Who We Have Been Community Presbyterian Church of Buckley began almost 127 years ago. (We celebrated our 125th Anniversary in 2017). It was truly a community church from the beginning, as most congregants early on, walked to worship or used a horse and buggy. Hitching posts were outside our building for a long time! We presently are in our second building, dedicated in 1908. The congregation grew rapidly in the early years with the new building and there was a thriving youth group, Sunday School and many church ministries and events. This is logging and mining country and the makeup of the congregation has reflected these industries. Folks on the Plateau know each other and oftentimes are related to each other as well! Interestingly, the church's first female elder was elected in 1941. Church attendance has fluctuated throughout the decades, as is normal for a small community church. Over the past 30 years, membership has hovered around 100, plus or minus 20 folks, and attendance has been between 65-95 folks on a Sunday. In the past 3 years membership has been between 95-99 with 13 baptisms, 24 new members, and 11 deaths. Christian Education has been moderate for a congregation our size. We have had about 5-9 K-12 students each Sunday over the past 3 years with two teachers. Our one Adult Class has had 5-9 attendees. A Wed. afternoon adult Bible study has between 10-15 weekly attendees. Our buildings have experienced significant upgrades in recent years. We have 2 buildings presently. The church building consists of the sanctuary which holds about 125 people, two fellowship halls, a kitchen, a nursery, two Sunday school classrooms, and a room for storing Hands Touching Hearts quilting material. Our Annex, (the former manse), houses our church office, pastor and youth sponsor's offices, a spare office, and a meeting room and kitchen. There is a full basement downstairs being used by our youth. The church parking lot was paved 6 or 7 years ago and drain work was done around the main building. A new roof was put over the upstairs fellowship hall a year ago. A new sound system was installed in 2018. New carpet was installed in the sanctuary, the upstairs fellowship hall (with new cabinets too), and the nursery was completely revamped and upgraded. New carpet was placed in our Sunday School classrooms in 2019. The downstairs kitchen has been remodeled and painted and upgraded appliances have been placed there and in our Annex. There has been an upgrade as well on furniture - with new chairs, whiteboards, tables throughout the campus, and a 65" TV and cart. These upgrades have not only freshened our building, they have also provided lively fellowship and relationship building as work projects. This has been a hallmark of our congregation over the years - hard work and caring relationships. The congregation continues to be challenged, as it has been for decades, to love each other genuinely, to love God authentically, and to love the Buckley community intentionally.
Who We Are Now For twenty years, the Mission Statement of Community Presbyterian Church of Buckley has been Christ Our Center - Love and Service Our Purpose. Mission statements are designed to define, describe, and direct a course of action. Our Mission Statement has succinctly provided us with all three. First, we are defined by our mission. Our mission stands in direct opposition to the prevailing culture. The center of life for us at CPC is not our own self centeredness, self-absorption, and self-indulgence. Nor is it our own pious goodness or practical ministry. It is, first and foremost, Christ as our center. He deserves and is given glory in the way we think and act as Christ ones. His glory is central to our decisions and endeavors. Secondly, because Jesus is our center, we are a congregation committed to love. If God is love, and He is our center, we then are called to love in His name. We take seriously 1 John 3:23, “And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us." The love of God is experienced in us, amongst us, and through us in personal discipleship, corporate fellowship and worship, and community outreach. Our worship services, Bible studies, Christian Education, gatherings, and outreach ministries are all driven by God who is love and God who is glorified as we display His love for all to see and experience. Love is the driving motivation of life by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Finally, the reality of Jesus, who is love, is most vibrantly expressed in our service to others. We are not merely "do-gooders” and we are not a pious social service agency. We are kingdom of heaven people living out the Great Mandate of John 13 to love as Jesus loves – practically and impartially. We are convinced that love in service reveals us as followers of Jesus - with integrity and authenticity. Our service is rendered in the community in concert with a variety of partnerships. We are supported in many of our ministries by the Buckley business community, by other churches, by the White River School District, by the Families First Coalition, by Senior Housing and the Buckley Senior and Youth Centers, by Plateau Outreach Ministries, and by Young Life. Many Buckley residents would say that CPC is the loving face of our community. With these partners we are practically and intentionally loving the community as a whole. And, according to Matthew 25, when we are practically loving the Buckley community, especially those in need, we are actually loving Jesus!
Below are many ministries of our CPC congregation: Inside Our Walls
Special worship services
Wed. Bible Study
Adult Sunday School
Children/Youth Christian Education
All Church Picnic
Outside Our Walls
Backpack (Student Weekend Feeding)
Hands Touching Hearts Quilting
Shoebox Christmas Ministry
30 Hour Famine
AA and Al-Anon
GIFT (Young Moms)
Families First Coalition
Hagar's Community Church
We are multi-generational but we are aging. 2/3 of our congregants are over 60 and 50% of our congregation is over 66. 40% of our congregation are male and 60% female. We have about 10 children in our Sunday School presently with two teachers and perhaps 5 adults in an Adult class. A Wednesday afternoon Bible Study draws between 10 15 participants weekly. Our best strength is our outreach ministries which are not only supported by many actively involved congregants, but also by community members too. Our Presbyterian Women's group also is very active and our two Circles and a yearly Women's Retreat have been very well attended. Where We Hope to Go In our two Round Table discussions this past year the congregation has been adamant about not changing our Mission Statement. There is a present and continued commitment to Jesus the center and love for one another as well as practical ministry in the community. There also has been an expressed desire on the part of the congregation for drawing in young families. This of course is easily said and not so easily done as it often means a willingness to change as congregants realize they are an aging and declining congregation. GIFT (Growing in Faith Together) the young moms group, is an example of reaching out to younger families to join with the CPC family. Also in CPC's Round Table discussions, there has been a general consensus on the type of pastor the church would like serving here over the next 5-10 years. The pastoral characteristics most desired are the following:
Biblical knowledge coupled with biblical preaching and teaching
Relational and compassionate
A catalyst for reaching young families
Sense of humor
Disconnected and unfriendly
Opportunity Finally, there is great opportunity for ministry ahead in Buckley. The town has about 4500 residents, but is growing significantly. There are a number of new residential developments which may very well afford avenues of church growth. Revitalization is often equated with an upsurge in numbers, and that certainly is one indicator. However, CPC has been experiencing revitalization of authentic kingdom of heaven living for several years. Living out the church's mission statement authentically has been very revitalizing for the congregation. The opportunities for pastoral leadership and ministry in the years ahead at CPC are abundant.