What We Believe
Christianity should be a faith that can be lived out day to day. It's not merely a set of doctrines, a list of do's and don'ts, or even profound emotions. The faith is first a vital relationship with God through Jesus Christ made real in us by the Holy Spirit. This relationship of love transforms us and makes us know that we are worth something.
We believe in God's love, first as a gift that is free rather than a wage that is earned by being good, then, as a demand to respond to God's love toward God and everyone else. Finally, we believe in God's love as power to become more like Jesus. It is the love of God, through the Holy Spirit, that changes our lives and enables us to spread God's love to others.
The Bible is the foundation of our mission and values and is our guide in all matters of faith and practice. You may hear us talking about the Bible as if it held all the answers to the most important questions in life: that's because we think it does. You may see us acting as if it were a letter written straight from God himself. That's because we think it is. Sometimes we don't completely agree about what the Bible means, so we talk about that. More often, we know exactly what it means, but we struggle to obey it, so we help each other with that, too.
We believe in one God, who exists in three distinct persons--the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is equally the one God in being, essence, character, power, and eternal qualities.
We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior who came to earth in the flesh to reveal God to humans and to restore all of fallen humanity to a personal relationship with God. We believe Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; he is both fully human and fully God. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and embodies the truth about God and the Truth of God. Jesus willingly died on the cross to deomonstrate God's love for sinful humans and to provide salvation for all humanity. His sacrifice in our place provides all humans the means to be reconnected with their loving Creator. We believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Jesus ascended into heaven, where he rules as our Lord (absolute authority) and advocate. Jesus will return to earth in the future to establish God's perfect peace and justice for all time.
We believe in the divine personhood of the Holy Spirit as an equal part of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God present, living within each follower to empower a life that reflects the lifestyle, values, and character of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the change agent in the lives of Jesus' followers, illuminating God's word for understanding and application in the life of each. The Spirit is involved in progressively transforming each follower into the image of Christ, and is actively working within the Christian community and world at large to bring about God's plan of redemption for all people and all creation.
We believe the Church is a spiritual organism made up of all those in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, who are called to live in fellowship and worship together. We believe in the priesthood of all believers: everyone in relationship with Christ is gifted, empowered, and called to serve wihtin God's mission to reach the world. The Church is God's vehicle on earth to bring about God's justice and mercy for all people.