Mission & Values
TAKING THE GOSPEL TO HEART, TO ANNAPOLIS, AND TO THE WORLD
Our Core Values use a rhythm of two words, seeking and learning. We recognize that while these are our desires, they are not yet our realities. We believe that we are called to pursue these things, and that those who seek will find, but we do not claim them as full realities yet. We are committed to always be progressing. With Paul, we declare we have not reached perfection, but we press on towards it, because Christ has made us His own. There will come a day when Christ will make all things new and set all things right, until then we will continue in the Spirit to seek and to learn, pressing on toward the “prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
OUR CORE VALUES
Seeking Diversity, Learning Unity
Because Scripture is clear that the Kingdom of God is a diverse kingdom, as we seek to see that kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven, we seek to be diverse. We look to be a place where we can glimpse the vision of heaven where every nation, tribe, and tongue are gathered together in worship of God. While we understand the call to Biblical diversity to be no smaller than ethnic, we believe it is much broader including age, disability, sex, nationality, socio-economic status, and anything the world would use to separate. In all this, we do not discount the realities of our differences, but we see a greater truth holding us in unity; that those “who were baptized into Christ have clothed themselves with Christ.” While we seek the diversity of the kingdom, we commit ourselves to learning the unity of the Kingdom, listening to and learning from the experiences of others. Living with humility, gentleness and patience with each other, we seek to “maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” Reflecting often on all we have in common in Christ, we learn to stand unified even in our diversity.
Seeking Truth, Learning Wisdom
James 3 poses the question “Who is wise and understanding among you?” And immediately challenges us to consider deeply the wisdom and understanding that we claim to hold. Because we are aware that we are prone to believe lies and to hold to worldly wisdom in the place of the wisdom of God, we commit ourselves to always be seeking truth and learning wisdom. We believe it is important to ever be questioning and evaluating our beliefs to ensure that we are holding to the truth. We are not only committed to the pursuit of truth, but to learning wisdom in all areas of life as well. Proverbs 26 makes it clear that the sign of foolishness is to believe you have reached wisdom. Therefore we are committed to lives of continual pursuit of wisdom with humility and grace. We pursue truth and wisdom through continual dependence on the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
Seeking to Know, Learning to Love
The Biblical vision of peace is rooted in deep, intimate relationships of love, acceptance, and challenge. We believe peace is found when we are fully known and deeply loved. Our peace with God comes when we confess our sins and trust in His love. Our peace with one another is found in knowing and loving each other. As a church, we seek to be the blessed peacemakers Jesus talks about. As such, we are always seeking to know each other more fully, and love each other more deeply. We do not run away from differences or conflict, but in love to run towards one another seeking understanding. Scripture tells us that love covers a multitude of sins, and certainly it also carries us through a multitude of differences. As we seek to know, we refuse to accept stereotypes or assumptions, rather we seek each other out for conversations that lead to clarity. As we learn to love, we refuse to believe we are always right, rather we demonstrate a love that is rooted in Christ. As we seek to know and learn to love, we hope to be peacemakers among each other, and in our city and world.
Seeking Christ, Learning to be like Him
The example Scripture provides of how we ought to live is found in the life of Jesus. The point of the law is less about showing how we ought to live, and more about demonstrating how Jesus did live. The goal is not a legalistic holding to the law, but a clinging to the righteousness of Christ. While we are called to personal holiness, we are called to gain it through relationship with Christ. John 15 lays out the vision of our righteousness as being a direct result of our relationship with Christ. Thus we do not seek righteousness, rather we seek Christ, and we believe that as we seek him we will learn to live like him. Countless examples from scripture and history show us that seeking holiness alone does not lead to Christ, but seeking Christ will always lead to holiness. Thus we commit ourselves to seeking Christ and through Him learning how to live like Him.
Seeking the Lost, Learning the Gospel
The Gospel is the good news that Christ came to save sinners. The call on us all is that we would seek those who are lost with the life changing news that if they will repent and believe in Christ that they will not perish but have eternal life. We both corporately and individually seek the lost. The Gospel is also the good news that God is making all things new in Christ and we, His people, are agents of this reconciliation. We, every day, learn more of the Gospel’s fullness and its implications. As we learn the Gospel, we live lives of repentance and faith. When the Apostle Peter (one whose life was about seeking the lost) was caught in the sins of racism and legalism, he was confronted for abandoning the Gospel. Thus to truly live a Gospel-centered life, we must both seek the lost and ever learn and apply the Gospel in our own lives.