The Emmanuel Dream
Create Safe, Inclusive Community
We are committed to creating a “community of equals” that welcomes, includes, and loves everyone without exception. We are an Open and Affirming (ONA) church that celebrates diversity and seeks to treat every person as a brother or sister, regardless of race, culture, social class, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, political persuasion, or theological position. We strive to create “safe space” for everyone to think out loud, “find their voice,” be themselves, share their souls, and become who God built them to be. We listen deeply to each other. We seek to hear God’s voice whispering through the stories of every person.
Be on a Journey of Discovery and Transformation
We hear Christ calling us, through his open-ended parables and stories, to ask questions, think for ourselves, and not let others do our thinking for us. We hear Christ encouraging us to awaken our spiritual journeys, be authentic, experiment with deeper ways of living, honestly face our shadows and sins within, and be transformed from the inside out. There is no end to our learning and growing with Christ! We don’t do this alone, but in community. We humbly learn from the scriptures, from each other, and from the rich resources our ancient Christina tradition. We encourage each person to deepen one’s experience of God in one’s own unique ways through worship, meditation, Bible study, small groups, retreats, and hands-on mission activities.
Be as Open and Welcoming as Jesus Was
Jesus broke down the narrow-minded traditions and walls that separated people from each other. His love for others was shocking - he loved even his enemies. He valued the gifts of every person. He found God in those considered socially insignificant or objectionable. Jesus cared for the poor. Jesus was profoundly understanding of those who attacked him. Jesus taught us that God’s grace and love are far beyond our understanding, and that we need to be instruments of that infinite grace and love. We seek to be as open and welcoming as Jesus was!
Unleash the Gifts and Spirit of Every Person
Christ treated every person as a cherished child of God, possessing God-given gifts to be used in daily life and work to make our world a better place. We believe in the treasure buried in each person. We seek ways to unleash each person’s unique ways of growing spiritually and ministering to our broken world. We see each other as ministers in our daily life and work, and together we make up a “community of ministers.”
Engage in Hands-On Mission
We hear Christ calling us to be the hands and feet of Christ, concretely bringing God’s compassion and good news to our neighbors and world. We spur each other on to discover and act on the “fire in our bones,” which prompts us to love and serve God, and find new ways to be a healing agent in our world. Our passion is to make a difference, do something positive with our gifts for God, and carry out local mission projects as well as long distance mission trips in areas of need.