These essentials are the skeleton – giving the church its shape and strength.
The Gospel (“good news”): At the center of the Christian faith is the good news that God has acted to rescue us when we could not do it ourselves. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God reconciles people to himself and sets in motion the restoration of all things. The gospel is the point of entry and power for each day of the Christian life.
Whole Persons: Jesus’ work of renewal begins at the center and works its way into every part of who we are. Our intellect, emotions, behaviors, and bodies are all scenes of God’s redemption. Our work, play, hobbies, families, friendships, and cultural engagement are all spheres in which our faith in integrated. Instead of layers and fractures, a public and private self the Christian is whole and free, deepening in grasp of faith and engaging all of life through the framework of faith.
Friendship: A new relational world emerges in which the holy Spirit unites us with a diverse group of people through our common savior. In Jesus a new human family begins in which all of life is reoriented by good news of God’s action. Instead of running from people or using them, we form communities of mutual care to reflect God’s love and grasp it more deeply.
Outward: Jesus generous love creates a community that looks beyond itself and its own interests. So we strive be a church for our friends, family’s, neighbors and associates who do not know Christ. We also seek to be a church that has a particular concern for the poor and marginalized. In the way we worship, serve, talk and live the church is shaped to care for and include those on the fringes of faith or society.
City: God has called us to Worcester. We learn from the city, love the city and as a church seek to reflect its wonderful diversity, ethic of hard work, intellectual engagement, and historic roots. Rather than building a reputation or name for ourselves we work towards a great city and commit ourselves to its good. With wisdom we celebrate Worcester’s strengths and care for its hurts. We partner with many for peace and prosperity of the place so many call home.
Multiplication: One is never enough. Only through a variety of leaders, ministries, and churches can we reflect God’s rich love. Following Jesus’ example we embrace a developmental mindset, continually training, releasing, and supporting a variety of people, initiatives and institutions to to serve Worcester and pursue God’s renewing work in the region and the world beyond.