We are a church where faith is nurtured, curiosity is encouraged, diversity is welcomed, and all are loved, and we exist, not for safety and comfort, but to be Christ’s hands, feet and heart in a hurting world.
These aren’t just words to us – they are essential to who we are, how we live, and where we are located. We are a church of Jesus Christ! Jesus loved without exception. He invited people to follow him, and took time to teach them, to help them wrestle with their questions. He even loved Thomas with his doubts. He famously ate with “sinners and tax collectors” and touched the untouchables. Everyone was welcome in his family. His love took the form of service to and with others. That is our model for our life together and in the world. That is what guides us as we build relationships and as we work side by side with each other and with our neighbors near and far to give hope and make this world a better place.
Our Approach to Ministry:
We are a very loving and flawed group of people. We try to walk in Christ’s footsteps, and sometimes we do well, and other times not so well. It is actually those times when we don’t do so well that are the most important for us, for when we become aware of how we have failed to love as Christ loves, we have an opportunity to look at ourselves and learn from that, which helps us to not only deepen our own faith, but to enrich our relationships with others. I’ll be honest – if you are perfect, this may not be the right church for you! You may become frustrated with our imperfections. But if you are simply needing a place to accept you as you are, if you are looking for a church home where you are loved in spite of your flaws, if you are looking for people who share your journey, and if you want to be a part of something special, then there’s a place for you here.
What else will you find? You will find a unique collection of people who come from different places, speak different languages, love differently, think differently, and who have vastly different ideas and opinions, and yet still come together to worship, to work, to care for each other, to learn, and to make this world a better place. If that speaks to you, then there’s a place for you here.
Living Our Goals
We are a neighborhood church. Many years ago, as other churches were moving out of the downtown area, we made the decision to stay. This downtown neighborhood has been our home for over 150 years, and we could not imagine leaving it. Even though the neighborhood around us has changed dramatically since we were founded over 150 years ago, it is still our neighborhood – but it is not the limits of our neighborhood. Today through our online ministry, our neighborhood stretches across the world, reaching people in Australia to Malawi to Scotland. It doesn’t matter where you live, we are one community.
Like any church, we are called to be a sanctuary and a crucible for the faithful, and a light to the world. What does that look like for us today? How is God calling us to grow in faith, in service, and in relationships, right where we are at, in the 21st century?
THIS is what it looks like:
Meeting the real needs of people – REAL needs, not what we think people’s needs are. We are focused on building relationships and working in partnership with people, through long-term relationships with nearby schools and agencies, to the new Justice in Action coalition of over 20 faith communities working to address issues of mental health and criminal justice reform, to partnering with some of our online participants in other countries to build schools and provide clean water to villages.
Building a strong, inclusive church community, where people from all backgrounds, cultures, economic status, sexual orientation or gender identity, political viewpoints, etc. have a voice, know they are valued, can participate and have leadership roles. Together we reflect the rich diversity of God’s beautiful creation, and many voices help us hear more clearly how God is at work among us.
Being a neighborhood church – in-person and online. We not only welcome our neighbors into the church space (whether virtual or physical), we reach out to our neighbors, build relationships, and create community to work together for the common good, whether that is meeting a specific need, or simply creating a space where you can breathe and belong.
Nurturing a strong faith that changes lives. We join Christ in making this world a little more like the kingdom of God, where the abundance of God’s gifts are available to all people, where God’s distributive justice is shared among all, and where we work together to share God’s love, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and life, with others. We are called to nurture a faith that changes lives – ours and those around us. So you’ll find classes for people of all ages, children, youth and adults. You’ll find special events with speakers who touch on intersections between faith and life. You’ll find safe places to share your needs, and ask your questions. You’ll find ways to put your faith into action.