Together in 2011 the congregation participated in a process of discerning our core ways of thinking about church and ministry. We express it in seven distinctives.
We are a people committed to participating in the good news of God redeeming all creation through Jesus Christ.
The gospel is everything God has done, is doing, and will do to redeem all creation for his glory. We are both recipients and participants in this unfolding drama of redemption. Our worship services and ministries are shaped by re-enacting this "good news" story and celebrating its centerpiece, Jesus Christ. Being Christ-centered implies that we embrace the cross of Christ as God's means of redeeming us from sin's penalty and sin's hold through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the consistent exposition and application of the Scriptures, we are progressively transformed into a people who follow Jesus, seek his kingdom, and reflect his glory to the nations.
We are a people in mission seeking to effectively testify to the Good News in our neighbourhoods and the nations of the world.
God is on a mission--as the Father sent his Son, so Jesus is now sending us, empowering us by his indwelling Holy Spirit. As "sent ones" we are to be the embodiment of the Living Word in human culture and social settings so as to display his divine nature and transforming power. We seek to engage the culture both locally and abroad declaring and demonstrating the gospel within the specific context of time, place, language, and culture. We seek to radically identify with the world while maintaining a radical distinction from it.
We are a people who desire our relationships to reflect the community of our three-in-one God.
By looking at Jesus, we will clearly see him in relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit. As we are drawn into the fellowship of the Trinity, our earthly relationships with one another will begin to reflect our understanding of the Trinitarian nature of God, not our own relational needs and desires. We long to reflect the relationship within the Trinity, where each member is co-equal with one another, lives with and for the other, serving, cherishing and honouring the other.
We are a people who highly value the stewardship of all God's creation and the celebration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
We see all of God's creation as holy, reflecting his glory, and therefore "good". We see no distinction between what is sacred and secular, spiritual and physical. The incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth supports that what we see, taste, smell, and touch is indeed good. Being a sacramental community implies the generous stewardship of all of God's gifts (environment, money, family, business, facility, etc.) to the best of our ability and for the glory of God. We are also sacramental in that we value the celebration of baptism and communion as not mere symbols of deeper spiritual realities, but as God's means of grace to his gathered church. We believe that baptism and The Lord's Supper are frequent practices of the worshipping church, where heaven is particularly close to earth. We enjoy a weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper.
We are a people who highly value our relationship with Christ's whole Church, past, present, and future.
We desire "catholicity" by embracing the work of God's Spirit throughout church history. We see ourselves as a dependent branch of the universal Church which humbly gathers nourishment from the entire tree in all its historical, theological, and cultural diversity. We choose to learn from those who hold differing views than ours in the non-essentials, yet we contend for those bedrock beliefs that the whole church for all time and in every place has considered orthodox. Our ultimate allegiance is to the King and his kingdom. Yet, we believe there is synergy by working in submission and alignment to our own denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance. This enables us to be served and coached by others who share our values. These find their greatest expression in discipleship, church planting and global missions. In addition, we seek and welcome opportunities for cross-denominational fellowship and endeavours.
We are a people who desire the fullness of the Holy Spirit to empower us for Christ's mission in the world.
We are a charismatic community in that we acknowledge the Holy Spirit is present and active in the church today, sovereignly dispensing all his gifts for the building up of the church and the renewing of his world. We value the ministry that God has given each and every member of the body of Christ. We love and serve with eager anticipation of what the Holy Spirit can and will miraculously do as Jesus' kingdom breaks into our midst.
We seek to be a people who live with an expectant eye on Christ's second coming.
We are encouraged in this present life to persevere with the blessed hope that "when he comes, we shall be like him." Just as "all creation groans eagerly awaiting her redemption", we too acknowledge our weakness and imperfection "until He comes." With Christ we share with those who suffer, and rejoice in the hope and victory of his return when all suffering ends. Living with one eye on his return will keep us from the two extremes of discouragement and arrogance. This hope compels us to be watchful, prayerful, patient and prepared.