Jesus Christ is at the center of everything we believe and practice. Jesus is the image of the unseen God; all creation testifies to Him as author and creator. All of Scripture is informed by Him and informs us about Him. Jesus is the head of the Church, and we yield to His guidance and authority over it. We are guided and compelled in our allegiance to Jesus through the power of God the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father. Jesus taught and demonstrated that God’s redemptive love is radically inclusive; that every person is uniquely created in God’s own image; that God offers everyone — in equal measure — abundant grace and room at the Kingdom table. God the Holy Spirit teaches, directs and unifies us. One of our chief functions at Grace is to create and maintain an environment of sensitivity to God the Holy Spirit’s presence and work.
How We Believe
We believe that salvation is the totally free gift of God that is offered to everyone equally. Everything starts with God’s love for us. Loving God because He loved us produces the sort of outcomes we hope to see in our lives: love for each other, desire to serve and excitement to share what we know about Jesus. We didn‘t do anything to earn this love and we can’t do anything to lose it. In the daily discipline of laying everything in our lives before Jesus and apprenticing ourselves to His heart, mind and ways, we grow to know Him more intimately, follow Him more closely and become more like Him. How we act, think, believe and behave — the Holy Spirit at work in us can change everything about us. Becoming more like Jesus we learn to see the world, and our place in it, differently.
We believe the Bible is a collection of writings uniquely inspired by God. We read and teach the Bible at Grace Church because Scripture helps reveal Jesus to us; it tells us about God’s love for humankind, shows us a history of God’s dealings with God’s creation and invites us to understand our own lives as part of the story. We recognize the Holy Spirit as the authority in teaching us God’s Word, not the person at the microphone on a Sunday morning or the Bible in any particular form/version. The culmination of study, prayer, the Grace Church community, and the Holy Spirit help inform our understanding of God, our relationship with him, and the world. Everyone at Grace is urged to read, think, study and pray on their own and in community in preparation for worship, and to revisit our weekly text with others in our fellowship, whether one-on-one or as part of a Grace Group.
We believe that when all of us are tracking together and investing time as a community to be transformed by Scripture, we stand the best chance of growing into a church that looks like Jesus. Trying to hear what God is saying to us through God’s word is a serious undertaking; we approach it with care, respect and humility, not so that we can shape it to our will, but so we can grow in our understanding of how the Holy Spirit can use it to shape us.
We believe the Church is a non-clerical community. The distinguishing mark of Christianity was not found in a clerical hierarchy but in the fact that God’s Spirit came to dwell within ordinary, common people, and that through them, the Spirit manifested Jesus’ life to the believing community and the world. Every member of the body is equipped to share the Kingdom by living it out, and to be a minister of the Gospel. Everyone is encouraged to be a passionate follower of Jesus as a part of the regular rhythm of their life. Everyone is encouraged to develop deep, honest and loving relationships with the Creator and with each other; to look for and respond to opportunities for serving others in Jesus’ name. Rather than building our church primarily around programs for our members, our priority is to help each other be active influencers for Christ in the world.
As we grow in relationship with God and each other, we learn to live and serve together in ways that demonstrate God’s love. Grace Church is a small part of the larger body of Christ, and we seek to cooperate with our brothers and sisters any way we can, being faithful with the resources we’re given. Part of our mandate as a church is to provide teaching and training, and to serve wherever God is at work.
The last night Christ was with His disciples before His death, He shared the Lord’s Supper with them. The bread and wine symbolize His body that was broken and His blood that was shed to free us from our sins. It is not necessary for salvation, but is a reminder of what Christ did for us. The table also reminds us everyone is welcome.