STATEMENTS OF FAITH
BELIEF AND UNITY
Knowing what we believe is important; our beliefs inform the way we live, the choices we make and how we view God. However, a faith rooted only in ‘believing the right things’ will not transform our hearts. Our lives must also be characterized by love and obedience; otherwise our beliefs are meaningless. Thus, a faith statement is one tool (among many) that helps us live lives characterized by love of God and others. Paul puts it this way, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13).
We understand that no person can fully understand the mystery and beauty of God, so we approach our statement of faith with humility and grace. As the Reformer Rupertus Meldenius wrote, “In the essentials we need unity, in the non-essentials we need freedom; but in all things we need love.” Love was Jesus’ highest value, and therefore, must be ours. Above all, we desire to be a community known by love and it is within this context that we express our statement of faith.
BELIEF AND COMMUNITY
The best way to understand what we believe is to come and be a part of our community. You don’t have to hold these beliefs to experience a sense of belonging. We teach from them unapologetically, but welcome everyone regardless of who they are. Too often, statements of belief have been written as ‘boundary markers’ to keep out those who believe or behave differently. This is not our intent. Rather, we seek to humbly express the beliefs of our core community through our words and actions, while welcoming everyone, regardless of their beliefs, to join us.
Whether you encounter us on the street, visit a Sunday gathering or work along side us on Monday morning, we hope that you experience our core beliefs lived out in our everyday lives.
Statement on LGBTQ+ Inclusion
Upper Room welcomes all people to participate fully in our community, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expressions. We recognize the persistent and systematic harm that Christian communities have done to sexual minorities, and earnestly seek to create and protect safe space for our LGBTQ+ community members and their loved ones. We believe that God created all people equally, in all of our sacred diversity, and therefore all are equal members of our community.
We will not discriminate or place restrictions based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expressions on participation in any aspect of community life, including but not limited to; the sacraments, marriage, volunteer roles, leadership and staff positions. Rather, we will prioritize the authenticity and generosity of a person's faith in Jesus, and the gifts that they bring to the community in considering them for a particular role. As the Apostle Paul proclaimed; “The only thing that counts is faith, expressing itself as love” (Gal 5:6).
While we know that not all in our community will agree on all matters of theology or practice, we invite all to hold a posture of love and humility in the spirit of protestant reformer Rupertus Meldenius, who wrote: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials freedom, in all things love!”
OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH
Our core beliefs are expressed in the Nicene Creed, written in the 4th century AD. This historic creed connects us with the long history of Christian faith, and we join with centuries of Christians in affirming these beliefs:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
In addition to the Nicene Creed, we affirm five core beliefs:
We believe that Jesus is the perfect reflection of God’s heart, character, beauty and love. We believe God has spoken to the world through Jesus so that we may know of God’s way, truth, and life (Hebrews 1:1-3, Romans 1:19-21). We believe that Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and where his name is lifted up, he draws all humanity to himself (John 14:6). We affirm that salvation comes by God’s grace to sin-filled people, through faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
We believe that the Scriptures are the inspired word of God, the portal into God’s presence, and the compass that guides our lives and transforms our faith. We believe that Scripture is entirely trustworthy and is our guide for truth, faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12, 13; Psalm 19:7-11, 119:105).
About the Holy Spirit
We believe that Jesus has given his followers the Holy Spirit, whose work is to continually draw us closer to God, transform us into the image of Jesus Christ, and empower us as daily servants (John 16:5-15; Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 12). The Holy Spirit works in our hearts to teach us, convict us, speak to us, and reveal God’s truth to us, so that we may reflect God’s character in our daily lives (John 14:26, Galatians 5:22-23).
We believe that all humanity is fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the image of God, and designed to live in loving relationship with God. Woven into our being is a desire and longing to connect with our Creator (Genesis 1:26-27, Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5).
About the Church
We believe that the church is the Body of Christ on Earth to spread his Kingdom, and to embody his love for the world (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, 2:1-47, Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11-13, 5:25-30, 1 Corinthians 12:27).