The heart of our story is that God loves everyone—every nation, every person—even in our sins, even when we have been an enemy to God, weak or ungodly. We believe that God loved the world so much that he gave his only son for us, that those who believe, who trust in Jesus, who die to themselves and give their lives to Jesus, will themselves be given life—abundant life here and now, and life with God eternally.
We believe this new life is given to us not because we deserve it, not because have understood everything correctly or have done everything rightly. We haven’t. We can’t. God offers this new life to us as a free gift.
We receive this new life by faith. We choose to trust God rather than ourselves. We confess we are sinners, that we have hurt God by our words and actions, that we are deeply sorry. And we state openly that we claim Jesus as our Lord. We believe that faith is fundamentally a surrendering. In faith, we choose to no longer be in control, but we surrender to God our lives and our futures.
We believe baptism is a crucial part of our surrender. The work of baptism is God’s work, not our own. There is nothing we could do to merit our own salvation. It is God who is working in us. In baptism we die to ourselves, joining Christ in his death, washed in his blood. We are buried with Christ and raised from the dead just as Christ was raised so that Christ’s power, not our own, controls us. In that sharing of Christ’s death and resurrection, God grants us forgiveness of sins and gives to us the Holy Spirit, God’s powerful presence dwelling within us, comforting us, helping us.
Dying and rising with Jesus is the heart of our story. It’s why the Lord’s Supper is so important to us. Every Sunday, we participate in Christ’s death as we take of the bread and drink from the cup. The Lord’s Supper, like baptism, is a source of power and life rooted in Christ’s death and resurrection.
This dying and rising is also the key to our discipleship. We believe Christ not only modeled obedience to God and sacrifice for others, he has given us the strength we need to die to ourselves and die for the sake of others.
This is our story. It comes from both the witness of Scripture and the experience of our lives. Our desire is to tell this story of God’s amazing love to others, to serve the world as ministers of reconciliation, marked not by judgment but by hope, generosity, self-sacrifice, and grace, modeled and empowered by Jesus himself.
This is what we believe. This is our heart and our commitment.