We Are a Welcoming and Caring Community of Christians Who:
- Worship God with beauty, warmth, and vitality, empowered by the presence of the Spirit of the living Christ
- Grow in faith, knowledge, and Christian commitment, equipping each other for ministry in all of life
- Give by living a life of loving service, reaching out with compassion for those in need and revealing to the world the good news of Jesus Christ
To us, these words and phrases embody both what FIRST PRES is and what it hopes to be:
Welcoming suggests the open-armed welcome that Jesus showed as he invited people to follow him without regard for their qualification or merit. The church is and should be a place of acceptance, forgiveness, and peace.
Caring tells that the love of Christ is present as the people of the church look not only to their own interests and needs, but to the interests and needs of others out of genuine compassion and a Christ-like choosing to love.
Community speaks of our need to love and be loved by others as friends in faith. FIRST PRES's intent is to be a true community of people who are drawn together by the love of Christ and who live according to that love in their life together.
Christians are followers of Jesus Christ who walk together on the road of their spiritual journey under the lordship of Christ, sharing that journey with each other as they learn from their teacher and Lord and live according to his purpose.
Who means that all the people of FIRST PRES are called to live according to this mission statement. It states our shared hopes and expectations for ourselves and for each other both in our church life and in our daily living.
Worship God means that our worship is centered on the one God, whose three-fold nature is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This mission statement contains the words "God," "Jesus" and "Spirit," thereby stating our understanding of God's nature as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. In God's very nature, there is love: the three persons of the Trinity are in loving community with each other, a mystical communion that is beyond our comprehension but is revealed to us in the pages of scripture. This is the theological foundation for the team-based ministry of FIRST PRES. All of us are called to be ministers; we participate in the ministry of the church by sharing that ministry with each other.
Beauty, warmth and vitality are distinctive elements of our worship. We worship God with all of our senses. We share a strong and ongoing commitment to the aesthetics of worship by way of the church's excellence in music and the architectural integrity of the sanctuary and church campus.
Empowered signifies our understanding that Jesus is not dead but alive; he comes to us as the Spirit of the living Christ. God's powerful presence as living Spirit enlivens our worship, encourages us in our spiritual journey and empowers us to live according to God's purpose.
Grow in faith, knowledge and Christian commitment represent a three-fold arena for growth. All Christians should be growing Christians. We never know enough to be able to claim we have "arrived" at a resting place in our spiritual journey; our journey is ongoing. Each of us has a unique experience of God's presence in our lives. We grow as we experience God's living presence day by day. We are committed to growth through individual and group Bible study, participation in adult education opportunities, and the practice of attention to the movement of God's Spirit in our life together in the church and in the world.
Equipping each other for ministry in all of life states the biblical mandate for ministry. "To equip the saints for the work of ministry" (Ephesians 4:12) is the nature of our call. The arena for our ministry is both the church and the world. We are invited to discover our gifts and passions for ministry and use them to the glory of God in all that we do.
Give by living a life of loving service reminds us that the purpose of life is not to live for ourselves alone but to live in love for each other as our Lord has done for us. God has given us all gifts and passions for ministry. We are called to use those gifts to the glory of God in all of life. A life of service is a joy-filled response to the greatest gift ever given—the self-giving sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth, who preached and taught, suffered and died, and was raised to new and everlasting life by the power of God.
Reaching out with compassion to those in need articulates the biblical mandate that we pay special attention those who are on the margins of life—those who are poor or oppressed, those who are victims of injustice, those who are sick, those who are trapped in the prison of doubt. The Bible tells us that God has special concern for those for whom no one else cares. We are called to do the same. Therefore, the church ought to participate in ministries of compassion to those in need.
Revealing to the world the good news of Jesus Christ is our mission of proclamation in both word and deed. Evangelism is not only telling about the one whom we worship and serve, it is living according to God's purpose in all that we do. We reveal the good news of the gospel by the way we live our lives. We strive to have the courage and the faithfulness to reveal this good news every moment of every day.