WHAT WE BELIEVE...
We are an orthodox Christian church. That means that we hold to the ancient Christian creeds and teach in agreement with the apostles and the early church. Of highest importance, we believe Jesus Christ came to earth, lived, died and then rose from the dead in 33 A.D. so that we could be forgiven of all our failings (sins) and be reconnected to God. Jesus will physically return to the earth, resurrect all the dead, righteously judge all people, and give to all his disciples everlasting life.
Until that Day, Jesus has blessed His people with sacred practices that bring us into union with God and other Christians. These sacred practices are 1) hearing His words and 2) participating in His mysterious presence - sacraments - among us through the ordinary elements of water, bread, and wine.
We believe in one God, the Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that Jesus was completely God and completely man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on a cross to rescue us from sin, death, and Satan, as foretold in the Bible thousands of years before it actually happened. We believe Jesus rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and now acts as the only mediator between God and people. Because of this, God has made him to be the judge of all people.
We believe the Holy Spirit is active among us today, bringing conviction when a person has done wrong and creating the desire for forgiveness in Jesus Christ. He regenerates our hearts and lives within them. His ongoing work is to guide, instruct and empower the people of God to living in faith toward Jesus and love toward our neighbours.
We believe that humans were created to be the representatives of God in this world, caring for God's good creation and enjoying joyful life in God's presence. However, humans rebelled against God, actively or passively choosing to worship other gods. We are therefore alienated from God and suffer the corruption of our nature because of our sin. No human is able to seek God - our will is now bound by sin. Therefore, If anyone is to be saved, God must act on our behalf. Jesus came to restore humanity to God's original purposes!
We believe that Jesus reversed the curse of sin and death, but taking our sinfulness upon Himself and then taking it to the grave. He did this for you so that you might have your relationship with God restored. We are only saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is a work of the Holy Spirit, given to us through the spoken Word of God (Romans 10:17) and the sacraments that Jesus gave his church.
We believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, have been given to humanity by God. God inspired the writers to record what He gave to them. The bible is given by God through ordinary people. Though it has human characteristics (typos etc), it is not filled with errors as some suppose and transmits Divine truth. Evidence has shown the bible to be historically reliable and internally consistent. We believe it to be infallible and our only source of authority on matters of faith and life.
We believe that the church is the body of believers. The church is made of flesh and blood, and not concrete and steel. The church is made up of those that have been connected to Jesus Christ, and depend on his life, death, and resurrection as their only means to be reconnected to the one true living God. As a community of believers we are holding to the faithful words passed down as expressed in the creeds (Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian). The Church is a community of people who have been re-created in Christ to love the one true living God and to love their neighbor as themselves. By the Holy Spirit, the Church extends the same love and forgiveness to all people that God first extended to them in the person of Jesus.
We believe that Jesus himself set up a Holy Office to transmit His word and serve his beloved church. Pastors are ordinary humans who are trained to understand and interpret God's Word and nourish Christian communities. They are called by bodies of believers to 1. Preach and teach the Word of Christ 2. Administer the sacraments 3. Exercise church discipline for the sake of the community.
"This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God." 1 Corinthians 4:1
We believe that God has given us Baptism, Communion and Confession/Absolution (Forgiveness) as a tangible means to pass on his love and forgiveness as it was given to us through Jesus Christ. The word sacrament means "mystery" and describes the mysterious way in which God uses physical elements such as water or bread and wine, to bless us with eternal salvation. Another way we speak of the sacraments are a "Visible Word" of God's grace and love.
We believe that through Baptism, God adopts us through Jesus Christ as his children; children who have been given the full love and forgiveness of God, children who have been given new lives. (Romans 6, Titus 3:5-8) Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word. (Matthew 28:19) It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God promise. (Mark 16:16).
Confession & Absolution (Forgiveness)
We believe that when we confess our sins God, who is loving and faithful, He will forgive our sins because of what His Son Jesus has done for us. Jesus has commanded and authorized his Christians to forgive sins by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus's promise of forgiveness is ENACTED in the church through the Holy Spirit (John 20:19-23, Matthew 18:15-20).
We believe Holy Communion is a tangible way that we feast on the forgiveness that Jesus gives through his Body and Blood. We believe that, the bread and wine that we eat and drink in communion is, by the mysterious and powerful word of Christ, the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ, as his last words and testament assert. How they can be both at the same? This is a mystery that we cannot fully grasp, but we park our rational minds and trust the supernatural words of the man who walked on water and was raised from the dead, "Take eat... This is my Body given for you, Take Drink... This is my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins..."
What does communion do?
It is a meal given to us for the forgiveness of sins, the strengthening of faith, and the building up of the family of Christ until the day that he returns. We trust in the words of Scripture, “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28). When he says "covenant" he is basically saying, "This is my last will and testament. Don't mess with it, do this just as I've commanded for your eternal wellbeing."
So if we shouldn't mess with it by changing the meaning or adding to it, who should join in this meal? All who are 1) baptized into the saving grace of Jesus Christ and are 2) taught the basics of the Christian life and 3) in a trusting relationship with a church body and pastor should regularly feast on this wonderful gift of forgiveness and love.
The person that understands and believes these words, “This is my body, This is my blood, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” is ready to participate. Anyone who does not believe this should not participate in this meal but is free to hear God's word and learn with us. While some may feel this is rude, we have these requirements out of a deep conviction that God's Word is true. We believe the words in 1 Cor. 11:27-30 that "anyone who takes it in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement on themselves." Therefore, out of love for Jesus and for those who do not yet believe, we take great care to prepare everyone to receive this blessed gift.
Would you like to join our communion?
When you'd like to join in this life-giving gift, please speak to Pastor Tim so that he can welcome you and orient you to the sacred practices of the Church.