Different churches can have different characteristics and traditions. Like most Christian churches, we center ourselves in the holy scriptures of the Bible, share sacraments of baptism and communion, and model our individual and collective lives on the servant Jesus. But here are some particular characteristics of this church:
We're Presbyterian: We're part of the Presbyterian Church (USA), which means that power for setting church direction and policy belongs to the people in the pews.
We welcome everyone: No matter where you come from, how much money you make, what you look like, what you dream about, or whom you love, you are welcome in this place.
We’re “family-sized”: We have just over 400 members, and about 160-180 are in worship each week. We know each other and care for one another as a family.
Young people are an important part of our congregation: Young people are an important and focal part of our congregation. We work to ensure their safety, their education, and their growth in faith. They are visible and they are valued, and they have much to teach us all.
We read the Bible with reverence, openness, and intellectual engagement: We believe the holy scriptures are inspired by God to convey deep truth, but they are also the words of human beings, conditioned by the language, culture, and views of the contexts in which they were written. So we have an obligation to handle scriptures with care, and study them for literary and historical understanding, so that we can hear the still-inspired word they have for us today.
Our community is driven by gifts: We focus our attention not on what we lack, but on what we have, as all we need to make our lives and the world a better place. By focusing on what we have, and following Christ with what we are uniquely gifted to do, we discover that our needs and the needs of the community and world become met.
We immerse ourselves and our work in contexts different from our own: Crossing over boundaries of class, race, and religion was Jesus’ business, and it is ours too. Getting out of our comfort zones, encountering strangers in love, and discovering the blessings that come with this way of life is what our faith is all about.
We believe that Christians are supposed to make the world a better place: We engage in work in our city and in our world to alleviate the effects of poverty, oppression, and suffering. A Christian life is a life of service, especially with and for those who are vulnerable or marginalized.
We are part of a global community: We have active relationships in Cuba, the Ukraine, South Sudan, and Kenya. We send ourselves, our mindfulness, and our prayers to places all over the world, and keep ourselves mindful of the global mission and mindedness of Jesus.
We believe that people grow in faith by serving, worshipping, studying, and reflecting: This way of life, shown to us by Jesus, yields great blessing, and makes the most out of our lives for God’s purposes of justice, reconciliation, and peace in the world.