Confessing Together

Bap Orient ed_101Dr. Dalen Jackson

Our call to the Christian life and to Christian ministry is a distinctive call to live in the grace of the One we have come to know through Jesus Christ by the power of the Spirit.  Although in many respects we experience God as mystery, we nevertheless confess our faith together with conviction by the light of the knowledge we possess.

We are guided in our confession by the varied expressions of the historic church.  We recite together the enduring creeds and prayers and proclamations of the church, not as dogma we are compelled to accept, but as acknowledgement that we have received our faith through this community which is God’s church.  We claim the authority of scripture as we read together and allow it to transform us.  We sing our faith together, and share the stories of the faithful who have modeled the way of Christ.  Through these creeds, prayers, and proclamations, through scripture, songs, and stories, we express this faith we have received.

Our confession of our faith and of the virtues of Jesus’ beloved community is woven together with our efforts to cultivate that faith and those virtues in practices of peace, justice, reconciliation, forgiveness, mercy, patience, and hope.  And so our confession is not comprised of words alone, but is embodied as together we live into and out of God’s claim on our lives.

We recognize that our knowledge is partial and incomplete, even in regard to the very names we use for God and the images we call to mind to describe God.  And so we strive to practice humility and charity as we sense together the leading of the Spirit. While our confessing represents a knowing in our hearts and minds, we remain open to honest intellectual engagement in the face of difficult questions of faith.  In confessing our faith together, we are committed both to scholarly discipline and to practices of hospitality in the face of ambiguity and diversity of thought.