What Shapes Us

Trust. Celebrate. Embody.

We have chosen those verbs intentionally.
They ground us in what it means to follow Jesus and become fully alive.

We’re learning to trust the God executed for the sake of the world,
we’re learning to celebrate the God who loves raising the dead,
and we’re learning to embody the reign of this God in the world.

In other words:
we’re learning to trust the cross,
we’re learning to celebrate the resurrection,
and we’re learning to embody the kingdom.

These Jesus-centered verbs don’t just sit on a page.
They actually drive and shape how we live as a community:

The heart of the church’s good news is that God is humble enough to empty himself (Phil 2.6-11), serve us (Jn 13.1-13) and die for us (Rom 5.8). We trust that following Jesus in humility (Phil 2.5, Jn 13.14-15, 1 Jn 3.16) leads us into lives of love and lightness. We practice this humility by submitting our lives to the guidance of Scripture, the Christian tradition, and the living presence of Jesus.


Jesus crucified and risen allows us to see the world as it truly is—a world shaped and saturated with justice and mercy. We trust that being honest with ourselves (Jn 5.6), with others (Eph 4.25) and with God (1 Jn 1.8-9) allows us to experience new life in this real world. We practice this honesty through asking and inviting questions, confessing our sin and learning to pray.


By becoming fully human in Jesus (Heb 2.17), God has created a new humanity, proclaimed peace, and welcomed all into his family (Eph 2.15-19). We celebrate that in Jesus we have been accepted, welcomed, and united to God and by God to each other (Rom 15.7, Eph 4.32). We practicethis hospitality by regularly gathering together to welcome, to know, and to love our neighbors, our friends, and especially our enemies.


In Jesus we can see the full image of God (Col 1.15) that all humanity was designed to display (Gen 1.26-27). We celebrate that in Jesus we are invited to die to our old lives of brokenness and selfishness and put on God’s life of love (Matt 16.24-25, Eph 4.17-24). We practice this wholeness by continually turning from patterns of death and becoming disciples of the life of Jesus.


We live in a world more beautiful than we dare to imagine: Jesus is king over the universe and we can reign with him (Eph 1.18-23, Rev 22.5). Our lives embody this hope through transformed thinking (Rom 12.2), feeling (2 Cor 6.4-10) and understanding (Eph 3.16-19). We practice using a “baptized imagination” that sees our God-soaked world through engaging in seasonal, weekly and daily rhythms that ground us in the reality of Jesus.


The heart of the gospel is restoration—God reclaiming and reconciling all things to himself in Jesus (2 Cor 5.19; Eph 1.7-10, Col 1.19-20). Our lives embody this hope by living lives that invite reconciliation with God (2 Cor 5.20), promote justice and mercy (Micah 6.6-8) and overcome evil with good (Rom 12.21). We practice God’s restoration by strategically working for the health and healing of people, relationships, and the city.