Our purpose statement:
Together, BOLDLY living and sharing God’s grace with all.
Our guiding principles:
- Jesus is Lord and Savior
- Everyone is welcome
- God frees us to change and grow
- Each of us has gifts for sharing
- All people need God's love
Here’s what our purpose statement means to us:
Together… As the first word of the purpose statement, together is central to who we are in Christ and how we are to be about living as Christ’s people. Together defines our worship. Together means that when we are apart, we are still together, still linked. Together means we don’t have to do life by ourselves. Together means we gather in faith and with purpose. The Holy Spirit did stuff when folks were together, not individually (Acts 2:1-4). Doing things together is not always the easiest or most efficient way to do things. Other biblical references: Deut. 12:9-12, Psalm 49:1-3, Isaiah 11:1-9, Luke 9:1-6, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Ephesians 2:19-21.
BOLDLY… Boldly in the old testament is about having faith, trusting in things unseen, relying on the Lord, not doing just what the budget says we can, but what we believe God calls us to be about (Deuteronomy 31:1-6). Boldly is to not be bound by the status quo but to see God’s hand in ways we never could have anticipated, calling things out for what they are, to be surprised by God (John 11:11-16). Boldly can lead us to uncomfortable and challenging places for the life of others. Boldly means faithfully engaging difficult social issues. Bold is used 54 time across scripture having meanings of: courageous, confidence, sacrifice, relationship, connection others, frankness, openly, freely, plainly, and without reserve.
living… to be breathed of God (Genesis 2:7, 3:20). God inspired (breathed in with Spirit). Living bringing about more life for self and others. Living for the sake of others (John 4:7-18). Living means that faith is a 24/7 activity for us and not something we leave at the door at the end of worship. Living means being about faith practices at home, school, and work and in all stages of life. Living is about self-care so that we can also share the grace we are living. Living means meeting people where they are as we have been met by God where we are. Living means forgiveness. Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Living is ultimately a response to the living God who dwells in and with us. Other biblical references: 1 Thessalonians 1:6-9, Romans 6:1-4.
sharing… mutuality or “koinonia" in the Greek (Romans 1:8-11). Sharing is about partnership and fellowship. Sharing is defined by God’s grace, not our likes, dislikes, or comfort zones. Sharing means putting the other person’s shoes on. Putting the other first. Sharing challenges us to see our life connected to the life of all others and see that our life depends on theirs. Sharing calls us to work for the common good (Acts 2:43-45). Sharing means dwelling in scripture alone and with others. Sharing means telling our story of how God is bringing life to the world. Sharing requires discernment, work, sacrifice, faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13).
God’s grace… an undeserved gift. Something we could never earn or work to get. Grace is sheer unbounded gift (Ephesians 2:4-10). Grace is about God being merciful, about all receiving another chance. God’s grace calls us to see through the lens of abundance, not scarcity (Acts 4:32-35). Because of grace we are called to see others through a cross-shaped lens, the same lens God sees us through. Grace in Greek is “charis,” which means favor or gracious care or an exceptional effect produced by generosity. “Charis" is the root word for “kara,” which means joy. Joy is rooted in grace, and joy comes out of grace. Joy is made possible because of grace. “Grace meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” - Anne Lamott
with all… ”with” is a joining word. Living and sharing God’s grace joins us to others and each other in new ways. All is what it says… all. All includes the foreigner, widow, orphan (Genesis 17:1-5,15). All speaks to the wide angle of God’s salvation and love (Isaiah 52:7-12). All speaks to the great commission of Jesus to us his disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). All is about living and sharing with hope that casts out fear. All is about who we must remember when we make decisions as a congregation. All is about who is welcome in God’s kingdom and who we are invited to see ourselves as part of.