Our overarching dream is audacious because we believe God is audacious. We long for his benevolent and life-filled kingdom to continue to take root and flourish in our city, and we labor towards this end as the Lord leads and empowers. Truth be told, this vision will not be fully realized until Jesus returns to complete his work. This reality is intended to keep us humble and prayerful, while at the same time joyful and grateful. It is also to serve as a constant reminder that God is always directing our gaze towards the world and the work he is doing.
At its core, abiding with God is about receiving his love. We believe that God is a loving community of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Through his astonishing grace, God has welcomed us, his undeserving people, into his life. Thus, our primary preoccupation should be receiving that love opening ourselves up to him. Through weekly worship, friendships, small groups, cultivating lives of prayer, and the raising of the next generation of followers of Christ, we are seeking to live every day in loving, joyful, and obedient communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Every human being is made in the image of God and has intrinsic dignity, value and worth that cannot be taken away or diminished. As people who have been loved by God, we seek to be relationally generous with one another in the congregation, making space in our lives to foster deep connections and life-giving relationships. In addition, we seek to create room in our lives and love our neighbors genuinely and faithfully—regardless of their ethnicity, class, gender, politics, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.
The ministry of our congregation is the sum total of the ministry of its members. As artists, software developers, gardeners, graphic designers, musicians, parents, mechanics, educators, students, and neighbors, we long for God to bring truth, beauty, and justice through us and labor towards that end in our spheres of influence “the other six days” of the week. In addition, we also labor collectively for the common good through our Serving the City ministry where we redirect large amounts of money, volunteer labor and strategic partnerships with businesses of color, mercy and justice initiatives in the nonprofit world, and local congregations dedicated to serving the marginalized in Seattle.
It has been said that to be a Christian means to be a beggar telling another beggar where you have found bread. As we receive God’s grace and our lives are slowly transformed, we want to share this life with others. We long for the light of God’s love to shine through us to our friends, neighbors, co-workers, our children, and other family members, and fellow students.
Our values describe our congregation’s culture by giving some clues about how we go about our primary pursuits.
Everything that we have, everything that we are, and everything that we hope for is a gift of God’s sheer, unearned, fatherly grace to us in Jesus Christ. We desire to receive and experience God’s lavish love as the foundation of our lives, which gives us the confidence to begin to find our footing, voice, and agency in the world. At the same time, because of God’s mercy, we are free to begin to look honestly and without shame at our own sinfulness and the wounds we have received in our lives. To do this well and faithfully requires that we get in touch with our own hearts and our own stories and committed to growing in emotional health and seeing it as a vital part of our discipleship.
God has graciously, lovingly, and infallibly spoken to us in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Through on-going prayer, study, and teaching, we seek to thoughtfully adopt the biblical story as the narrative that we inhabit as 21st century Seattleites. In addition, we seek to order our lives around God’s desires for us as found in his word, and grow in loving and joyful submission to him in all areas of our lives.
In our high-powered, non-stop, frenetic city, we need to be very intentional to create space in our lives for prayer, solitude, and Scripture. We encourage and challenge our people to take responsibility for their spiritual and emotional progress to deepen and grow in faith and love. To this end, we thoughtfully and critically embrace certain ancient practices such as morning and evening prayer, solitude, and fasting. We believe that these practices create avenues through which the Lord can transform us deeply and profoundly.
God is our divine host, inviting the whole world to come and feast in his presence. Acting on his behalf, we seek to embody lives of hospitality—that is, relational generosity—making room for the people God brings into our lives. Our welcome should not just extend to people who are like us and who can pay us back. Instead, we create space for the poor, the marginalized, the lonely, the oppressed—and especially those we find hard to love.
Much to the dismay of the religious leaders of his time, Jesus made a habit of feasting with sinners. We believe he still does. Whether it’s through our weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper in worship, church-wide parties and dinners, or our gathering around tables in each other’s apartments, homes, and public gathering places, we seek to celebrate God’s goodness together.
In a world that is both immersed in pain and committed to various strategies to numb our pain, we believe that Jesus has placed each of us on a path that requires us to embrace suffering if we are to remain faithful to him. As faithful followers of Christ, we are called to participate both in his joys and in his sufferings. We by no means seek out suffering, but we must be prepared to faithfully endure it in our lives. Our trust is that the Lord is actually with us in the midst of our pain and that he will mysteriously and wisely use our pain for his glory and our good. Finally, our experience of suffering gives us a powerful ability from which we can minister to others with humility, honesty, and hope.
We gratefully and discerningly draw on the gifts and wisdom of Christians who have gone before us in the faith. In our common worship, we use an ancient liturgical structure and the church calendar, which connects us to churches across the world and throughout history. In addition, we believe that denomination affiliation allows us to be genuinely connected to the global church, utilizes pooled resources for the good of our community, and helps hold us accountable to God’s word. Grace is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America, a denomination committed to thoughtfully applying the theological riches and blessings of the Protestant Reformation in our day and to see the gospel transform all of life from the inside-out. Finally, we view other faithful churches in the city as our co-laborers and seek to form meaningful ties with them as we are able.
God created everything and called it good. He didn't just make something adequate and functional. The beauty of creation speaks to God’s abundance and his character as a gift-giver. Resonating with this beauty is an act of worship to our creator. God has given us creative capacity and called us to partner with him in making beautiful and meaningful things. As a worshiping community, we seek to respond to God with music and visual arts that are winsome, well-crafted, and beautiful.