Our Creator God works through us, God’s created people, to continue to bring the world back to God’s self. When we are able to use the talents God has given us, it is a worshipful response to our Creator. Our Creator desires that we live into God’s intentions for our lives. God has joyfully set out plans for all of creation, and specifically for our lives, yet waits with a deep patience for us to respond, for us to be formed into who God has created us to be.
God loves us through the beautiful paradoxes of judgment and grace, challenge and comfort, omnipresence and personal relationship, all to draw us closer to God’s self and the creation of the Realm of God on earth.
God sent Jesus into the world as fully God and fully human so we may be taught, led, and loved in ways that empower us to do the same. Through Jesus’ sinless life, sacrificial death, and awesome resurrection, God’s grace is fully embodied in the world. Christ’s story is not just about the horror of crucifixion and consequences of sin, but also the grace of resurrection and promise of life in continual communion with God. Humbled by this gift of incalculable grace, I take joy in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know that when I pray, Christ understands the joys and the pain of living in this world. Through Christ’s guidance in scripture and response to prayer, I am better able to live into the life God has intended for me.
The Holy Spirit is the aspect of Trinity that whispers God’s name in and through all things. As we read scripture, preach, and teach, it is the Holy Spirit the enables people to hear God’s will and intentions.
As followers of Christ, we are called to be part of a much larger ecumenical body of believers that is much larger than our local church or denomination. Denominations have value and purpose in allowing people to connect with God in varying ways, but by looking more to our commonalities as brothers and sisters in Christ rather than focusing on our theological, political, and social differences; we are better able to be the body of Christ in the world.
In affirmation of the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship’s statement, “Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ,” I believe that “no one is saved apart from God’s gracious redemption in Jesus Christ. Yet [I] do not presume to limit the sovereign freedom of ‘God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.’”
Christ came to the earth as a tangible manifestation of God. In His life He introduced sacraments by which we may tangibly experience God’s grace. As God identified Jesus as God’s son at his baptism, we are also identified as members of God’s family through our baptism. In baptism we offer our very selves to God, dying to sin so that we may be raised to new life. In the sacrament of communion, we acknowledge Christ’s sacrificial death. As we celebrate communion, we join in the fellowship of Christ’s disciples in the Church universal.