What We Believe

"The Christian individual is a completely free lord of all, subject to none.
the Christian individual is a completely dutiful servant of all, subject to all."
- Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian

WHERE WE STAND

The statements below reflect our understanding of God's work as we wrestle with the Bible, history, and thought.

GOD

We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity...God the Father; God the Son; God the Holy Spirit.
God is creator, redeemer, and sustainer of all that is.
God chose to act in history for humanity, be taking on flesh and living a life of service, healing, and love for the wounded and vulnerable.
In this act of dissident grace, Jesus Christ defied the powers of this world that embrace sin and death - and for this was killed.
God was put to death for our sin. But that was not the end - life prevailed.
Through Jesus' resurrection, God makes it clear that not even the worst we could do to God would stop God's acting in love for you.

HUMANITY

We are created in the image of God, for good works and service. But, "...all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." (Rom 3:23) Because we cannot live the life we are called to live, God took on flesh to live the life we wouldn't,
to die the death we couldn't, and to love the very people we thought kept us from God.
And so, in order to love and serve this God we cannot see, we are called to love and serve the neighbor we can see.
In this way, the love and grace of God are made visible/present in a world where we still struggle to  understand God's love and grace.
But we believe, that as we live out that same dissident grace, that same abundant love and service for the wounded and outcast,
we will see God.

THE BIBLE

The Bible is a book of books (writings) written by people who have wrestled with God.
It is a book compiled over hundreds of years by dozens of authors, speaking to different times and contexts.
It is the complicated and confusing story of God's people trying to see God at work in a world that often reflects too little of God's love.
The Bible is full of history, poetry, metaphors, parables, and questions told by broken people hoping they are doing the right thing,
 but often getting it wrong.
And yet, through all of this - the Bible is God's word, whose purpose is to reveal God.
We believe that there is no way to objectively read the Bible,
because we bring our history, education, encounters, and woundedness with us as we read.
And yet, through all of this - the Bible still reveals to us God, and our brokenness.
And it says this: God loves you. God is with you. God forgives you.

SINFULNESS

We are born children of a fallen humanity.
Every time we gather we confess our inability, like Paul, to do the things we want to do, as well as not doing the things we don't want to do.
We confess our bondage to sin - the bondage of our will.
It is not our actions, finally, that make us sinful - rather, they reveal our sinfulness.
We are sinful because we are inclined to follow our own way rather than to trust God's path of  service, grace, and love.

SALVATION

I am saved by God's work for me. There is nothing I can bring or do or earn or say that will save me. God loves me, so God saves me.
Either it is all on God, or it is all on me - there is no middle ground. Because of this, I get to live now in the freedom that offers.
I get to live saved, now - reflecting the gift I've been given, and bearing witness to God's love for all people.

BAPTISM

Holy Baptism is a gift.
It's God's claim upon your life, making you an heir to a promise that you could never achieve, understand, or choose.
God makes us his children through the water and God's Word, in much the same way that the Israelites became God's people
by passing through the waters because of God's promise.
In Free to Be, the author writes, "it's just like the God of the promise, to hide the most miraculous event in a simple ceremony...For in it,
with the washing of water and the pronouncement of his Word, God adopts each of us,
takes us into the communion of saints, and gives us a future that not even death and the devil can destroy."

THE CHURCH

The Church exists in paradox.
It is at one time both a community of witnesses who live out the love and grace of God;
and at the same time, it is a community of sinful, wounded people whose brokenness is on display for all to see.
Where the Church reveals that love - we see God at work.
Where the Church reveals its wounds - we pray for God's work.
The Church gathers regularly for worship to find strength and a reminder of the promise that has been given to us.
And then it is sent into a broken world to love and serve using the gifts God has given us.

A LIFE OF FAITH

The primary responsibility of a person of faith is to live life using the gifts God has given, revealing grace and love in all aspects of life.
Martin Luther wrote: “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes,
but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”
A life of faith is nothing more or less than using the gifts you been given to serve others.
If you are gifted to be a teacher - teach. If you are gifted to be a plumber - plumb. If you are gifted to be a waiter - serve.
No one calling or gift is greater than another - all are needed.
In this way we are all priests, not because we talk about God, but because in using our gifts, God is truly present.

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