we have a choir, a children's choir, a small orchestra group and a brass ensemble, all of which perform at certain times of the year. If you are a musician, we would greatly enjoy having you take part!
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