What we believe
Offering a page on a website entitled 'What we believe,' is certainly going out on a limb! First, it suggests that it's possible to explain something as complex and nuanced as faith in a few paragraphs; second, it makes it sound like everyone here at St. Paul's agrees precisely in 'what we believe.'
So, right up front, we'll say as far as what we believe, we're a work in progress! Faith, spirituality, and religion (or whatever you want to call it) are difficult concepts that are always evolving, just as we grow and change over the course of our lives. A single person will have a very different experience of God and his / her relationship with the Divine at ages of 10, 30, and 60 years. That's why it's work in progress!
And, because our community is made up of people of different ages, different backgrounds, different stages of life, different experiences, there is a corresponding wide range of beliefs. That only seems natural, right?
What do we have in common?
If we're all works in progress and at different stages of our 'faith journeys,' what holds us together? Good question! That brings us to a mission statement.
Mission statements are, at best, a glimpse of how a church sees itself participating in God’s world. We at St. Paul’s believe in the wisdom that, “it isn’t the church of God that has a mission in the world, but that the God of mission has a church in the world.” This helps us firmly place our faith community, its programs, resources, and assets, its energy and faith, into building God’s kingdom here on earth at it is in heaven. We believe that that is a kingdom – a ‘kin-dom’ – where justice, peace, inclusion, forgiveness, grace, and fellowship are God’s dream for this sacred creation. And, as part of this sacred creation, and inspired by Jesus Christ, we are invited and encouraged to be co-creators with God, to practice ‘radical hospitality,’ to serve others, and resist evil however we may find it.
“We are inspired by Jesus Christ to invite and encourage people to become all that God wants them to be.”
To be a leader among community churches through continual outreach, creativity, innovation, and investment of our resources in and for the people of Scarborough / Cliffside, and beyond.
The United Church of Canada’s New Creed.
As part of our worship practice, we at St. Paul’s recite together our United Church Creed. It’s a way of reminding ourselves – and recommitting our selves – to the spiritual truth that grounds us.
We are not alone, we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in creation,
to love and service others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.
As part of our on-going quest for understanding who and what we are (soemthing churches do a lot of!), St. Paul's has developed a list of core values that guide us in our ministry and service to the community.
We provide a sense of belonging! We recognize and affirm individual achievements and contributions.
We invite the community to participate in our worship and social activities.
We have an open-arms policy to all people in our community! We reach out to others, welcome them as part of our family, and invite them to participate in whatever we have to offer.
We are a community-resource centre for all ages. We will provide programs that support, nurture, and inspire children and their families, singles, the bereaved, the poor, senior adults, and shut-ins.Our resources effectively support our efforts in this respect.
We are determined to ensure that St. Paul’s remains true to its Christian roots and to continue its Christian ministry in this community.
We are a congregation that values both contemporary and traditional forms of worship.
We respect the diverse biblical interpretations and practices of the Christian faith inherent in our community.
We care for others in our community and our world through support of our Benevolent Fund and the Mission and Service Fund of The United Church of Canada.
We are a congregation that has the courage to face change. We understand we are not the congregation we used to be and are willing to affirm our evolving identity.
We are blessed with the faithful contributions of our employees, leadership teams, and individuals, and seek to sustain and succor them, as well as pay due heed to the upkeep of our building and its contents in whatever way they may evolve.
We are a group of dedicated and loving people working in partnership with our minister’s leadership.