"Centered in Jesus Christ, our congregation is compelled to share His love with all the world around us, and committed to growing in faith."
TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, WE HOLD TO THE FOLLOWING:
The Gospel of Christ IS the message of, and the reason for, the Church
This means that morality, causes, commandments, and Lutheranism are important to us only insofar as they are faithful to and lead others to Jesus Christ as Lord. The pulpit and the classrooms of the church are used as vehicles for pointing people to the saving news of Christ and the cross, and programs, boards, etc. are always measured by what they are doing to advance the gospel message of hope. (Matthew 28:19-20; John 3:16-17)
The Church is created to be a safe place where all are accepted
This means that each person who enters the doors is accepted and affirmed; none are to be excluded because of societal labels. While we may not condone all things that people do and are, we do recognize the intrinsic worth of each person as a child of God, worthy of redeeming. This means that the responsibility of the church to each person includes the following:
a) Healing their brokenness by helping them to understand God's unconditional love in Christ.
b) Building up their knowledge of faith.
c) Enabling them to accept the accountability to which their baptism calls them.
(1 Timothy 2:4; Galatians 3:28)
The Church is a place where all are called to servant ministry in the world around them
This means that baptism does not give anyone here the convenient option of being volunteers since we are all called to be in ministry together. Each member is called to incarnate the gospel by their words, actions, and thoughts, in accordance with the new commandment of servanthood given by Christ in John 13:34. A primary responsibility of the church is to enable people to see themselves as gifted for ministry in the world, and to provide creative opportunities in which they may use their gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:1-4)
The Church is called to be both faithful and creative
This means that as Lutherans we are a confessional people, whose liturgy and teaching is shaped by the traditions of the past. We must be open to the ever-changing world around us, using whatever opportunities the Lord may provide to reach the world with the joy of the gospel hope. Our faithfulness and our creativity are to be kept in balance, and must become the touchstones for determining the effectiveness of our ministries. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:17-22)
The Church is called to be a place of open honesty and true integrity
This means that personal agendas and personal differences need to be put aside for the sake of our common witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While we do not avoid honest disagreement, we do work more at listening than speaking in trying to understand others' views and thoughts. When we feel wronged, we have an obligation to go directly to the offender and to offer forgiveness, and when we have wronged, we have an obligation to seek forgiveness from those whom we have offended (Matthew 5:23-26). We see each other honestly as brothers and sisters in Christ, brought together by faith and united in a common ministry. (Ephesians 4:1-6; 25-26, 31-32)