What We Believe
We are a multiethnic, intergenerational church, called out as the presence of Jesus in our world, pursuing His mission of reconciliation.
We recognize that as people we have differences about many things, and also that we are guided by our value of pursuing unity. And so we will not create or continue division, but instead work for unity that goes deeper than our differences. The statements here were written by our elders to clarify our common, foundational beliefs.
What We Believe About God
There is one true, living, and eternal God who created and sustains all things. He has absolute power and is infinitely perfect in all His attributes. He exists fully in three persons: God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit. God is Love.
I Corinthians 8:4
… there is no God but one.
But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his word.
Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched hand. Nothing is too hard for you.
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
What We Believe About Salvation
Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin and establish a relationship with God by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness, can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
What We Believe About People
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us have disobeyed God and sinned against Him. Our sin separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Note: To find out how God can forgive sin and how we can have a relationship with Him, see what we believe about salvation.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,  what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.  You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
What We Believe About the Bible
The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to people, written by human authors who where inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is completely authoritative for matters of life and faith. The Bible’s message is true and without error.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
2 Peter 1:20-21
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.  For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:13
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
I Thessalonians 2:13
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God which is at work in you who believe.
What We Believe About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the spirit of God and the third person of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is present in the world making man aware of the need of a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is also present in each person who has received salvation through Christ. He empowers us to live according to God’s purpose and provides guidance concerning God’s truths through understanding and wisdom.
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment; in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:12
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.
What We Believe About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and the God the Holy Spirit. He was sent to earth by God the Father through the virgin birth. He lived a sinless, human life and then gave himself as a sacrifice for the sins of all people. He was crucified, died and was buried. To show his power over sin and death he rose from the grave after three days. He ascended to heaven and will return some day to gather those who have believed on Him to live with him forever.
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
“The virgin will be with child and will birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, “God with us.”
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.
1 Thes. 4:17
After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
What We Believe About Baptism
Baptism is the clear command of Christ and was the clear practice of the New Testament Church. It publicly identifies a person as a follower of Christ; as such, it is a powerful testimony to one’s self and to significant others. It reminds the church body over and over again that we “… are buried with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life”(Romans 6:1-4). Christ was baptized through water as an example for us to follow. Baptism spurs us all to remember the significance of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. It points to the past (when we believed in Christ and when He died for our sins) and to the future (when we will be raised with Him in glory and when He arose from the dead).
A note about practices: Although we do practice baptism by immersion and do not practice the baptism of infants, we do honor other traditions and their practices. We place no requirements on the way that a person may have been baptized previously, nor do we require baptism for membership. Also, we hold Baby Dedication services so that parents can declare their good desire to dedicate their children to the Lord and their intent to raise their child to come to know, love and serve the Lord. In no way do we do these things to lower our esteem of baptism; we believe that every believer should be baptized and to neglect baptism is to disobey the clear instructions of the Scriptures. Our only intent is to allow diversity in the expression of this act.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
What We Believe About Heaven/Hell
Heaven and Hell are real places, created by God, and are the eternal destination of all man. Man will exist either eternally separated from God in hell because of sin or with God in heaven through the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Hell is a place of eternal torment for all who have sinned and rebelled against Him, while heaven is being prepared by God as a place of eternal joy for all who choose to follow Christ Jesus and are found righteous in God’s sight.
2 Peter 2:4,9
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; …if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Luke 16: 23-24
In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
Revelation 20: 14-15
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:1,3 – 4
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea…. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
1 Peter 1:3 – 4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.
What We Believe About Elders
Elders are called by God to serve as shepherds, responsible for caring for and guiding his flock, the church. This is done through teaching God’s word, serving the church in ministry, shepherding the body with love and affection, and praying regularly for the church people.
The bible lists several requirements and responsibilities for those who serve as elders. There is no expectation that the elders should be perfect in each of these areas, but that they are consistently growing in these areas and are quick to repent and seek forgiveness when they fall short. The attributes below were compiled from the following verses:
Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4: 11-13, 1 Timothy 3: 1-12, 1 Timothy 5:17, Titus 1: 6-9, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:1-3
A good example
Able to teach
Children are believers, well behaved, obedient, and respectful
Directs the affairs of the church
Encourages others by sound doctrine
Good reputation with outsiders
Holds firmly to God’s truths
Husband of one wife
Keeps watch over self and the flock
Loves what is good
Manages family and household well
Not a recent convert
Not given to drunkenness
Not greedy for money
Not lording it over others
Not a malicious talker
Not pursuing dishonest gain
Prays over and anoints the sick
Prepares people for works of service
Refutes those who oppose sound doctrine
Wife is worthy of respect
Worthy of respect
What We Believe About Grace
Grace is God’s free and undeserved gift given to humankind. God’s grace can be seen in his daily provisions for us and most importantly in his gift of salvation. God gave us the gift of salvation by sending his son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross. Receiving God’s gift of salvation allows God to forgive all of our sins and gives us full access to all the riches that he has for us. Grace can be summed up with this acronym: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
What We Believe About Growth
Anything alive and healthy experiences growth. Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more like God. God changes us to be more like him as we obey him and seek to know him. Spiritual growth is an on-going process and is manifested in areas such as faith, knowledge of God, love for others, good works, and godly character.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
2 Thessalonians 1:3
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
2 Peter 1:5-8
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What We Believe About Groups
As Christians, we are called to grow and mature in our faith. One of the best ways to do this is in a group setting with other Christ followers. Meeting with Christ followers who share this common goal provides an atmosphere of community, acceptance, authenticity, support, encouragement, discipline, and accountability. Christ himself modeled the use of the group structure with his followers.
Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread together with glad and sincere hearts.
Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as we see the Day approaching.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
But encourage one another daily as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.
He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him ….
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
What We Believe About Gifts
Spiritual gifts are special abilities that God gives to Christ followers to build and serve His Kingdom. God has endowed every Christ follower with one or more spiritual gifts. It is His desire that we would work together with our unique gifts to serve and strengthen the body of Christ (the church). The Holy Spirit calls us to use these gifts in our church, community and throughout the world as we are inspired and led by Him. As we use our spiritual gifts to do the work of His kingdom, we become effective witnesses to the glory and power of God in the world.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
1 Corinthians 7:7b
But each man has his own gift from God, one has this gift, another has that.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 11-12
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men…. All these are the work of one and the same spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 4:7; 11-13
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. . . . It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
1 Peter 4:10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
There are many Spiritual gifts listed throughout the scriptures. Some are mentioned in the following passages:
Romans 12:6-13; 1 Corinthians 12:4-10; 12:27-28; 2 Corinthians 8: 7; Ephesians 4: 11-13.
What We Believe About Good Stewardship
As Christ followers, we recognize that God owns everything and therefore everything we have is his. We acknowledge God’s ownership by giving a portion of what we have back to him. He gives us the ability to acquire wealth and possessions. He also expects us to manage and care for his Creation and all that we have. Good stewardship is the careful and responsible management of the things God has entrusted to us.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
1 Chronicles 29:11-12
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
Proverbs 3: 9-10
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times; having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.