We read scripture because we believe that in it is everything necessary for life and faith. Through the stories witnessing to God’s presence and work in the world, we listen for God’s word to us now. We do not think common sense is enough for reading scripture. We believe that the Holy Spirit is needed to enlighten our hearts and minds that we might hear God’s living Word through the written word. We believe scholarship is important. God made us with a mind and wants us to use it responsibly. Therefore, we study the scriptures, learning their context, literary forms, and intent, that we might more responsibly interpret scripture. We recognize that everyone does the work of interpretation when reading any work; therefore, we acknowledge our need, both for study and for the Holy Spirit’s help. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit, even if one does not have education, we believe God can still speak through the scripture to any soul seeking God in it.
We read scripture also through the lenses of Jesus Christ. We believe God’s clearest and fullest revelation to be through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who we believe to be the Word of God, made flesh. Therefore, Christ informs all our reading and interpretation of scripture.
In fact we see that Bible as a chorus of many voices – from a variety of backgrounds, means, and perspectives – that all witness to one God. Together they help us see God more clearly. Therefore we do not lift out any one scripture without hearing it within the context of the larger body of scripture. By hearing them all together, we believe we best perceive the symphony of their witness to the LIving God.
We collect an offering at every service. This has a very practical purpose of sustaining our presence and ministry in this place, but more importantly it is an opportunity for each of us to participate with God in what God’s doing in this place. We see giving as part of our life of faith and calling as a disciple.
We do not give only of our money and resources, however. We also give of our time, our talents, our expertise, our love and devotion. We believe God has called us as God’s beloved children and wants all of us, not just a part of us. Therefore we listen for God to speak into every aspect of our lives, that our whole being might bring glory and honor to God.