What do we believe?

Jesus Christ is at the center of our faith and beliefs. These Basic Beliefs are not the last word, but an invitation to further explore your discipleship.

God

We believe in one living God who meets us in the testimony of Israel, is revealed in Jesus Christ, and moves through all creation as the Holy Spirit. We affirm the Trinity—God who is a community of three persons. All things that exist owe their being to God: mystery beyond understanding and love beyond imagination. This God alone is worthy of our worship. 

Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, the Word made flesh, the Savior of the world, fully human and fully divine. Through Jesus’ life and ministry, death and resurrection, God reconciles the world and breaks down the walls that divide. Christ is our peace.

Learn more about our belief in Jesus Christ

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit, Giver of Life, holy Wisdom, true God. The Spirit moves through and sustains creation; endows the church for mission; frees the world from sin, injustice, and death; and transforms disciples. Wherever we find love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control, there the Holy Spirit is working. 

Creation

As an expression of divine love, God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and called them "good." Everything belongs to God and should be cherished and used justly according to divine purposes. God sees creation as a whole without separation of spirit and element. God calls people of every generation to join with God as stewards in the loving care of creation. 

Humanity

Every human being is created in the image of God. In Jesus Christ, God took on the limits of human flesh and culture, and is known through them. We therefore affirm without exception the worth of every human being. We also affirm that God has blessed humankind with the gift of agency: the ability to choose whom or what we will serve within the circumstances of our lives.

Sin

God created us to be agents of love and goodness. Yet we misuse our agency individually and collectively. We take the gifts of creation and of self and turn them against God’s purposes with tragic results. Sin is the universal condition of separation and alienation from God and one another. We are in need of divine grace that alone reconciles us with God and one another. 

Salvation

The gospel is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ: forgiveness of sin, and healing from separation, brokenness, and the power of violence and death. This healing is for individuals, human societies, and all of creation. This new life is the loving gift of God’s grace that becomes ours through faith and repentance. Baptism is how we initially express our commitment to lifelong discipleship. As we yield our lives to Christ in baptism we enter Christian community (the body of Christ) and have the promise of salvation. We experience salvation through Jesus Christ, but affirm that God’s grace has no bounds, and God’s love is greater than we can know.

The Church

God intends Christian faith to be lived in companionship with Jesus Christ and with other disciples in service to the world. The church of Jesus Christ is made of all those who respond to Jesus’ call. Community of Christ is part of the whole body of Christ. We are called to be a prophetic people, proclaiming the peace of Jesus Christ and creating communities where all will be welcomed and brought into renewed relationship with God, and where there will be no poor.

Revelation

We affirm the Living God is ever self-revealing. God is revealed to the world in the testimony of Israel, and above all in Jesus Christ. By the Holy Spirit we continue to hear God speaking today. The church is called to listen together for what the Spirit is saying and then faithfully respond.

Scripture

Scripture is writing inspired by God’s Spirit and accepted by the church as the normative expression of its identity, message, and mission. We affirm the Bible as the foundational scripture for the church. In addition, Community of Christ uses the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants—not to replace the witness of the Bible or improve on it, but because they confirm its message that Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God. When responsibly interpreted and faithfully applied, scripture provides divine guidance and inspired insight for our discipleship. 

Learn more about how Community of Christ uses scripture.

Sacraments

Sacraments are special ministries given to the church to convey the grace of Jesus Christ to his followers and all those he yearns to touch with his compassion. Sacraments are baptism, confirmation, the Lord’s Supper, marriage, blessing of children, laying on of hands for the sick, ordination to the priesthood, and the evangelist blessing. In these ministries, God sanctifies common elements of creation to bless human life and to renew and form the church to seek the peaceful kingdom of God.

Learn more about Community of Christ sacraments.

Discipleship

Being a Christian is more than holding a list of right ideas; it is about radical obedience to Jesus in every part of life. God’s boundless love sets us free for lives of responsible stewardship in which we generously offer our lives in service to God’s reign. Discipleship is both an inward and outward journey. Jesus calls us to follow him and to invite others to experience the transforming power of his grace.

Ministry

Ministry is humble service offered according to the model of Jesus, who calls every disciple to share in ministry for the world. Some disciples are called by God and ordained to priesthood offices to serve the mission of the church in specialized ways. The Holy Spirit gives complementary gifts and abilities to all disciples to equip the body of Christ for its witness in the world.

The Reign of God

The Reign of God is the coming triumph of love, justice, mercy, and peace that one day will embrace all of creation. Jesus’ life and ministry were the living expression of this promise. He taught his disciples to pray for the kingdom’s full coming and sent them out into the world to be living emblems of that new creation. "Zion" expresses our commitment to herald God’s peaceable kingdom on Earth by forming Christ-centered communities in families, congregations, neighborhoods, cities, and throughout the world.

Peace

Peace is God’s shalom: justice, righteousness, wholeness, and the well-being of the entire creation. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came to preach the kingdom and to be our peace through the cross. The Holy Spirit empowers us for the costly pursuit of peace and justice for all people.

Resurrection and Eternal Life

Christ is risen! Thus we believe that God is God of life, not of death. By faith we share in eternal life even now. In Christ, God’s love finally will overcome all that demeans and degrades the creation, even death itself. Easter also gives us hope that the tragic suffering and death of victims, throughout history, is not the last word. We believe the Holy Spirit will transform all creation to share in the glory of God.

Judgment

The living God whom we serve is a God of justice and mercy. God cares about how we treat our neighbors and enemies and how we make use of creation’s gifts. It matters supremely to God how we welcome the poor, the stranger, the sick, the imprisoned, and the rejected. We affirm in scripture’s light that Jesus Christ is advocate and judge of the living and the dead.

End Time

We press forward together in service to God, knowing that our labor is not in vain. The future of the creation belongs to the Prince of Peace, not to those who oppress, dominate, or destroy. As we anticipate that future, we devote ourselves to seek Christ’s peace and pursue it. We do not know the day or hour of Christ’s coming but know only that God is faithful. With faith in God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, we face the future in hopeful longing, and with the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray: "Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

 

Midweek Thots #23 – God calls you & me! God chooses you & me! –

Thurs., 8.20.20 – by  Jerry Stone                      

Personally speaking.

   I don’t believe in luck or chance or coincidence, really, though I dismissively use such words. Over 40+ years as minister, my activity in mission has been for Christ & His church. Over these 4 decades of study, devotion, & humble service, I’ve grown a “Center” / “centering” relationship with Jesus. I have come to understand & believe that God, Jesus, & the Holy Presence are fully involved & overflowingly engaged in all aspects of my life, that of Bette & that of each & everyone as well as all creation. All this is absolutely well beyond me, well beyond you, well beyond our inspired imaginations. 

   Get this. With us, & in so many ways without us, God brings forth promise, potential, & possibilities in Bette & me, in you, in ALL. Through the Trinity family, God helps & supports each & ALL of us to be more, to be more than we are, & to be yet more, all part of our Christian journey! I firmly believe God has hopes for you & for me & for ALL others … in what you & I yet can be. 

   One of God’s greatest prophets, Isaiah, says (42:10) “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” The “right hand of God” is metaphor for divine approval & guidance & incremental growth & development in ALL of us … during storm & pandemic, sacrifice & loss, & struggle & suffering as well as during joy & gladness, & resulting support & blessing. God’s sheer grace is fully generous & unconditionally loving to each & ALL of us. 

   Paul the great apostle says, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9) And, presumably Paul says in Heb. 4:16, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy & find grace to help us in our time of need.” Grace is everything! Nothing of value, vision, & purpose takes place without God’s grace!

Here are some of my ramblings after 42 years in this Church.

   That we are here on this God’s Earth in this our Father’s world is possible ONLY by the sheer grace of God. It’s amazing to me how Jesus tripped into non-Jewish territories, when He dwelled among us in mission & purpose … to those Samaritans & others seemingly not “chosen” … yet! God called & God chose His Beloved Son Jesus to reach out to Jews & a number of others! Furthermore, it totally amazes me to read the NT scriptures & to see how it is God calls & God chooses. God raised up Saul to trip on the Road to Damascus from Jerusalem to Syria (“to dutifully answer the mandate of the High Priests to seek & find & arrest Jesus’ followers”), but, on this same transformational road Saul became Paul, for God called & chose Paul. Soon after, Apostles Peter & Paul boldly bring Gentiles … to the House of the Lord, … to the promised vision of the beloved community of Christ, … to the peaceable kingdom, … to heaven & all its grace-filled imagery! Wow! So, now, God calls & chooses Gentiles! That’s you & me & so, so many others!

   And so, we’re included, as are ALL included, by God’s purpose & design … no accident, no stroke of luck or perchance or coincidence here! We each & ALL have God-designed purpose! God planned deliberately beyond ALL time & forever … that you & me & ALL others are created for calledness! We are ALL chosen to be uniquely & personally part of this peaceable kingdom evolving in our midst. God intentionally includes ALL, each of us, everyone, … to be alert, “awake & ready” & fully animated by the Holy Spirit to be God’s hands, feet, heart, mind, & soul. And so, there’s good reason & purpose for me & for you to be baptized … to build upon Christ’s mission, to seek the interest of neighbors, to go out into the whole world to share our love stories & testimonies of Jesus. “ALL those who humble themselves before God & desire to be baptized … & are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve Him to the end … shall be received by baptism into His church.” (D. & C. 17:7) We are privileged to be baptized, to be singled out in this sacramental way, so as to appreciate our call to mission, to be missionaries to the whole world. Our identity is based upon Jesus & His mission “to go into ALL the world’. (Mark 16:15, NIV) My own Patriarchal Blessing (now Evangelist’s Blessing) makes this truth primary & clear: “You, my son Jerry, have been richly endowed. This endowment, however, is for the welfare of ALL the children of God the Father, & is given to you that it might be used for them.” For me, for you, for others, for ALL! We’re called & blessed to be a blessing by calling others.

 

My Next Midweek Thots will be pretty special, I feel.                                                             

   Thank you for reading & listening over the last 23 weeks. In my next Midweek Thots, #24, I want to encourage you with something of my own concept & imagery related to Pres. Steve Veazey’s serious challenge to Community of Christ. He’s calling for “change & innovation” that will help us better respond to our financial struggle in the church.

   I can’t wait to share with you in 3 ways my own hopes & my own aspirations for Community of Christ:  1) to make some significant, change-worthy structural makeovers in the church,  2) to responsibly fund the pastoral & missionary work of our church, &  3) for the Gospel to travel far & wide, most notably for me in Community of Christ … because we in Community of Christ have known for quite a number of years now … that many, many wait for you & me to animate the Mission Prayer by sharing our love stories, our rich & powerful testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ active in Community of Christ. Being fully engaged in Christ’s mission must be fundamental & foremost, must be everything to you & to me & to other brothers & sisters & friends, I most sincerely feel. “To whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48, adapted)

With great hope & abiding love, because Jesus is everything & because we are ALL called & chosen,

Jerry

Priest Lynn Alley, Pianist