Mary Heath will preach on Jul 2

> What We Believe:
 

We are a congregation in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), one of the historic Protestant mainline denominations. The largest mainline denominations include the United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (USA), Episcopal Church, American Baptist Churches in the USA and United Church of Christ.

 

Mainline churches are more liberal theologically than evangelical and fundamentalist churches. We take the Bible seriously but not literally. We view the Bible as a sacred text. It was written not by God but by members of two communities, ancient Israel and the early followers of Christ, and it reflects how they experienced God.

Theological liberalism is different from political liberalism. It is less individualistic and more focused on the group. It gives more weight to tradition, authority and the sacred than political liberals and more weight to reason and experience than evangelicals. Liberal theology deeply respects and seeks to balance Scripture, tradition, reason and experience. It is open to new ideas and cultural diversity and seeks to engage them in conversation with Scripture and tradition.
 

As members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we call ourselves Disciples. We have no formal creeds or religious tests. We make the same confession of faith that Peter made in Matthew 16:16: Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, and we proclaim him as Lord and Savior of the world.

 

Disciples have the following core practices and beliefs:

1.  Primacy of the New Testament,

2.  Pursuit of the unity of all Christians and respect for the humanity of all people.

3.  The promise of an open table,

4.  Baptism by immersion.

5.   Emphasis on congregational authority.

 

Primacy of the New Testament.  We encounter the God made known to us through Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Scripture, particularly the New Testament, is our primary source for determining God’s will and God’s vision for humanity. Tradition, reason and experience enhance our understanding of Scripture. It is the responsibility of each of us to study and interpret the Bible for ourselves and to share and develop our understanding of Scripture in a community of faith.

 

Unity of all Christians. Christ pulls us out of our isolation and brings us into community with each other. Christians must be united in purpose and mission if we are to bear witness to the world of God’s vision for humanity. As Disciples scholar Michael Kinnamon reminds us, “Persons of different races, classes, nations and political affiliations come together in fellowship, not because they agree on all things, but because their communion with Christ brings them into communion with each other.”

 

Open table. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper each time we gather for worship. Sharing in one loaf and one cup is a visible sign of our unity in Christ. Sharing a meal is one of the most intimate forms of fellowship. Christ invites us to share a meal with him and with each other.

 

Baptism by immersion. Baptism symbolizes death to our old selves and birth to a new way of living. We believe that baptism emphasizes our personal commitment to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. It is a public declaration of God’s forgiveness of our sins and our acceptance into a family of faith. We follow the New Testament model of baptizing by immersion. We recognize and respect the diversity of baptismal practices in other churches and denominations.

 

Congregational authority. Congregations are the primary expression of the community of faith within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Congregations are bound in covenant with the regional (state) and general (national) church to witness to and serve Christ. Congregations have the freedom to call their own ministers, own property and establish budgets and the responsibility of participating in and supporting the regional and general manifestations of the church.

 

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