Faith is a Verb… Musings by Pastor Tony April 13, 2018
We, the members and friends of Arlington Community Church, are called to be stewards of creation and build a just society based upon the inspiration of our faith.
This coming Sunday after worship we will discuss and vote on a new Vision and Mission Statement. The statement itself (see below), is the outcome of the New Beginnings process that we started two years ago. After those initial discussions, two small groups met to determine whether the mission and social justice things we were already doing were things we wanted to continue to do, and to discern if there was something else we wanted to do. Any new ideas would be taken to the congregation for a discussion and vote on our direction in mission and social justice.
What emerged was the desire to maintain our relationships with GRIP, Neighborhood House of North Richmond, the Emergency Food Pantry in Richmond, and the Contra Costa-Solana Food Bank, as well as a desire to be better stewards of the environment. Following our unanimous vote to become a solar church, and sparked by the passion of our Music Director, Shanti Moorjani, we realized that our congregation’s concern for our Earth could be a new beginning for us.
From there we took core pieces of each of those group’s work and put them together in a Vision and Mission Statement. The Vision Statement (see the top of this article) captures the three main things we see in ourselves today: We care for the environment, we work toward justice, and we are a community of faith. A lovely three-leaf clover of Environment, Justice, Faith, uniting in one statement why we do what we do, where our passions lie, and what our priorities are.
This Vision and Mission statement is to remind us who we are and to encourage others to join us. It will also be used as part of the application process toward becoming designated a “Creation Justice” church by our denomination. Please join us on Sunday after worship to discuss and vote on this proposed Vision and Mission Statement
Vision and Mission Statement to be voted on April 15, 2018
Arlington Community Church United Church of Christ
Vision We, the members and friends of Arlington Community Church, are called to be stewards of creation and to build a just society based upon the inspiration of our faith.
We believe that all life is dependent upon our planet; therefore, we seek justice for the planet and all of its inhabitants by speaking up for its well-being.
We encourage asking the question at every decision point, “Is this good for the Planet?”
We support the Person of the Planet program, which builds awareness about environmental issues, and calls us individually and corporately to make changes in our lives.
We seek the designation in the United Church of Christ as a “Creation Justice Congregation.”
We believe that each and every one of us is equally loved and affirmed in God’s sight as a valuable human being. We pray and work to remove barriers and foster reconciliation among ourselves and people everywhere. Led by the Holy Spirit, we listen to and learn from one another.
We are Open and Affirming of all persons moved to join in our spiritual journey regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, or other God-given differences, visible or invisible. We thank God for our diversity.
We address the structural causes of poverty and inequality in our communities and in countries around the world; for example, by joining Jubilee USA Network, we work with people of many faiths to build an economy that protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable.
We serve others by partnering with agencies that feed the hungry and work with the poor.
We work toward accessibility for each person by removing physical barriers to participation including lighting, enlarged print, hearing assistance, ramps and handrails.
We are called to be the Church: to protect the environment, care for the poor, forgive often, reject racism, fight for the powerless, share earthly and spiritual resources, embrace diversity, love God, and enjoy this life.