BELIEFS & VALUES
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe that God reaches out to us in different ways. God is the creator of the universe and giver of all that is good. God is the savior—known boldly and intimately in Jesus and his life, death, and resurrection—who shows us how to live and love. God is the Spirit who enables us to make a difference in our world and in the lives of others.
We believe that we don’t have all the answers and that disagreement and discussion are healthy. We believe that Christian community is Christian not because it’s like-minded on every issue but because it is rooted in Jesus, who is a lot more interesting than religion has made him seem (Ephesians 2.14).
We believe that every human being is created and gifted by God; therefore, people of every race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, age and background, ability and disability, theological and political conviction are invited to be a real part of the church. We are a Reconciling Congregation and celebrate the gifts of diverse Christians—lesbian, gay, same gender loving, straight, bisexual, transgender, queer—in every part of our life together, including lay, staff, and pastoral leadership.
We believe that sin, both what we have done and what we have failed to do—the Bible calls it “missing the mark”—describes the reality that things are not as they should be: we are self-obsessed, broken, fearful, and oppressive. It’s what Jesus came to save us from.
We believe that the Bible is a beautiful, God-inspired, complex, and challenging book. We believe that its message of grace matters most when we live it out in a way that people’s lives are changed (our own lives included).
We believe that grace is the love, honesty, and compassion that God gives and shows us in Jesus. It’s how Jesus saves us, heals us, sets us free, and increases our capacity for love.
We believe that we need each other. Whether single, married/partnered, divorced or widowed, it’s a lot easier to follow God with friends than it is by ourselves.
We believe Christian marriage is more than love between two people in isolation; it is a covenant to be supported and grounded in the broader church community, as well. The congregation and clergy of Urban Village Church celebrate weddings (including civil unions) for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
We believe that the goal of church is not to make people more religious but to help people fall more in love with God and therefore become more fully human.
We believe that we are called to reach out to our neighbors both locally and globally and serve them in ways that make a difference.
We believe that spiritual practices like prayer, reading the Bible, participating in small groups, fasting, and tithing are vital to our faith.
We believe that this church is a movement and will continue to plant new sites to serve diverse neighborhoods in this city.
Our goal is to be a multi-denominational community where people from diverse spiritual traditions or with no religious experience feel at home. We are a United Methodist Church, a Christian Protestant denomination that emphasizes God’s love for all people, the intersection of spirituality and justice, and the calling to make a difference in the world.
URBAN VILLAGE CHURCH’S MISSION IS TO CREATE JESUS-LOVING, INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES THAT IGNITE THE CITY.
Bold. A church that is rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ, which tears down walls and builds up life. Where there is authentic joy in gathering to worship God and power in discovering that our lives working together can serve and change the world.
Inclusive. A church where everybody — seeker and skeptic, Democrat and Republican, gay and straight, young and old, woman and man — has a real place at the table. We mean it. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are truly welcome here.
Relevant. A church where the gospel connects to the real world and helps you live your Monday-Saturday life, where beliefs aren’t rigid boxes to check, but springboards into imagination and meaningful action.
We Grow. We are all on a faith journey where we learn, ask questions, and deepen our faith.
We Gather. We come together as a community to support one another, learn together, and challenge one another.
We Give. We give back and strive to make a difference in our community, city, and world.
God is calling Urban Village Church to create Jesus-loving, inclusive communities that ignite the city. Our current Ministry Map has 5 key initiatives:
Start and Root Communities
We embrace God’s vision by starting new communities in diverse neighborhoods because we believe this is the best way to reach new people with the gospel.
Strengthen Discipleship Pathways
We want everyone to experience a life-altering relationship with Jesus and deep community through intentional discipleship.
Nurture a Church Without Walls
We are committed to the transformative and messy work of nurturing a church where all people feel truly welcome and valued.
God’s ridiculous love inspires us to love, serve, and create community within our neighborhoods and beyond.
With Jesus as our model and our fuel, we commit to the work of justice, particularly in our own backyard.
Living into our Ministry Map requires that we have organizational structures in place to do so today and for years to come. Click here to learn more about the work of our Transformation Task Force and our 2017 organizational restructuring.