Oakland church

Statements and Questions of Faith

by Tom Manley

Hello friends,

At a recent Spiritual Life meeting, a bunch of us sat around a coffee table in Colette and Colin’s living room to discuss our Statement of Faith. The conversation was riveting.

I urge you all to go and read the UCC’s Statement of Faith (copied below) as well as Skyline’s. They’re fairly similar and very interesting. As a member of a UCC church, or a member of our community, I think that it is important to understand not just what the denomination does, but why. The Statement of Faith explains the why.

One fascinating thing that came up in our conversation was that different parts of the UCC’s Statement caused different people to pause… some parts caused me to pause. Since then, I’ve spent a fair bit of time contemplating my own faith. One of the things that I value most about the UCC, in general, and Skyline in particular, is that we truly welcome anyone, as Pastor Laurie regularly reminds us, “Whoever you are, and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.” Even, or perhaps especially, if you are questioning your faith.

All of us are on spiritual journeys and the wonderful thing about the Skyline Community is that we’ve chosen to walk our paths together. We offer support, we ask for guidance, we come together to listen to, and listen for, God’s calling. We come together as disciples on the road.

We are not all at the same place on our journeys and our paths are not all the same. What we share in common is that we are curious and compelled: curious to explore the example and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and compelled to do so together.  The important part isn’t reaching some anticipated final destination and it isn’t answering the questions.

What is important is to take the journey and to ask the questions. Our Statement of Faith raised questions for all of us in that meeting. What questions does it raise for you?

In the coming year, the Spiritual Life Service Team will host events and create spaces where we can explore those questions together, where we can examine our journeys, ask our questions, and listen together for God’s still-speaking voice. I hope you will join us. Our next event is Sat, Aug 18, 1:00 – 4:00 PM for a film and discussion

Peace and love,

Tom.

United Church of Christ Statement of Faith—adapted by Robert V. Moss

http://www.ucc.org/beliefs_statement-of-faith

We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, who is made known to us in Jesus our brother, and to whose deeds we testify:

God calls the worlds into being, creates humankind in the divine image, and sets before us the ways of life and death.

God seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.

God judges all humanity and all nations by that will of righteousness declared through prophets and apostles.

In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, God has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the whole creation to its Creator.

God bestows upon us the Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.

God calls us into the church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be servants in the service of the whole human family, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.

God promises to all who trust in the gospel forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in that kingdom which has no end.

Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto God.

Amen.

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