Founded in 2005, we are a non-denominational, multi-generational church community seeking to follow Jesus.
We like to describe the vision for our church community with three words: TRUTH. GRACE. LIFE.
John 1:14 says that when Jesus came to earth, he came "filled with grace and truth." If our church is seeking to follow Him, we too should be "filled with grace and truth."
What does it look like when we are filled with grace and truth?
First, TRUTH: to be filled with truth means to seek to see things as they actually are. We have a natural tendency to believe whatever confirms our self-interested biases, but when we are filled with truth we care too much about what's real to hide from any facts that disturb our illusions.
Being filled with the truth means being honest about who we are, including our moral failures and mistakes. It means being able to say, "I was wrong" and "I'm sorry."
Being filled with the truth means being able to admit the limits of our own knowledge. Sometimes it means being able to say, "I don't know."
Being filled with the truth means not allowing our feelings to reign over facts. Feelings are important, but when we allow them to have too much authority in our lives they can lead us astray. Throughout human history, people have given undue authority to feelings of hate, fear, racism, and pride, leading to devastating results.
Being filled with the truth means being faithful to speak it, even if it's unpopular.
And finally, we believe that being filled with truth means seeking to know Jesus. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). When he said he was "the truth," he was making a bold claim: "If you want to know what's real, you must know me." Therefore, we look to his teaching and his example to connect us with reality.
Second, GRACE: To be filled with grace is to have love for others. Truth is important, but the Bible tells us that even if we know everything there is to know, if we don't have love for others we have nothing of value (1 Cor 13:2).
Being filled with grace means desiring to bless those both within and outside our church.
Being filled with grace means forgiving.
Being filled with grace means desiring salvation and redemption for others, not condemnation.
Being filled with grace means being like the Father in the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32); it means desiring a restored relationship more than making someone suffer for their wrongdoing.
Being filled with grace means being able to work through disappointments in our church and in our relationships. When we lack grace, we flee relationships and communities as soon as they let us down. But when we're filled with grace, we work through the hard times to get to the deeper, richer relationships that can only form when we persevere through conflict.
Being filled with grace as a community enables us to give and receive truth to one another. The truth can be hard to hear. Often we spend our lives building up psychological walls to keep the truth at bay, and we're desperate to keep those walls fortified. But grace has power to knock down our walls, because grace gives us confidence that we are loved even if we've done wrong or been wrong.
We believe that the ultimate source of this freeing grace is found through Jesus. Jesus, who the Bible tell us is "the exact representation of God's being" (Heb 1:3), willingly died on a cross to bear the sins of the world, even praying for his torturers: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34). When we realize that God has such remarkable grace for us, we are empowered to show grace to one another.
Finally, there's the third word in our vision: LIFE.
Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (Jn 10:10). By this he meant not just that he came so that we might have an eternal existence, but so that we might experience the quality of life that God always intended for us: life filled with meaning, love, and joy.
This quality of life requires both truth and grace.
Churches characterized by "truth but no grace" are places of arrogance, fear, and dishonesty. Where there is no grace, there is no truth either, because truth cannot be received. In the absence of grace, truth is hidden and denied.
Churches characterized by "grace but no truth" are places where growth is impossible. They never challenge us to change or to rethink our perspective. And where there is no truth, there is no grace either, because grace ceases to mean anything when we're unwilling to acknowledge the hard truths about our own moral failures and mistakes.
But when we have both truth and grace, real life is possible: Life that is not an illusion or misery, but an ongoing journey deeper into reality, guided by the faithful love of God.
Our hope and prayer is that our church, like Jesus, would be filled with truth and grace, and that as we receive truth and grace from God and then in turn share it with each other, we would experience the "life to the full" that Jesus came to bring.