We Are a People of the Spirit
As followers of Jesus Christ, we understand ourselves as people of the Spirit, whom we worship with the Father and the Son as "Lord and Giver of life." We believe the Holy Spirit is the personal presence and work of God here and now in the church, in the world, and in each of us, personally. Further, we accept that the Spirit mysteriously effects God's purposes in the world in ways beyond all human explanation or control.
We confess the Holy Spirit as the loving source of life for the whole cosmos, continually renewing the created order, preserving it for the future reign of God. This belief requires us both to enjoy and to care for creation.
We believe the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost confirmed the victory of God in Jesus and signaled the onset of the end-times. As the Scriptures promised, the Spirit fell upon "all flesh," baptizing masters and servants, women and men, parents and children, young and old, privileged and impoverished alike. Therefore, these cultural distinctions hold no final authority over us or in our community.
We believe Jesus perfectly embodied and modeled for us the Spirit-filled life; He accomplished all he said and did in his pre-Easter ministry through the Spirit's power and guidance. Since Pentecost, our Lord's work continues in and through us, whom the Spirit incorporates as the Body of Christ. Submitting in faith to the message of Jesus Christ, we encounter the Spirit as God making real for us our salvation, baptizing us into the divine life, and transforming us into Christ's image. It is by the Spirit and with Jesus that we cry, "Abba," that we enter into intimacy with the Father and fellowship with God's family.
We experience the Spirit calling us to, gifting us for, and sustaining us in our service of God and neighbor. Our callings are unique and the Spirit's gifts are myriad, but they only work rightly when enacted lovingly and truthfully. Whatever gifts the Spirit gives are for the sake of the community, and must be exercised in love. We, therefore, commit ourselves to using the charismatic gifts for the building up of others, and not to our own advantage. Prophecy - the plain speaking of the truth in love - is the best gift because it best serves the community. Every believer can and should exercise this gift.
While we pray for and celebrate the extraordinary works of the Spirit, we recognize the Holy Spirit is no less present in the forgotten and forgettable moments of our lives. To think otherwise would mean the depersonalization of the Holy Spirit anddehumanization of people. We have found that the Spirit's guidance and counsel is needed not only in our weekly worship gatherings but also in the complexities of our day-to-day experiences. Often, this leading is subtle, and seems obscure to us, so we rely upon one another as we prayerfully consider together what it is the Spirit is saying.
In this time between Christ's first and last coming, we face the fact that the Spirit does not so much deliver us from as sustain us in our weaknesses and sufferings, and because we believe the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead dwells in us we long for and look toward Christ's final appearing, the time when everything shall be put right and God shall be all in all.