OUR PURPOSE AND VALUES
We are a church ...
We are a church that belongs to Christ:
As a Lutheran congregation, we are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. And we also believe that faith gives us the freedom and the courage to wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world.
We are church that is sacramental. We regularly celebrate Holy Communion and welcome people of all ages to be baptized.
We are a church that believes in diversity.
* We believe God calls women and men to public leadership in the church.
* We embrace all people in the spirit of love, regardless of race or ethnicity, economic status or gender identification.
There is a place for you at Living Grace Lutheran Church.
Our purpose ...
Our purpose is to inspire and equip people to follow Jesus Christ.
What sets the church apart from every other organization in the world? It is our connection with Jesus.
How do we live as followers of Jesus?
We read his words in the New Testament and follow his teachings.
We learn from his actions and interactions with others and model our lives after what he did.
We trust that through his death and resurrection Jesys has saved us and connected us with God in a deeper way.
Our values ...
You matter to God.
At Living Grace, we have no ulterior agenda for your life. Come as you are, wherever you are, on your spiritual journey. Through you, God makes a one of a kind impact in the world. God is not mad at you, and we, as a church, are not mad at the world.
The life and teachings of Jesus are our central reference point.
We are of the Christian religion and Lutheran tradition. Therefore, we focus on the words and actions of Jesus to find meaning for our lives. The main purpose of the scriptures is to point us to Christ, his teachings and how he lived as the Son of God. His is our inspiration as we live as sons and daughters of God as well. We also follow Jesus’s example as he embraced, ignored, reinterpreted, and rejected parts of the scripture of his day. The Gospels, parts of Paul’s epistles (like Philippians), and the Psalms generally take priority in our preaching and devotional life.
Even though we identify as Christians, we also deeply value and respect the human longing for connecting with the ineffable that is present in other spiritual and religious traditions.
Practicing faith leads to spiritual growth.
We believe that faith is not only believed but, more importantly, practiced. We value personally connecting with God instead of simply thinking correct thoughts about God. Faith is less of an intellectual assent to points of doctrine, and more of a worldview that informs how we live and interact with God's world. Our faith and spirituality impact how we think, feel, decide, and act. Quiet meditative prayer time and reading relevant parts of the Bible are important practices of a Christian.
We act with generosity without expectation of reward.
We believe that helping others, as individuals and as a church, without expectation of reward or recognition, is the purest form of spiritual service. We work together to finically support organizations that are making a positive impact in people’s lives. We want to give people the opportunity to be generous in ways they would have never dreamed of if it wasn’t for our church. However, we believe, at its deepest level, the best and most effective church “outreach project” is you being inspired to show spontaneous compassion and generosity in your daily interactions with others.
We courageously embrace the mystery of life and faith.
It is our goal to let “God be God” and not think we have a corner on defining the mystery of the divine. God transcends all of our names, metaphors and even doctrines about God. We are not afraid to ask hard theological questions, follow our consciences, and reflect critically about the beliefs we have about ourselves and the world. Embracing an evolving world with dynamic faith, hope and love is what we are called to do.
Connecting with others personally, in community, is a central part of our Christian experience.
In a world that increasingly pushes people towards what is individualistic and personal, we believe that real, face-to-face connections with other people matter. People can find value in forming relationships outside the circle of their family, workplace, or friends on social media. That’s why gathering as a community on a regular basis is a high value of ours. In a world of mass media and “big box” churches, we believe we are called to be a place of personal, human interactions, even if those interactions may be messy at times.
We live with simplicity.
We are a simple church. We don’t want to be a church that is cluttered with physical items, programs and activities that distract us from living our identity as followers of Jesus and practicing our faith. When we focus on doing the basics well, like worship, prayer, generosity, and practicing our faith, we will make a greater impact in the world and live in freedom. Also, we encourage people to live lives of simplicity to ease our collective burden on the gift of God’s wonderful creation.
Our congregational focus areas for 2020
1. Equip people to be followers of Jesus through an active faith life.
Faith is more than believing certain presuppositions about God. Faith is also strengthen though active practices.
2. Become more established in a growing area of West Omaha.
We will do this by increasing our signage in the area and capitalizing on online targeted social media advertisement.
3. Further develop who we are as a congregation and authentically communicate that identity to the world.
Define and develop our congregation's vision, mission, and values.
4. Encourage individuals to be conduits of compassion in our community.
We will provide increased outreach opportunities - i.e. supporting the school's food pantry, cultivating our Mosaic partnership, encouraging participation in God’s Work, Our Hands, Christmas Love, etc.).