As you get to know us, you will discover a group of people that are at different places on their spiritual journey. We have different personalities, different gifts, and different opinions about what a life with God looks like.
We do not have a “creed,” or set of beliefs to which anyone must subscribe or adhere. However, there are some principles that are important to us. We see these as three reasons why we are gathered:
We understand that we are spiritual beings designed to be in relationship with God. We have found that is how our lives work best. We support and encourage one another in our spiritual formation. For us, that formation takes place as we become disciples of Jesus Christ. We therefore take seriously Jesus’ commission to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
We have found that one of the results of spiritual formation and discipleship to Jesus is a renewed understanding of what it means to be in relationship with one another. When asked what the most important commandment was, Jesus reply was “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28).
For us, this means that we participate with one another in community, encouraging and challenging each other in our spiritual journey. Sometimes it is uncomfortable and awkward, but we strive to take off the masks we learn to use to protect ourselves and reveal ourselves to one another, knowing that the other will strive to accept us just as we are.
We also understand that Jesus’ teaching compels us to offer what we call “radical hospitality.” Our church is among those whose doors are open to God’s children of different cultures, races, genders, ages, sexual orientations, abilities, economic situations, and theological traditions. Once one enters the door, it’s not a matter of “sit back, be quiet, speak only as we do.” You, your heart’s questions and your gifts, are vital to the congregation. Both we and you grow together in faith and witness. We make a holy difference in each other’s lives, and, together, in the world.
Serving the World
In addition, we locate our selves squarely in the Judeo-Christian tradition understanding that the beliefs we claim make a difference in the way we live. The prophet Micah in the Hebrew scriptures understood that God is not as interested in our rituals and sacrifices as in how we live and act. Micah speaks for God, saying,
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
So far, for us, that service has looked like feeding the homeless, reaching out to the homebound, working in disaster relief here in Florida, in Mississippi, and Louisiana, supporting our local elementary school, working on environmental issues, and working with migrants in our area and across the state.
Loving God, loving others, and serving the world; formation, community, and service; these are our reasons for gathering together as First Congregational Church of Lake Worth.