Our theology is our story. Our beliefs are not simply a static set of propositions; rather they are expressed in the way we live our lives. Our beliefs are rooted in the story of the God of the Bible, that brought redemption to our lives and to His people who have been faithful to Him for thousands of years. We live together in communal relationships as the embodiment of Jesus on this earth. As a faith community we will work together with God to restore our broken world as we bring His love, hope, justice, and compassion to all people.
We believe that God, through His Spirit, inspired the authors of the Scripture to speak to all generations of men and women. As people of the Bible, it is our perfect and authoritative source for understanding God, one another, ourself, and our world. As such, we are called to intently study Scripture communally and individually so that, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, we may be faithful to understand and live out its teachings in our lives as a community.
God, the Creator of all things, has always existed and will always exist, as one God in communal relationship with Himself. This relationship is expressed in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This One God created all men and women in His image. With this identity we are created to live in communal relationship with God, others, ourself, and all creation. All humanity longs for a deep connectedness that can only be found within the community that exists perfectly within Him.
The good creation of God was distorted because the Evil One tempted the first man and woman. Through their sin, darkness, evil, and death entered the world and perverted the creation of God. Because of this, all men and women are born into sin and death, living in broken relationship with God, others, self, and all creation.
God, in His love, did not abandon humanity, but in His goodness He promised to redeem all creation. God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants to bless the world through them. This promise was fulfilled through Jesus who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and lived on this earth as fully God and fully man. Jesus, the Messiah, was sent by His Father to proclaim good news to the poor; to proclaim freedom for the prisoners; give sight for the blind; to set the oppressed free; and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Many rejected Him, and His rejection led to suffering and crucifixion on the cross, as a sacrifice for all humanity, who, because of sin, deserved death. After He died, He was buried and then resurrected three days later, defeating sin and death. Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father, acting as our advocate. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are our only hope for bringing reconciliation between God and humans. The Holy Spirit lives within those who have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus, giving them new life. The Spirit empowers all who follow Jesus with gifts to guide, instruct, comfort, and reveal truth through a communal life of worship and shared mission. We now live in the power of the Spirit existing as a community to bring honor to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church is made up of all who, because they have accepted the gift of Jesus, live in harmony with God, one another, self, and creation by the power of the Holy Spirit. The global church, of which Jesus is the Head, is the embodiment of Christ on this earth and is expressed through diverse faith communities. As the church, we are to live in communal relationships that perform and proclaim the gospel with deep love, compassion, mercy, justice, sacrifice, and boldness as we live in the ways of Jesus bringing hope and restoration to a hurting world. We will do this through sharing our faith, caring for the needy, and inviting all people to share in the journey to which God has called us.
The Church has been given two symbols by which we can express our faith and identity in concrete ways: holy communion and baptism. On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He symbolized His relationship with humanity by breaking bread and drinking wine with His followers. The bread symbolized His body being given for us, and the wine symbolized the blood that was spilled on our behalf. As an act of remembrance, we regularly participate in this meal with one another, remembering the sacrifice of Jesus and reflecting with hope on the day when we will eat and drink it with Him in His Father's kingdom. Baptism is an outward act that symbolizes in inward change. It is an act of obedience that is a symbol of the forgiveness we have received through Jesus, and our commitment to live in his ways. Baptism is an opportunity for believers to make a public statement of their new identity in Jesus before the world. Through baptism, we identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We live each day with the hope that Jesus will return to us and restore all things to himself to the glory of God the Father. In His coming He will judge all men and women; He will loose the chains of injustice; set the oppressed free; and bring redemption to the world. He will sit on His throne and rule forever. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many people. His dwelling place will be with humanity on the new earth, and He will wipe away every tear. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for evil will be no more. We will beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. This is our blessed hope and joy, and we have given our lives to living out that future reality today.