We believe we follow Jesus best when we glorify and enjoy God, and when we love and serve our neighbors. Ruling and Teaching Elders and Deacons in the PC(USA) articulate this relationship with God and with one another through vows made at ordination. Although these specific vows are not binding on all members of The Fellowship Community, they illustrate what we value as a Community and the range of resources, events, and networks we offer.
Because “We trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” we are committed to deepen our knowledge of God (theology) through
- the ongoing work of a theological task force
- regular theological conferences and conversations
- resources like the Theology Project and Confessional Standards.
and are serious about spiritual formation of people committed to the Savior (disciples) through
- resources like A Pastoral Rule
- opportunities like the Advent Devotional for individuals and families
- Barnabas Leadership Group.
Because “We accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to us” we are committed to deepen our experience of Scripture, allowing God’s Word to form and direct every aspect of our daily lives. We do this by offering
- Bible studies in many different styles and formats
- opportunities for focused Bible study whenever The Community gathers
- resources that support the biblical understanding of God’s design for human sexuality and marriage between one man and one woman.
Because “We sincerely receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and we will be instructed and led by those confessions as we lead the people of God”, and because with God’s help, “We will fulfill our ministry in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions” we have
- created the Essential Tenets to help us identify the great themes of Scripture and the historic Reformed confessions, and to help us understand what Scripture leads us to believe and do
- created teaching resources in various formats to support the Essential Tenets
- outlined a multi-year plan for studying Scripture through the Confessions.
Because “We will be governed by our church’s polity, and will abide by its discipline”:
- we encourage members of The Fellowship Community to remain engaged in the life and mission of church councils and agencies
- we encourage members to actively support church leaders in prayer.
Because “We will strive to be a friend among our colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit”, and because “We will in our own lives seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, love neighbors, and work for the reconciliation of the world” we have created The Fellowship Community to be
- a place of welcome and mutual encouragement – sustaining faith and faithfulness
- a community of mutual accountability for member congregations through Mission Affinity Groups (MAGs), and for individuals through participation in covenant groups of various types
- a community that gives focused attention to the smallest congregations and fellowships through Wee Kirk Conferences.
Because “We promise to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church” we are committed to faithful living and witness, not fighting denominational battles or leaving, but affirming our constitutional right to not participate in actions or ceremonies that violate our understanding of Scripture and the Confessions.
Because “We promise to pray for and seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love” we offer
- recommitment to the Great Commission – a place for experimentation, innovation, and the exchange of missional practices
- regular blog posts by a wide range of thoughtful pastors and elders
- Facebook posts and tweets.
- local, regional, and national gatherings
- a persistent and faithful witness to the Faith.