WE LIVE TO MAKE JESUS MAKE SENSE
We are preoccupied with making any necessary sacrifice to make the story of Jesus clear and accessible to anyone seeking after Him.
WE SHARE LIFE TOGETHER
We cannot live without honest relationships. We are resolved to figure out how to love God, love each other, and live on mission together.
WE HAVE NO SPARE PARTS
Everyone in the Church has an essential part to play. By discovering and developing how we fit into God’s storyline, we experience unimaginable supernatural life change in and around us.
WE ARE FULLY COMMITTED TO KIDS & STUDENTS
We unapologetically devote major resources and energy towards shaping a God-centered world view during a person’s prime developmental years.
WE LIVE TO GIVE
We practice joyful generosity. We give our time, resources and ideas with ridiculous selflessness.
WE DO OUR BEST WITH EVERYTHING WE HAVE
We are committed to excellence and effectiveness for the gospel. We will maximize every resource to focus our creativity and our efforts on the ministry that makes the most impact.
WE DO HARD THINGS
When given two options, we will choose the one no one else wants to tackle. We will intentionally go where hope is hard to find.
WE ACTIVELY SEEK MINISTRY PARTNERSHIPS
We work purposefully to maximize impact for God’s Kingdom through strategic partners. Grace Church cannot go it alone, and we will leverage strengths of diverse organizations and churches to pursue the movement to which God has called us.
We believe that spiritual growth is a natural result of a close relationship with God and results in spiritual transformation, personal growth and positive life change as we become more like Christ. However, this requires our ongoing willingness and intentionality in the practices of Christian living. “Know it, Live it, Give it Away” is simply Grace Church’s challenge for each of us to know the Bible for ourselves, live in biblical community with others who are pursuing Christ-likeness, and to offer our lives and resources to help others connect with God.
Here at Grace, we practice baptism by immersion in water. We define baptism by key passages in the Bible that we believe speak most clearly on the topic. So what is baptism?
IT MIGHT BE EASIEST TO START BY TALKING ABOUT WHAT BAPTISM ISN’T…
The Bible teaches that there is no work that a man or woman can perform to be saved:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Romans 6:23 also teaches that eternal life is the free “gift of God.” Therefore, baptism isn’t necessary for salvation. There is nothing you can do to earn the free gift of salvation.
SO WHAT IS IT?
In simple terms, being baptized is like putting on a wedding ring—it’s a response to a loved one and an outward symbol of internal commitment and truth. In the Bible, especially during Jesus’ life and right after that time, the pattern of baptism as a response to salvation is demonstrated.
But why respond this way? What’s it all mean? Just as Christ was crucified and buried, we are immersed in water to symbolize the “burial” of our old ways. And again, just as Christ was raised from the dead, so we are raised out of the water, symbolizing our new life in Christ. The apostle Paul says it this way:
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4
On another level, baptism is an act of obedience. Read what Jesus says here to his disciples:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ ” Matthew 28:18-20
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO BE BAPTIZED?
There is only one requirement—a personal decision to believe and accept the salvation of God through Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41, 8:12). If you are interested in taking this step, find when our next Baptism Class is happening on the classes page.
At Grace Church, we observe communion through three elements: Foot Washing, the Love Feast, and the Bread and the Cup. We believe that each of these elements captures a dimension of the gospel that is important to be remembered and celebrated.
WHAT IS COMMUNION?
The word communion means simply “sharing something in common”. Communion is a symbolic practice that we do to remember and celebrate key aspects of our faith. The meaning behind communion is deeper than merely the individual elements; it symbolizes Jesus’ love for us. Just as a groom demonstrates his love for his bride on their wedding day through symbolic acts, such as exchanging rings, the three elements of communion demonstrate Jesus saying, “I love you,” to His bride, the Church.
These elements remind us of:
His daily cleansing in our lives (Foot Washing)
The celebration awaiting us in heaven (the Love Feast)
The price He paid for us through death on the cross so we could have eternal life (the Bread and the Cup).
Anyone who shares faith in Christ is welcome to attend. We also welcome anyone who would like to observe the symbolism without participating.
This cleansing act is something Jesus asks us to do, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He gave us an example. It was an example to be followed in practice, not merely known (John 13:12-17). Foot Washing is more than an outward cleansing—it is a time of introspection and self-examination. It’s a statement we make together, as we join in communion, that Jesus is the one who does the real cleansing on the inside. Even though we, as believers, have been forgiven for all our imperfections (sin in the past, present, and future), we must take hold of His cleansing power and forgiveness on a daily basis. He cleanses us continuously, as we fully embrace His forgiveness.
THE LOVE FEAST
At Grace, we also celebrate communion by eating together, which reminds us not only of our special bond to Christ, but also to each other. Scripture promises a special future occasion, the ultimate Love Feast, with Jesus himself as host. We are now, as believers, Jesus’ loved ones and future bride, and He will welcome us to His celebration in heaven:
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God” – Revelation 19:6-9
We practice the Love Feast because Jesus included it in the “communion service” He had with His disciples, known as the Last Supper (John 13), and because the early church perpetuated this tradition (1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Jude 12).
THE BREAD AND CUP
The third element of the communion service is the Bread and the Cup. It symbolizes Jesus’ broken body (Bread) and shed blood (Cup). These elements represent the grotesque death endured on the cross for us by God’s perfect Son, Jesus. But why did Jesus have to die?
God wants to have a personal relationship with each of us, but we cannot be in a relationship with God because God is perfect and we are not. His perfection and our imperfection cannot mix. God, knowing that there is no way for us to rescue ourselves, sent the only solution possible—His son, Jesus. Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect (sinless) life, and died on the cross as an innocent person. In doing so, he paid the debt for all of our sins. When we become Christians a great exchange takes place: God considers the perfection of Jesus to be ours (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus’ death and resurrection also created a new way for mankind to relate to God. No more animal sacrifices. No more priests to intercede. Instead, direct communication with God was made possible because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5-6). He asks us to keep observing this symbol of love until He returns (1 Corinthians 11:25-26), so we will not forget the price that was paid.
The symbols of communion are joyful for believers, yet solemn and holy, as well. They are so serious that in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30, we are warned to examine our own lives before participating in communion, making sure we are first prayerfully connecting with God and properly recognizing the meaning these symbols hold.