FUMCOG is a diverse congregation of almost 1,000 members located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. The cornerstone of FUMCOG's perspective is an abiding trust in God's Spirit---a Spirit that is active in the Church, our lives and the world. Being faithful to this Spirit at FUMCOG involves a high degree of openness and tolerance for an individual's struggles in the life of faith. The religious experience is not complacent. Members are supported in questioning as well as in affirming traditional belief. This questioning creates a healthy dialogue within the congregation in which members think, act and live in new ways with a respect for God's grace and mystery.
The crucial balance between being "Christ-centered" (nourished by deep roots in the Scripture and the Gospel) and being committed to social action is one of FUMCOG's most distinctive characteristics. This balance fosters a strong sense of community within the congregation, a community that takes its faith seriously and is prepared to struggle with difficult issues.
Many expressions of this faith commitment can be seen in FUMCOG's nearly 40-year history of working for social justice and dismantling racism in our lives, our community and beyond. Currently, this includes outreach in education, economic development, and homelessness locally, and support for similar efforts in Haiti, South Africa and Central America. As part of FUMCOG's ongoing efforts to increase awareness about social and racial issues, each year a member of the congregation is chosen to receive the Social and Racial Justice award. This award is presented by the Religion and Race Committee on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, a special day that has been marked by the congregation for more than 25 years to honor the slain civil rights leader and his work. Also in the area of social and civil rights, FUMCOG has been a Reconciling Congregation since 1990, affirming the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the church. This year, we begin renovations to make our building more accessible to persons with disabilities.
Worship is central to the life of the church and to this faith community. At FUMCOG there is a willingness to experiment with new forms of worship as a way of receiving the Spirit. Worship at FUMCOG is a dynamic balance where traditional prayers and hymns are creatively incorporated with new ones written in fresh language and with striking images that speak powerfully to the congregation. Language during worship at FUMCOG is gender inclusive, even in reference to God.
FUMCOG celebrated its 200th anniversary in 1996 and is well on its way to a faith-filled vibrant third century of being God's presence at Germantown Avenue and High Street. We anticipate our future with a sense of gratitude to God, and to those who have brought us this far.