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Vision Statement

Sun, Sep 8, 2019

 

Vision Statement

(with Core Values intro)

 

We are a community that values radical inclusion and artful worship, where belonging is more important than belief, and joy is a guiding principle. We are a restorative sanctuary for the suffering and weary, a space for creative and contemplative ritual, and a hub for transformative moral action on the justice issues of our day

 

Guided by these values, God calls us to:

 

Grow in intimacy as the weird and wonderful Body of Christ

 

Provide a diversity of open but distinctly Christian, creative and liberating worship forms to nourish the spiri- tual lives of the current community and reach new seekers

 

Follow Jesus’s urging to minister to the “least of these” [Matthew 25] by addressing our region’s most visible and urgent human needs: ending homelessness in the East Bay, and its intersecting justice issues

 

 

Vision Elaboration

 

Grow in intimacy as the weird and wonderful Body of Christ

First Church fosters extravagant welcome, connection/community and compassion. We are called to grow in love with one another, a foundation for living out the teachings of Jesus in the wider world. To do so, we will facilitate small groups, intergenerational engagement, and community spiritual practices that will bond and bind us together.

 

Provide a diversity of open but distinctly Christian, creative and liberating worship forms to nourish the spiritual lives of the current community and reach new seekers

Less than 3% of Berkeley identifies as mainline Protestant. That leaves many folks unaware of or uninitiated into the richness of our progressive Christian faith. The UCC Constitution affirms “the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship.” We will experiment with new forms of worship to go deeper on our own spiritual journeys, attract newcomers who may have been hurt or excluded by other Christian churches, and pique the interest of those who have never considered Christianity a viable option. The worship experiments may include, but not be limited to:

  • • worship days and times outside of Sunday morning

  • • virtual/digital worship and spiritual formation

  • • lay-led and participatory worship experiences

  • • outdoor worship

  • • services geared toward multiple generations/learning styles

  • • contemplative worship

  • • cross-cultural worship, and

  • • spiritual formation on retreat

 

Follow Jesus’s urging to minister to the “least of these” [Matthew 25] by addressing our region’s most visible and urgent human needs: ending homelessness in the East Bay, and its intersecting justice issues

The suffering of homeless people is evident on our streets every day. Countless more suffer housing insecurity in less visible ways. We are moved by the teachings of Jesus to respond with love, compassion and generosity. We will join with the wider community (faith communities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies) to educate, advocate, and take action to prevent homelessness, to reduce the suffering it causes, and to restore individuals and families to safe, permanent, dignified shelter.