What We BelieveAt the heart of SPC is the awareness that God created the universe, and He is living and actively moving in our world today, calling ordinary people to join in His activity. While on one hand we believe that God is greater than any single part of His creation, we also know that God is present with us in our world, continually taking the initiative to reveal Himself to people. We believe that God is real and living not because we have been told we must, but because we have discovered it to be true in our lives. We find in new ways every day that there is no greater purpose or joy than being in relationship with the God who made us and loves us.
Our beliefs about God are shaped by the following understandings:
We are Imperfect People Loved by a Perfect God
As human beings, we make mistakes and fall short of God’s design for our lives. We don’t always make good choices, and we sometimes do and say things that hurt ourselves, other people and even God. And yet God loves us. So much so that in His great desire to see our imperfect lives restored, He did the one thing that was needed: He gave His own life so that we could know a new and better way to live. This way of life is one that finds its center in a daily relationship with God in which we are guided, shaped, and re-formed into His image and character.
Jesus is Lord
At one point in history, God became a human being as Jesus. Jesus walked in our world, with all of its joys and all of its struggles, and he did it for one reason: to restore our broken relationship with God. Jesus’ mission was not to be a great teacher, a good man or a famous historical religious figure. It was to die on a cross so that people like us could know God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness. We know that Jesus’ death was unlike that of any other person in all of human history because on the cross it was God giving up His own life. And three days after Jesus’ death, the astounding news of His resurrection became known, and we live today in the hope of knowing that in God’s family death never has the last word. We call Jesus “Lord,” because that is who He is, and we believe that there is no one more worthy of devoting our lives to than He.
God’s Word is Living and Authoritative for Life Today
We are continually amazed by how beautifully the words of the Bible speak into our contemporary lives. We call it God’s living word not only because it shows us a picture of who God has been in history, but because God continues to meet us and speak to us through it. We call it God’s authoritative word because it was inspired by God, and it serves as the compass that keeps our lives pointed in the direction of God’s design for us.
We Belong to Part of a Historical Community of Faith
We continue in the footsteps of a long history of people through whom God has chosen to make his redemptive activity in the world known. From the very beginning God has carried out his design for the world and expressed His character of justice, truth, love and mercy through His people. We draw hope for facing today’s challenges from our ability to recognize God’s redemptive and faithful presence in the real lives of those who have lived before us.
How Our Beliefs Inform Our Living
We are People Who Worship
Throughout history, when God’s people are aware of His presence or are touched by His grace, their natural response is worship. When we gather together for worship, we’re not coming to see a performance or to be entertained. We come because we have known God’s goodness in our lives and we want to respond with worship. Sometimes we come with excitement and joy. Sometimes, we come tired and need a fresh word of hope. But we come. And we have discovered over and over that when we do, we are met by the One who receives us as we are and rejoices in the worship we bring.
We are Stewards of God’s Resources
As we look at the world and recognize the vast disparities between those who have much and those who have nothing, we cannot help but see a world that is broken. As God’s people, we must wrestle with the tension that we have access to more resources than most of the rest of the world, and that this access calls us to be stewards of these resources in ways that reflect God’s character. We seek to use the resources God has given us in ways that provide opportunities for others to thrive and remind us that everything we have is a gift from God.
We are Created for Service
Theologian Jurgen Moltmann once said, "Mission is not primarily an activity of the church, but an attribute of God. God is a missionary God. It is not the church that has a mission of salvation to fulfill in the world: it is the mission of the Son and the Spirit through the Father that includes the church." In other words, God is the one who is moving and acting in our world, and it is our joy and privilege that God invites us to be a part of it. By His very nature, God is about extending Himself on behalf of others, and when our lives begin to take the shape of His, our hearts are naturally drawn to extend ourselves for the sake of others as well.
We are Called Into Community
God created human beings to live in relationship – with Him and with each other. We are not designed to live in isolation, but together with people who share a common devotion to God. In community we encourage each other, we challenge each other to grow, and we see the richness of God’s character expressed. Community is the place where we welcome each other, “as is,” and extend God’s love to one another. It is in community that we find the resources we need to live authentic, accountable lives so that others may see the unique and wonderful difference that Jesus can make.