The Christian Community is part of an international movement for the renewal of religion, founded in 1922 in Switzerland by the eminent Lutheran theologian and minister Friedrich Rittlemeyer, with the help of Rudolf Steiner, Austrian thinker and spiritual researcher.
The Christian Community is a church centered around the seven sacraments in their renewed form. The text of our Creed, is a metamorphosis of the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds. Members are not required to sign articles of faith, and are encouraged to form independent judgments in religious matters. Nor do we have any formal written dogma. Each priest has the freedom to teach anything which does not contradict the content of the sacraments whose texts form the "bedrock" of The Christian Community. As a result, the teachings are rich, varied and evolving. They are inspired by traditional Christian theology, the original work of Rudolf Steiner, and by independent research and insights of priests and members. There is room in this modern Christian theology to incorporate such ideas as reincarnation and karma, a truly cosmic conception of Christ, and the role of spiritual beings at all levels of existence.
There are approximately 350 independent Christian Community Congregations worldwide, with several congregations in North America. Services are also held through visits to branch congregations in several additional locations. Each Christian Community congregation is financially independent and exists through the voluntary pledges and donations of its local members. There are regional and international administrative bodies to coordinate the work at those levels.
For all of the above reasons, most congregations of The Christian Community in North America, the first of which was founded in North America in New York City in 1948, are small and intimate. This gives individual members the possibility of greater initiative and impact.
Congregations in Europe, where The Christian Community has been longer established, tend to be larger. Some of our churches in Europe seat 600-1,000. The scope of the work in Europe tends to be broader, including, for example, large venue international conferences.