|A church with a passion for ministry and real love of our neighbors, Emmanuel Friedens Church is a caring community that is hands-on and welcoming.|
A Vision for Our Journey
Captivated by Jesus’ life and teaching
Our Legacy from the Past:
Emmanuel Friedens Church first came together more than twenty years ago, united by a vision that has steadily grown stronger in the years since.
Previously two congregations, separated by a few blocks and representing two different protestant denominations, our roots are deep.
Emmanuel Baptist Church and Society began in the late 19th century as a mission of the First Baptist Church in Schenectady. The current sanctuary is part of a structure rebuilt in 1904 after a fire destroyed the previous one. The congregation was large and active and in the 1960's became a major voice and presence in the cause of civil rights, a tradition that lives on in the present day with strong advocacy for social justice and equality.
Friedens United Church of Christ had its roots among the many German immigrants of the late 19th century, and services were conducted in German even into the early 20th century. Like many others, these immigrants and their children knew well the words, "I was a stranger, and you took me in." This was reinforced when the congregation was federated with Emmanuel Baptist in 1997, allowing both churches to maintain their history and identity, while functioning in every way as a single congregation.
Although we were once two churches, both shared a consistent commitment to outreach that is going strong today. Emmanuel Baptist was for example instrumental in founding Schenectady Community Ministries, formerly Schenectady Inner City Ministry or SiCM, an organization composed of many churches that together continue to address issues of advocacy, and work in critical areas like housing and food. Friedens UCC helped to begin Bethesda House, a drop-in center for homeless and low-income people. Today, Emmanuel Friedens Church supports these and many other community organizations. Recovery groups and others use portions of the church building each week. And on the last Saturday of each month we offer hospitality to families and individuals at a free brunch, an all-volunteer offering that is served at tables in a spirit of joy and warm welcome.
Emmanuel Friedens Church has the legacy of an American Baptist Congregation (Emmanuel Baptist Church) and the United Church of Christ (Friedens United Church of Christ). We like to think that belonging to two families brings together the strengths of both traditions!
In the second decade of the 21st century Emmanuel Friedens Church:
is an open faith community on an exciting, profound journey of faith;
is centered in our worship and caring conversations together;
is passionate about ecumenical ministry in the heart of Schenectady;
welcomes all people in our life and leadership without regard to sexual orientation, gender, wealth, race or class;
keeps children and youth are at the heart of our ministry and mission;
is down-to-earth people of faith, willing to speak out, and act on our convictions.