Values

OVerview/

We are a multi-ethnic community of Christ-followers that are committed to the Word of God, to accompanying each other in the journey of life, and working towards cultivating justice and shalom both locally and globally.

We believe that our church community should be a reflection of the local community surrounding us.  Because the neighborhoods in Fullerton are diverse, our church should reflect this diversity as well.  Our vision of individual and communal Christ-centered transformation is one that honors our culture and uniqueness (Revelation 7:9).  We believe that Christian formation (i.e., being transformed into the likeness of Christ) not only preserves but transforms our humanity.  St. Irenaeus asserted, “the glory of God is man (humankind) fully alive.”  We’re not trying to replicate a certain kind of personality or ethnic culture in our church community.  We see your natural personality and culture as a gift to our community.  We’re not trying to create a franchise.  We want to maintain our small-church identity and small-church values even as we grow numerically. 

Indigenous/

Ministry of Presence and
Accompaniment/

Following the model of Christ in the Incarnation (John 1:14), we believe that the most fundamental ministry that our community has to offer is the ministry of presence--we take seriously our shared calling to be not only physically present, but also relationally and emotionally present to each other (e.g., John 11:28-36).  We share life together by sharing in each other's joys as well as sorrows.  We have fun together and we lament together.  We don’t shy away from our trauma (whether it is historical and/or ongoing). And this presence we are modeling isn’t a one-time event - it’s a commitment to each other over time (Hebrews 10:24-25).  And it has to be a long-term commitment because Christian formation and discipleship is slow-cooked.  It’s a commitment in the mundane as well as the extraordinary.

Faith as a means of engaging tension/

We believe that Scripture (in its entirety) is our highest authority in faith and life (2 Timothy 2:16-17) and that is why our church is deeply committed to peacemaking and justice.  We believe that our faith compels us to transcend political identification, divisions and positions (Galatians 3:26-29).  We believe that cultivating peace in our inner lives as well as peace in our communities (and broader society) requires us to enter into tension that will not be quickly resolved...tensions related to faith and mental health, faith and social justice, faith and politics...just to name a few. Unfortunately, there is a long history of Christian communities that have used Scripture to justify or condone behavior and policies that run contrary to everything our faith stands for.  In areas where tension exists between alternative interpretations of Scripture, we ground ourselves in the life that Jesus modeled on Earth, for he is the Word made flesh (John 1:14) as well as its fulfillment (Matthew 5:17).  And we are committed to remain in this tension--listening, helping, and doing good whenever possible--until Christ returns and makes all things new (Revelation 21:5).

Priesthood of
all believers/

We believe in shared voice and shared leadership (e.g., Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5).  Accordingly, our church is led by a plurality of pastors (all of whom contribute to the leadership and stewardship of the church on a part-time basis).  Preaching on Sunday rotates across a teaching team of no less than nine individuals that are home grown (women and men on the pastoral staff, church board, and leadership team) and we are eager for new voices to be integrated.  We believe that ministry is only sustainable when the entire church takes a ‘hands on’ approach to giving and serving each other, with whatever gifts we have been given (1 Peter 4:10).  This is so because each of us has a unique and important role to play in God’s Kingdom and part of our responsibility as a spiritual community is to help everyone more accurately discern and faithfully pursue their vocation.  Our church wishes to honor and equip people for vocations of all forms--in the home, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in the marketplace, and in the world.