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Vision and Purpose

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Center Church’s core mission is to become a Center for spiritual, social, moral, and ethical connection and collaboration with people, programs, agencies, faith communities and neighbors of all kinds in greater Hartford, while developing a vibrant, creative, nurturing, diverse worship life. Put another way, we keep these three tenets central in all we do:

  • Choosing this community
  • Walking in Love
  • Acting Like Jesus Christ
A Visual representation of
our Call and Purpose


As Center Church we respond to God by nurturing faith and building authentic connections and relationships.

Center Church is first and foremost a city church. Our history is deeply connected with the life of the City of Hartford and we honor our vision to be a sacred space at the heart of the city. As a faithful and visionary Christian community, we seek to be a place where the dividing barriers that separate and alienate us from one another can be torn down. As a living community of faith, we strive to encourage every member and friend of Center Church to grow in faith and in appreciation for God’s gift of life in community. Our Guiding Principles are the following:

  • Center Church seeks to be a community of service and caring;
  • Opening our buildings and our hearts to ministry and sanctuary, we embrace the diversity of the city in all its richness of human expression;
  • As an open community we seek to connect with people through worship and outreach. Honoring our heritage of responding to the changing needs of the City of Hartford, we celebrate God’s presence among us;
  • We seek to be a growing and active congregation in the heart of the city.

FOUNDED IN COVENANT: Our Historical Covenant of 1632

When The First Church of Christ in Hartford gathered as a body for the first time in 1632, they made promises to one another and to God that would unite them as a community of faith. This is that covenant.

“We covenant with one another to seek and respond to the word of God. We propose to walk together in the ways of the Lord, made known and to be made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the church to witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all the world, while worshiping God, and striving for truth, justice and peace. As did our fathers [and mothers], we depend upon the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us. We pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God, and we look with faith toward the triumph of righteousness and eternal life. Amen. “


On October 23, 1994, Center Church voted to declare itself an Open and Affirming Congregation. Our statement from 1994 declares, “we include into full participation in the life of this church persons of any age, race, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, marital status and physical, emotional and mental capacity.” Even still, nearly 30 years later, we aim to be inclusive and welcoming to all. In recognition of the richness of backgrounds of our congregation a diversity of languages will find expression in our worship services. We offer an open communion, wherein adults and children from all religious backgrounds are invited to partake.


We continue to listen to the voice of God in all we do. We believe that prayerful listening is one of the ways that we can align our missions and our ministry to the will of God. As we come closer to the 400th anniversary of our gathering it is our hope that we continue to be a church and a community that transforms the world with Christ’s love.