We have a story.
It’s not tidy.
It is more like working with charcoal. We are messy like our namesake. While Jesus was on trial, St. Peter denied knowing him not once, but three times. He wept bitterly, alone in his failure, as Christ headed to the cross.
Yet after the resurrection we discover the most beautiful scene. Peter isn’t alone, he is with Jesus. They are sharing breakfast on the shores of Galilee. Jesus meets Peter with love, forgiveness, and most of all grace. As grace gets into Peter’s bones and settles in his soul, his calling is renewed: Jesus sends him out into the world to share this good, beautiful, and entirely true story of resurrection, love, forgiveness, and most of all grace.
The good news is that this is our story too. You can read our own stories of renewal. We want to be a people who know our need for grace, who experience Christ’s love, and who are sent out into the world to share his joyful presence.
Our vision is simple: Jesus is alive and renewing everything—our city, its people, even us—and we get to be part it!
We understand there are a lot of theories about who Jesus was: a good man, a teacher, a self-deluded prophet, an exaggeration of his disciples’ imagination or even non-existent (which is just silly). A distinctly different answer is given by the writers of Scripture:
One of the simplest answers is that Jesus is Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, entered into the world and became one of us. The one who made the heavens and the earth dragged a tree that he made (and that humanity fashioned into a cross) through the dirt of the earth, and there he was crucified. He died on two crooked beams in ancient Rome, not by accident, but according to plan. But that is not the end of the story, because death could not hold him. Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he is still alive, and his Spirit is with us.
Jesus came into the world to seek and save all that is lost, to die to forgive us for all our sins and reconcile us to God, and to save us from everything that tarnishes, pollutes, and distorts us and God’s good creation. Through his life, death, resurrection, and ascension, God is taking all the chaos, the disruption, the pain and hurt, the injustice and suffering, and is ordering it, calming it and mending it.
When Jesus returns, he will make all things new, whole, and right. While we wait for this good day to come, we live as citizens of God’s kingdom and as signs of a different way of life. By the power of his Spirit we get to be part of what God is doing at this time and place to renew lives, the whole earth, and the entire cosmos.