Next Wednesday I am meeting again with the CPM of the Presbytery of San Francisco – nothing big coming up – just checking in and going over some things. I have put this up before, but I wanted to share the current version of my Statement of Faith with you all and see if you think there are any things that are just obviously missing – or any potential issues with it? I used to title this my “Evolving Statement of Faith” because I don’t believe that we ever (nor should we) come up with a static “document” of what we believe that will stay the same throughout the varied experiences and changes in our lives.
All that said – I just want to make sure that I’ve covered what I should. The first time I posted this there was no mention of sacraments…and that would be an issue if I read it at Presbytery…I’m all for the sacraments, I just forgot to include them. So – while this isn’t truly open source (I won’t take ALL suggestions and critiques – it is my statement of faith after all), I would appreciate any feedback or thoughts left in the comments section. The Statement of Faith is below:
Statement of Faith
In the beginning, before the dawn of time, God began to create. Out of love, God created the cosmos, our world and humanity. God declared all of God’s creation to be good and thus humans were given the opportunity and command to love and care for God’s creation. Given the gift of free will, humanity quickly turned from God and sought their own ways. Thus the story of redemption and reconciliation began: humanity would both follow and turn away from God and God would be an ever-present companion, full of compassion, mercy and justice.
As the story continued, it became clear that our world was broken and torn apart by sin. In order to reconcile a broken world to Godself, God took on human flesh and broke into human history in the person of Jesus, who brought salvation and liberation to humanity. Jesus became human, told stories, touched outcasts, challenged assumptions, loved sinners, gave hope, and turned the world upside down. Through Jesus’s life, ministry, death and resurrection, humanity was given the gift of salvation, redemption and hope.
God continues to reveal Godself to us through the continual presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads us into truth, renews and sustains us, prays for us, and gives peace. The Spirit is also a wild and unpredictable wind surpassing the ability of humanity to contain or control. As we wrestle with God’s word to us in the Scriptures, the Spirit teaches, guides, and opens up truth. As we gather in community to wrestle with God’s words in the Scriptures, and as we acknowledge the Bible consists of the words of men, we trust that they were inspired by the Holy Spirit and believe them to be the unique witness to Jesus, the Word of God incarnate.
Through the Church, messy, broken and struggling people of God are called together to worship and bear witness to the truth and power of the Gospel. The Church’s call is to discern where God is at work in the world, and join in that mission. When we participate in God’s mission, when we partner with God, we work toward bringing about the kingdom of God in the here-and-now – the kingdom of God on earth, as it is in Heaven. We are nourished for this mission through the two sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; through our baptism, God claims us as part of the body of Christ and through the Lord’s Supper, we are continually strengthened and nourished by the bread of life and the cup of salvation, remembering the life, ministry, death, resurrection and future coming of Christ.
The consequences of the perversion of God’s goodness in this world are all too real. Yet, as we are actively involved in this world, in this creation, we continue to look forward to the fully-realized Kingdom of God that we believe, in faith, will come one day – the new earth and the new heaven. But until that day comes, we are called to love God the Creator, to seek to follow the way of Jesus the Redeemer and to be attentive to all the movements of the Spirit the Sustainer.