WHAT WE BELIEVE

WE BELIEVE IN JESUS

We hold in common with all Christians a faith in the mystery of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. At the heart of the gospel of salvation is God’s incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth. Scripture witnesses to the redeeming love of God in Jesus’ life and teachings, his atoning death, his resurrection, his sovereign presence in history, his triumph over the powers of evil and death, and his promised return. Because God truly loves us in spite of our willful sin, God judges us, summons us to repentance, pardons us, receives us by that grace given to us in Jesus Christ, and gives us hope of life eternal.


WE BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

We share the Christian belief that God’s redemptive love is realized in human life by the activity of the Holy Spirit, both in personal experience and in the community of believers. This community is the church, which the Spirit has brought into existence for the healing of the nations. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are forgiven, reconciled to God, and transformed as people of the new covenant. “Life in the Spirit” involves diligent use of the means of grace such as praying, fasting, attending upon the sacraments, and inward searching in solitude. It also encompasses the communal life of the church in worship, mission, evangelism, service, and social witness.


WE BELIEVE IN SCRIPTURE

We share with many Christian communions a recognition of the authority of Scripture in matters of faith, the confession that our justification as sinners is by grace through faith, and the sober realization that the church is in need of continual reformation and renewal.


WE BELIEVE IN BAPTISM, COMMUNION, & THE CHURCH

We understand ourselves to be part of Christ’s universal church when by adoration, proclamation, and service we become conformed to Christ. We are initiated and incorporated into this community of faith by Baptism, receiving the promise of the Spirit that re-creates and transforms us. Through the regular celebration of Holy Communion, we participate in the risen presence of Jesus Christ and are thereby nourished for faithful discipleship. We pray and work for the coming of God’s realm and reign to the world and rejoice in the promise of everlasting life that overcomes death and the forces of evil.


WE BELIEVE IN SALVATION

We assert that God’s grace is manifest in all creation even though suffering, violence, and evil are everywhere present. Even our sin, with its destructive consequences for all creation, does not alter God’s intention for us—holiness and happiness of heart. Nor does it diminish our accountability for the way we live. Despite our brokenness, we remain creatures brought into being by a just and merciful God. The restoration of God’s image in our lives requires divine grace to renew our fallen nature. We acknowledge God’s prevenient grace, the divine love that surrounds all humanity and precedes any and all of our conscious impulses. 

God’s grace also awakens in us an earnest longing for deliverance from sin and death and moves us toward repentance and faith. We believe God reaches out to the repentant believer in justifying grace with accepting and pardoning love. We hold that the wonder of God’s acceptance and pardon does not end God’s saving work, which continues to nurture our growth in grace. We see God’s grace and human activity working together in the relationship of faith and good works.