Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are called and commit ourselves:
to love God,
to love our sisters and brothers as ourselves,
to worship God as an enthusiastic community with all people of all ages fully participating in their own way,
to grow as persons, increasing in knowledge and faith,
to conduct our common life in the caring, trusting atmosphere of an extended family,
to be God's faithful servants, witnessing both individually and corporately,
to proceed with openness, continually re-forming our goals and methods,
to reach out to others to join in the mission of this church, and
to use all of our resources for God's work, seeking justice and peace in the world.
Gracious and loving God, who faithfully honored the covenants that you made with our forebears, who sent Christ to be the Light of our world, who continuously bestows newness of life to all, who calls us now to this community of faith, we, the New Ark United Church of Christ, covenant with you and with each other to be your faithful, witnessing community, and depending on your grace, not our merit, vow to let our lives be shaped by your Word. Amen.
Introduction: These statements are an attempt to put into words who we are as Church. Woven through them is the common thread of our life as a community.
"No matter who you are or where you are on your life's journey, you're welcome here." - United Church of Christ Welcome Statement
We are a progressive Christian congregation, open and welcoming of all. We strive to live the life that Jesus calls us to live. We have diverse, evolving theological perspectives. We are conventional Christians, questioning skeptics, believers, agnostics and seekers. We welcome questions and a searching spirit. As part of our evolving theological curiosity, we value the education of all ages as a process throughout our lives in which we can reevaluate our faith perspective. We believe that God is still being revealed to us, thus we "never put a period where God has placed a comma."Worship:
"We are called to worship God as an enthusiastic community with all people of all ages fully participating in their own way." - New Ark UCC Mission Statement
We gather as a community of faith to explore our understandings of God. We affirm God's all-embracing nature by striving to use inclusive language and to be intergenerational in worship. We are creative and informal in our worship but not unstructured.Services normally follow the standard Biblical lectionary, although other appropriate writings may be included. Lay participation and planning for worship with the pastor is important to the congregation.Music is integral to each service, with music and hymns chosen to support and enhance the worship experience. The weekly message, children's time, the sharing of prayer concerns and celebrations, and the closing benediction circle are essential to the worship experience.
Your voice matters. Really.
As followers of Jesus, we seek to do God's will in all matters. The governing body of this church is the membership assembled in congregational meetings. Our members do the work of the church and make the decisions.We strive to reach consensus; we work hard to make sure that all voices are heard as we determine the direction, mission priorities, and future of our church.
Jesus said, "Love God, love your neighbors, love yourself." And we do.
We each have our own unique story. No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey; no matter your race, gender, orientation, age, abilities, or beliefs, you are recognized as one of God's magnificent creations.We welcome you with abundant love and invite you to participate in all aspects of church, community life, and practices.
We seek to do justice and make peace in the world./p>
The New Ark's Mission Statement includes: "to use all our resources for God's work, seeking justice and peace in the world." The center of our mission logo is Matthew 22: 36-40 "... You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind...You shall love your neighbor as yourself..."
As a Just Peace, Open and Affirming, and Earthwise congregation, the New Ark has built its reputation as a congregation active in social justice issues. Joining our efforts with other partners, we aim to put our heart, education, money, and time toward the fulfillment of these goals (including but not limited to):
We strive to be aware of other issues that threaten equality and acceptance in our communities, our nation, and our world.