First and foremost, we’re Church with a Capital-C. Part of the body of Christ, called to fulfill the commission and instructions Jesus gave to his apostles.
We’re also a church with a small-c: Composed of specific people, rooted in a particular time and place. We’re working out our role in the Church’s mission right here, right now.
As the Church and a church, we aspire to know Christ, be moved by His love, learn to walk in His ways, embrace His heart of restoration, and make a difference in our world.
That’s a volatile set of goals and values: in a diverse group, relationships and community all too often come at the expense of authenticity and safety. Consensus and conformity are a lot simpler.
But consensus is a flimsy basis for unity—especially at a time when even the best of us are tempted toward anger and division. And conformity always demands a very high price.
So instead, we unite through love and to love. And by “love” we mean words and work that serve, reconcile, and restore—a costly, Jesus-shaped lifestyle that coaxes life out of death.
We’re not especially good at all this. Love is very difficult, and we’re often not up to the challenge. We are incomplete: always building, never built. We are diverse, but we don’t represent the full diversity of our community. And we haven’t fully shaken the habits of consensus and conformity.
But we press on because we believe deeply that all this is worth chasing and that God can and will make up the difference between what is and what ought to be.