Mill Creek is a Church of the Brethren congregation that has actively been part of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia since 1840. Originally a group of thirteen charter members, we now have a membership of over 390, with an average attendance of 226 at regular worship. One of our greatest strengths is our sense of community, having many multi-generational families in our membership but remaining open and welcoming to many new families who have come into our fellowship.
Another strength is our Sunday School program, which provides classes for all ages of children and adults, and serves as a small group gathering for fellowship and service projects within the ministries of the church as a whole. Our Christian Education Director, working closely with the Nurture Commission, keeps this vital part of life together a priority. Additional study and fellowship times are provided on Wednesday evenings and at various times throughout the month.
Music remains an integral part of worship. Mill Creek has three choirs that practice weekly and sing on a rotating schedule Sundays throughout each month of the school year:
Almost Angels Choir (age 4 through 1st grade)
Kidz of the Neighborhood (2nd - 5th grade)
Chancel Choir (Junior High through adult)
The Mill Creek Praise Band leads morning worship on fifth Sundays. During the summer months we are blessed with a diversity of shared musical talents that bless our worship experience.
An active program for our Junior High and Senior High ministries is supported by our Associate Pastor and a strong network of volunteer advisors. This includes monthly activities, involvement in District and denominational programs, National Youth Conference (held every four years), and service ministries.
As a Church of the Brethren, we practice ordinances in the traditions of our denomination:
Love Feast is practiced twice a year. It includes feet washing, a common meal, and communion—it is in keeping with our understanding of Jesus’ actions and directions to his disciples at the Last Supper. We also practice bread and cup communion as part of our worship several times during the year.
Believer’s Baptism is our mode of both baptizing and bringing people into church membership. While we accept transfers of membership as another way of entrance into our community of faith, for those who have not been baptized we practice trine immersion conducted when one is of an age to choose conscientiously to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Anointing is also part of our rites and ordinances. We believe that God calls us, in keeping with James 5:13-16, to pray and anoint one another in times of illness and brokenness for the healing presence of God. We anoint for “the forgiveness of sins, strengthening of faith and for healing and wholeness according to God’s grace and wisdom.”
We strive to be biblically based in our practice of the faith. Special focus is given to the New Testament life and teachings of Jesus Christ. While we are non-creedal, we embrace the understanding that we will have “no creed but the New Testament.” In keeping with that understanding we strive to remain in community even when there are differences of interpretation about Jesus’ teachings. The Church of the Brethren believes that all life is a sacred gift from God, and in attempting to understand what that means for us as faithful followers of Christ, stands in opposition to abortion, the death penalty and war. We believe that Jesus taught a commitment to justice issues that takes difficult forms for us to address in this day and age. In keeping with the teachings of the New Testament, we embrace an understanding that all members are a part of “the priesthood of all believers.”