Ambler began in a garage in 1952 as an outreach of Franconia Conference. This mission was nearly abandoned when those who came to serve the children of the area found them too unruly. A decade later, a meetinghouse was built on donated land at the corner of Spring Garden and Mount Pleasant Avenues, within walking distance of the train to Philadelphia. In the last century Ambler grew as a company town for Keasbey and Mattison, an asbestos manufacturer. Despite this environmental legacy, Ambler is in the midst of revitalization with numerous restaurants, theaters, and shops opening on its main street. It’s first female mayor, a member of our congregation, was elected last fall.
Ours is an average-sized congregation with leadership provided by a full-time pastor, a pair of elders, and a ministry team composed of a chair, five commission chairs, our Conference delegate, and the pastor that meets monthly. Our current pastor is the second woman in that position and was called from within.
Ambler is a diverse congregation—racially, ethnically, generationally, geographically, theologically, and otherwise. Our worship style is eclectic, informal, and participatory. We are a people who enjoy each other’s company and look for opportunities to connect outside the walls. Who we are is reflected in our mission statement —”a diverse community of believers following Jesus in building relationships by serving those among and around us with love and offering the good news of peace, hope, and healing.”
We continue to be a congregation with a focus on young people. This has included Vacation Bible School and a Kids Can Club, an art club that ran for several summers, hosting rock concerts featuring local high school bands, and sharing our space with the Ambler area Boys and Girls Club. Some of us regularly participate in prison ministry, gun shop and drone protests, and MDS work; others keep the situation in the Holy Land before us. We support the local food cupboard and Interfaith Housing and join with another congregation in May to shelter homeless families. We provide meeting space for a group trying to bring a food co-op to town. In recent years, we have become well known for our Pennsylvania Dutch dinners in the spring and a community flea market in the fall. Shoo-fly pies figure prominently in both.