We believe that the Bible is a collection of stories, poems, historical accounts, letters, eye witness accounts and interactions that people were inspired by God to write. We believe that they work collectively to reveal a story of hope, redemption and relationship that spans history and humanity, inviting us individually and collectively to be part of that same story.
In Walt Whitmans poem, ‘Oh Me, Oh Life’ he says
‘the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse’
In the same way, we are invited to restore our relationships with God, ourselves, each other and creation, and in so doing play our part in the movement of hope, restoration and love that is still being worked out today.
The narrative of scripture is central to our understanding of the world, and so our theology is best told in the form of narrative.
We believe God is essentially creative. All life flows from him. All creation and creativity flows from him. Creation expresses him and his nature.
In the beginning, God created. And all creation was good. It was in harmony with itself and with God. God was, and is, and will always be, in harmony and community with himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This same God created us as image bearers of himself, to create, cultivate, care for and live in harmony with Him, each other, ourselves and creation.
Genesis tells the story of our disobedience, motivated by our desire to rule rather than serve. To control rather than love.
This ‘sin’ was catastrophic, causing division and disconnection between us and God, between each other, within ourselves and with creation. This ‘sin’ has flowed like a wave through human history, bringing death, disease, division, war, power, control, oppression, dehumanization, inequality, brokenness, fear, hate, and isolation. We see these things, and the effects of these things, throughout history and all around us and within us today. The rest of the Bible, from this early point onwards, through to the end, is the story of how God reached out, listened, responded, loved, intervened, overcame and ultimately restores everything.
It’s a story of movement and transition.
Transformation and salvation.
From the garden of God to the city of God.
From creation to new creation.
From old to new.
God does not abandon us to our path of destruction and division, but rather chooses a story of redemption.
Starting with one man in Abraham, he calls Abraham to follow Him and to represent God on earth. One man becomes a family, which becomes a nation, which finds itself in Egypt as slaves. They cry out to God in their oppression and suffering and God hears their cry and responds, saving them from their slavery and oppression, he brings them out of Egypt and calls them to be a nation that represents God on earth. A nation of priests. A holy nation. A nation of justice and hope. God promises to bless them so that they may be a blessing to the world. He promises to be with them and to never abandon them and he gives them leaders who will lead them in Gods ways and laws. He reminds them of their calling and identity and establishes them in the promised land. Despite their frequent disobedience and turning away from God, following other gods and idols, neglecting the poor and marginalized and suffering, God never gives up on them or abandons them.
The prophets talk of one who is coming who will save Israel. They hold a mirror up to Israel and challenge them to remember their story, remember their identity and their mission to be a light to the nations. They talk about a messiah who will fulfill the story, and that this salvation will not just be for Israel, but now for the nations, for the lost, broken and oppressed all over the world.
We believe Jesus was and is this messiah, fulfilling all the promises spoken of him.
In the New Testament we see Jesus becoming man. God is with us now. God is not just someone we hear about or see the effects of, but now he is
profoundly with us.
Announcing the new Kingdom.
Now the tide is turning.
Now the trajectory of the world is shifting towards justice, hope, redemption and restoration.
Jesus declares a new time now, where the broken and hurting can find healing and hope. A time where those who feel lost and disconnected can be restored and rediscover who they were created to be. A time where the dehumanized can be given a new identity.
We believe this kingdom that Jesus declares is one of hope, beauty, healing, transformation, relationship, community, love and redemption. The things that have held us back and destroyed us, need not do so any more.
Our future does not have to be defined by our past.
Jesus not only declares this Kingdom with words, but also with actions, healing people, freeing people and raising people from the dead. He then takes on death directly by submitting himself to death and rising again. Now we are all invited into a life of restoration, hope and truth. It is no longer just for one man, one family, or even one nation to carry the mark of image bearers of God, but now each one of us together is invited into that relationship.
His life, death and resurrection brings hope to all of creation. It aligns us and reconnects us with God, and through that our relationship with ourselves, each other and creation is also restored and renewed.
Jesus encourages us to bring this message of hope, freedom and redemption to the whole world. To love extravagantly. To heal, forgive and share the journey with the neediest. To live out mercy and justice, and in so doing be part of the tide of restoration, rehumanisation and freedom that he announced.
To assist us and empower us in this, Jesus declared that we have the Spirit of God in us and through us. No longer would we just hear of God, or even just see and hear what Jesus did and said, but now we are declared children of God who would be empowered, inspired and enabled to heal, restore, renew, forgive and speak of the new kingdom of God.
The Spirit leads us, guides us, empowers us, convicts us, inspires us, equips us and comforts us through a communal expression of worship and mission which we call church. Now, together, we are image bearers of God in every sense. Now we are able to be restored, renewed, redeemed in every way we can, so that the world around us can be restored, renewed and redeemed in every way it can. The church is the embodiment of Christ. We are rooted in relationship with Him. Christ is our source of hope, love, life, creativity, purpose, identity and security.
We believe the story told in scripture, is still being told today, in us and through us. The church is a local and global expression of Jesus as the centrepoint of that story, living out the way of Jesus through love, peace, healing, sacrifice.
The day is coming when Jesus will return to judge the world, bringing an end to injustice, suffering and oppression and restoring all things to God’s original intent. The earth’s groaning will cease, heaven and earth will be fully restored and God will dwell with us here.
We believe that things we have used for destruction will be repurposed for creation.
Tools we have used for death will be repurposed for life.
Peace will reign in all creation and death will end.
Our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation will be whole. All will flourish as God intends.
This is our hope.
This is our conviction and our longing, and we are committed to every part of our lives being focused on seeing that dream becoming reality in our lives, our families, our communities, our nation and our world today.