What we Believe
We believe that all members make a deep commitment to the life of faith. That commitment comes with a community, and the community is affected by your commitment. You have received a tremendous blessing and taken on covenant responsibility. God and his Church are counting on you. Your brothers and sisters are gifts of grace to you. They will give you great joy. They will also disappoint you, frustrate you, and madden you. This too is part of God's grace and God's way of growing you in holiness, virtue, and a sense of your discipleship. They will affect you. And you will affect them. You will make this community either better or worse. This community will make you either better or worse. God has made us one in the bond of unity.
What will you do and be? How will you affect the community? What will you bring?
You have joined a people that God has called into service as well as salvation. The Great Ends (purposes) of the Church are the framework for our service. These are identified in the Reformed tradition as:
- The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind
- The shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God
- The maintenance of divine worship
- The preservation of the truth
- The promotion of social righteousness
- The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world
We commit ourselves to these purposes with all the strength and energy that God gives us.
We are called to forgive sins (as Jesus taught us to pray, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"). We are called, as an act of worship, to be good stewards of our time, talents, and treasures, giving freely and generously out of the gifts that God has given us. We are called to listen carefully to the Holy Spirit who calls each of us into particular ministries: Ministries of healing and reconciliation; taking risks to free people from sin, fear, oppression, hunger, and injustice; coming alongside those who suffer (the poor, the sick, the lonely, the powerless, and the refugee); sharing with Christ in the establishment of his just, peaceable, and loving rule in the world; and teaching the truth of Jesus Christ to children and adults. Each one of us commits ourselves to find concrete ways to be faithful to the call of God.
It all depends, not on your moral strength, your energy, your intelligence. These are important, but can get in the way of God's work in you and through you. It all depends on faith—yours and God's. You are not called to be perfect, to be busy, to be excellent, to be faultless. You are called to seek God above all things—to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and to love those around you, for they are in a real sense part of your own body, your being. We are in this together. And we are together in God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God will never refuse you and us the grace we need, if only we live in faith.