We describe God in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God. Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.*
- We believe in one God, who created the world and all that is in it.
- We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe.
- We believe that God is loving. We can experience God’s love and grace.*
- We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
- We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
- We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today. (Christ and messiah mean the same thing—God’s anointed.)
- We believe that Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins.
- We believe that Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to be disciples as we learn to follow Him.*
The Holy Spirit
- We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us.
- We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God’s will and empowers us to live obediently.
- We believe that the Holy Spirit guides us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God.*
- We believe that God created human beings in God’s image.
- We believe that all humans need to be in relationship with God in order to be fully human.
- We believe that humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God.*
- We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.
- We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
- We believe that the church is “the communion of saints,” a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ.
- We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.
- We believe that the church is to equip people to join God with His mission in the world.*
- We believe that the Bible is God’s Word.
- We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
- We believe that Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).*
The Reign of God
- We believe that the kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.
- We believe that wherever God’s will is done, the kingdom or reign of God is present. It was present in Jesus’ ministry, and it is also present in our world whenever persons and communities experience reconciliation, restoration, and healing.
- We believe that the fulfillment of God’s kingdom–the complete restoration of creation–is still to come.
- We believe that the church is called to be both witness to the vision of what God’s kingdom will be like and a participant in helping to bring it to completion. (Adapted from Who Are We? Leader’s Guide, p. 28.)
We recognize Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the two sacraments in which Christ himself participated and encouraged us to continue.
- Through baptism God joins us with the church and with Christians everywhere.
- Baptism is a symbol of new life and a sign of God’s love and forgiveness of our sins.
- Persons of any age can be baptized.
- We baptize by sprinkling, immersion or pouring.
- Since baptism is an action of God, a person receives the sacrament of baptism only once in his or her life.
(Read By Water and Spirit, the church’s official statement on Baptism.)
The Lord’s Supper (Communion, Eucharist)
- The Lord’s Supper is a holy meal of bread and wine that symbolizes the body and blood of Christ.
- The Lord’s Supper recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all the members of God’s family.
- By sharing this meal, we give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice and are nourished and empowered to go into the world in mission and ministry.
- We practice “open Communion,” welcoming all who love Christ, repent of their sin, and seek to live in peace with one another.
*Excerpts from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002).