LONGING FOR MORE
As a church we are defined not by what we are but by what we long for. People at Grace are bound together by our common longing for more grace, more depth, and more community. These longings flow from the fact that we are exiles in this life. As J. R. R. Tolkein wrote:
The Apostle Peter addressed the first Christians as "chosen exiles" (1 Peter 1.1). As exiles, we are not at home in the fallen world. We have a keen sense that things are not as they ought to be. Rather than accepting the injustice, the brokenness, the evil, we long to see the world -- and the people in it -- restored. And we see glimpses of the restoration to come in the work of the Spirit today.
At Grace we don't claim to have all the answers. We are seeking. And in the depths of Scripture, in the rich tradition of God's self-revelation in the church, we are finding what we long for.
We often refer to more grace, more depth, and more community as Grace's DNA. What we mean is that the deep fabric of this spiritual community is made up of these longings. They capture a sense of what we are leaving behind, and what we are reaching toward. If you long for these things, too, then at Grace you will find home.
WE DON’T NEED MORE RELIGION, WE NEED MORE GRACE.
Sin is the problem, but moralism is not the solution. Trying to be a good person masks the symptoms rather than treating the disease. Finding grace means learning to rely on God for salvation and sanctification. It means admitting our faults and turning to Christ for forgiveness.
WE DON’T NEED MORE EASY ANSWERS, WE NEED MORE DEPTH.
We face difficult questions. The last thing we need are easy answers. Superficiality and sentimentality only make matters worse. They don’t help us, and they give the impression to others that our faith isn’t up to the challenge. But the Bible offers deep truths, if we are willing to pursue them.
WE DON’T NEED MORE CELEBRITY, WE NEED MORE COMMUNITY.
The church should be a community, not a cult of personality. Imitating the trappings of celebrity culture exacerbates our self-absorption rather than challenging it. The Bible’s prescription for community is different than our culture’s. It involves worship, authority, and service.
GROWING IN GRACE
How do we live as exiles who long for more? The answer is what theologians call sanctification, a work of the Spirit in the believer's heart. Think of it as growing in grace. The process is as simple as seeking, finding, and sharing.
What brings us together is our common thirst.
Grace welcomes people who are thirsty. It gives us space to ask questions and wrestle with the answers. If God is all-powerful and his claims are true, then he can stand up to a little scrutiny.
We want to be more than seekers at Grace. We actually want to find what we’re looking for.
Worship is at the center of our community life, an experience of word and sacrament that opens up the grace and depth of God’s love. Here people thirsty for grace, depth, and community begin to discover it.
When people find what they’re looking for, it’s natural to share it with others who want the same thing.
Grace DNA helps us recognize both our own needs and the needs of others, and makes it easy to introduce our friends to grace.