CHARLENE’S STATEMENT OF FAITH
In the same spirit Peter confessed to Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” I confess my faith acknowledging it is a gift that has been graciously given to me by God, shaped by the life and death of Jesus Christ, and sustained by the Holy Spirit. While my confession has changed over the course of my life, God’s love for me and my love for God have remained constant.
I believe in God who reveals. I believe that God desires to know and be known and thus created the heavens, the earth and every sacred being to be in relationship with the divine. Through the act of creation, God not only revealed God’s power and transcendence, but also God’s love and care for ALL of God’s children. While we bear the divine image of our maker, we also carry the burden of sin. Yet no matter how many times we turn away from God, God never turns away from us. Instead God chooses us. Through God’s covenantal relationship with the children of Israel, we bear witness to God’s relationship with humanity as the great emancipator, the righteous judge, the forgiving lover, the compassionate deliverer, and the loving parent.
I believe in Jesus Christ who saves. Seeing a world broken and in need, God chose humanity yet again by sending God’s only son, Jesus Christ, into our midst. Being fully human and fully divine, Jesus offers us salvation in life and in death. In life, he saves us by sharing the good news of the Gospel, healing the sick, caring for the outcast, feeding the hungry, liberating the oppressed, and speaking truth against injustice. In death, Jesus saved us from sin and death when he made the ultimate sacrifice of being unjustly betrayed, humiliated, crucified, and separated from God on our behalf. He bore the burden of the sins of all humanity, freeing us from its hold over our lives which is proof of God’s amazing love for and grace towards us.
I believe in the Holy Spirit who calls. The Spirit unites the body of Christ across time and space through the testimonies of faith we share, the Holy Scripture we read and proclaim, the baptismal waters we bathe in, the Lord’s Supper that we all partake of, and the fellowship we all engage in. The Spirit nurtures and emboldens us to embody the kingdom of God on earth through word, action, and presence. When we do not have the words to say, when we don’t know which road to take, when we struggle to live into our identity as children of God, the Spirit gives us the wisdom, courage and strength to go on. I believe that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit exist in perfect communion, equality and harmony as one being.
I believe in the Church who loves. As the body of Christ, the Church exists to love God, love one another, and love the world. I believe every member of the body of Christ is equally sinful, forgiven, and loved and that ALL are welcome, valued, and accepted in the house of God. The church’s mission to live out the Gospel means being engaged in the community in which it resides and the world in which it exists. By proclaiming and enacting God’s desire for goodness, justice, freedom and peace in the here and now, the Church serves as God’s witness to the glory that lies beyond.
Most of all, I believe that God is still revealing, still saving, still calling, still loving, still actively at work, and still wholly present in our midst.