A story of restoration
We believe first and foremost that Scripture is a story and that God inspired the authors of Scripture to speak to all generations of believers, including us today. God calls us to immerse ourselves in this narrative individually and communally to faithfully interpret and live out that story today as we are lead by the Spirit of God.
In the beginning God created all things good. He was and always will be in a communal relationship with himself-Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God created us to be relational as well and marked us with an identity as image bearers and with a missional calling to serve, care for, and cultivate the earth. God created humans in his image to live in fellowship with him, one another, our inner self, and creation. We recognize that through human sin, darkness and evil entered the story and are a part of the world, fracturing our relationship with God, others, ourselves, and creation.
We believe that God did not abandon his creation to destruction and decay; rather he promised to restore this broken world. As part of this purpose, God chose a people, Abraham and his descendants, to represent him in the world. God promised to bless them as a nation so that through them all nations would be blessed. In time they became enslaved in Egypt and cried out to God because of their oppression. God heard their cry, and he liberated them from their oppression and brought them to Sinai where he gave them an identity and a mission as his treasured possessions, a Kingdom of priests, a holy people. Throughout the story of Israel, God refuses to give up on his people despite frequent acts of unfaithfulness to him.
God brought his people into the Promised Land. Their state of blessing from God was intimately bound to their calling to embody the living God to other nations. They made movement towards this missional calling, yet they disobeyed and allowed foreign gods into the land, overlooked the poor, and mistreated the foreigner. The prophetic voices that emerge from the Scriptures held the calling of Israel to the mirror of how they treated the oppressed and marginalized. Through the prophets, God's heart for the poor was made known, and we believe that God cares deeply for the marginalized and oppressed among us today.
In Israel's disobedience, they became indifferent and in turn irrelevant to the purposes to which God had called them. For a time, they were sent into exile; yet a hopeful remnant was always looking ahead with longing and hope to a renewed reign of God, where peace and justice would prevail.
We believe these longings found their fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, mysteriously God in the flesh. Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted and to set the captives free, proclaiming a new arrival of the Kingdom of God, bringing about a new exodus, and restoring our fractured world. He and his message were rejected by many as he confronted the oppressive nature of the religious elite and the empire of Rome. Yet his path of suffering, death, burial and resurrection has brought hope to all creation. Jesus is our only home for bringing reconciliation between God and humans. Through Jesus we have been forgiven and reconciled to God. God is now reconciling us to each other, ourselves and creation.
For all who trust Jesus, the Spirit of God affirms them as children of God, empowers with gifts, convicts, guides, comforts, counsels, and leads into truth through a communal life of worship and a missional expression of our faith. The church is a global and local expression of living out the way of Jesus through love, sacrifice, and healing as we embody the resurrected Christ, who lives in and through us, to a broken and hurting world.
We believe they day is coming when Jesus will return and judge the world, bringing an end to injustice and restoring all things to God's original intent. He will reclaim this world and rule forever. The earth's groanings will cease, and God will dwell with us here in a restored creation. On that day we will beat swords into tools for cultivating the earth, the wolf will lie down with the lamb, there will be no more death, and God will wipe away all our tears. Our relationships with God, others, ourselves and creation will be whole. All will flourish as God intends. This is what we long for. This is what we hope for. And we have given our lives to living out that future reality now.