Call to Covenant Community
As disciples of Jesus Christ and members of the Presbyterian Church
(USA), in reliance on the promise of God's grace, we make the following
affirmations about our faith and our church:
We affirm faith in Jesus Christ who proclaimed the reign of God by preaching good news
to the poor, binding up the broken-hearted and calling all to repent and
believe the good news. It is Christ whose life and ministry forms and disciplines
all we say and do.
The church we seek to strengthen is built
upon the hospitality of Jesus, who said, "Whoever comes to me I will not cast out."
The good news of the gospel is that all - those who are near and those who
were far off - are invited; all are members of the household and citizens
of the realm of God. No one has a claim on this invitation and none of us
becomes worthy, even by sincere effort, to live according to God's will.
Grateful for our own inclusion, we carry out the mission of the church to
extend God's hospitality to a broken and fearful and lonely world.
The people of God are called to be "light
to the nations." As God's people, we have a commission
rather than a privilege. We believe that the place of the church is in the
world and for the world: living the good news, proclaiming grace, working
with others for justice, freedom, and peace. Thus Christian faith has an
inevitable public and political dimension. Because we believe that God is
at work in culture and community beyond the church, the church need not
be afraid to look and listen for God's voice from outside its own sphere.
The words of scripture provide life and
nourishment; as the psalmist says, they are
desirable, delicious, sweet. The Bible is the evidence of God's long, patient
and persistent relationship with communities and persons of faith. It is
the one true, reliable witness to God's self-giving in Jesus Christ. The
process of discerning God's Word in the words of scripture depends on the
faithful reading of the Bible by those who seek the guidance of the Holy
Spirit. We are committed to the ongoing task of finding in scripture God's
call to live out the Christian life in our day and time. We embrace gifts
of scholarship, research and dialogue as we seek to understand the Bible's
relevance to the ever-changing needs of the world and to circumstances which
scripture does not explicitly address.
We seek the gift of unity among all who
confess the name of Jesus Christ as Lord. Unity
is Christ's prayer for those who would follow him, "so that the world
might believe." We hope to maintain communion fellowship with all whose
lives are guided by the Christian creeds and by the confessions of Reformed
faith. We pledge to strengthen our ties to those who are at risk of being
excluded by recent legislative actions of our church. We also want to live
in unity with those whose views are different from ours.
Because nothing in life or death can separate
us from God's love, we pray that the issues before us will not separate
us from one another.