At 509 Community Church we believe in the teaching of the Gospel as proclaimed in the Apostle’s Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty,
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
We seek to live out these teachings in the following ways:
Who We Are:
Church – We are the blessed people of the Triune God, redeemed and renewed through Jesus Christ – made dead to sin in his death on the cross and alive to God in his resurrection. This life-changing reality is at the core of what we do here – responding to
God’s grace with thanksgiving and celebration. We believe that we as one body, united to Christ and one another by the Holy Spirit are the church and we seek to live that out in our daily lives. (Ephesians 5:21-33, Colossians 1:15-29, Colossians 3:15-17)
Inclusion – We believe in empowering and equipping all who desire to imitate Christ – regardless of age, race, gender, ability, class, or orientation. We embrace that God’s image is found in all people with breathtaking diversity. (Matthew 28:16-20, Genesis 1:27-28, Galatians 3:23-29, Acts 8:26-40)
What We Believe:
Truth – The 509 operates on the understanding that truth is derived from four sources: Scripture, Reason, Experience, and Tradition. Historically, the Church has used these four sources as means of discernment. Each of these sources must be balanced out by the others, in order the ensure that one does not become too great over the others. (Psalm 19:1-4, John 14:25-26, Romans 1:18-20, Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:14-16)
Scripture – We hold to the Holy Scriptures as the divinely inspired Word of God and the core revelation of truth about who God is and what God’s creation is for. When read and understood in its appropriate context we see the story of God working in creation unfolding before us. The Bible is not just a compilation of ancient texts, but one way that God uses the written word (history, poetry, song, and story) to speak truth and
conviction to God’s beloved creation. (2 Timothy 3:14-16, 1 Peter 1:20-21)
Tradition – We embrace the great traditions of the Church. We respect where the Spirit has taken the Church through the ages and accept with humility that we have much to learn from those who have come before us, but we also look to where the Spirit is guiding the Church now. Rather than limiting where and how we can grow, traditions are meant to deepen our roots and firm up our foundation. Church tradition has given us theologically rich practices and rituals that the 509 community embraces – reading and teaching scripture, weekly communion, and corporate prayer. We would not know where we are going, if we did not know where we came from. We hold that church traditions are useful because they serve a purpose – leading us toward deeper and more meaningful communion with God. (Matthew 15:2, 1 Corinthians 11:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6)
Honesty – We believe that our community is made stronger – not weaker – when we are honest about our struggles, doubts, fears, sorrows, failures and challenges in discipleship. We believe in celebrating the good work that Christ has done and being honest about progress that still needs to be made. These lived experiences inform our understanding of who God is, who we are, and how God is working our lives and the world. (Galatians 6:1-5)
Growth – First and foremost, the 509 acknowledges that there are many things we have yet to learn and therefore cannot speak to directly, however, we continually look for ways to grow deeper in our faith as a community and apply that knowledge to our future actions.
We also believe in abiding by the teaching in Micah 6:8
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God?” (ESV)
This Scripture leads us to certain practices:
What We Do:
Worship – As God’s redeemed and renewed people, we believe that it is right to give God our thanks and praise in all things and at all times and to faithfully seek God’s Kingdom and Kingship. A posture of worship and humility allows us to see and be attentive to ways that God is at work in Creation. (John 4:20-24, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-21)
Confession - A vital aspect to our lives as the body of Christ and to our worship service is confession. This is a time when we are honest with ourselves about the brokenness that afflicts us, about the darkness that crowds our hearts with selfishness, and the pride that says we can do it on our own. Confession is a time when we corporately lay that aside and confess Christ as our God and Savior, who saved us from eternal darkness. Confession is a time when we redirect our minds, hearts, and actions towards the Kingdom and glory of God. (James 5:16)
Communion – We celebrate the Holy Eucharist every week at the 509. It is a time when God’s people are invited into the company of the Lord, where we remember who it is that gives life. At the table, the children of God are given sustenance for our pilgrimage, energy for Kingdom work, and renewed vision where we may see God’s work in ourselves, in our neighbors, and in creation. At the 509, communion is not just for those who call the 509 home, but for all who have heard the gospel and responded in honesty and obedience. (Luke 22:14-20, John 6:22-65, John 13:1-20)
Prayer - The practice of prayer is vital to the 509 community. When we pray, we believe that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are interceding on our behalf. We confess that we are imperfect humans who don’t always know what’s best, but we trust that the Jesus and the Holy Spirit are perfecting our prayers. In this attitude, we boldly approach the throne room of God where we lay our pleas, our petitions, our confessions, and our thanksgiving at the feet of our Father. We trust that God knows our needs before we ask them, and will respond to us in steadfast love. (Matthew 6:9-13, John 14:13-14, Philippians 4:6)
Baptism – We believe baptism is part of the Christian walk with Christ. It is an outward sign to the Church community that you have heard the gospel, confessed your sins, and chosen to live the rest of your life following the narrow path of God. When Christ was baptized in the Jordan river, he made a physical showing of taking on the sins of the people, of going down to the depths with his neighbors. It is the same for us. When we are baptized, we go down to the depths of Christ’s death and are reborn with him to new life as daughters and sons of God. (Mark 10:38, Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38-39, Romans 6:1-14)
Discipleship – We believe that God wants to be in deep relationship with all humans. To this end, as people made in the image of God, we seek to imitate Christ’s example and to abide by his teachings, empowered and equipped by the Holy Spirit to do so. (Matthew 7:24-29, John 8:12, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
Equipping – The 509 aims to be a central meeting place that challenges and transitions people into greater obedience in their faith, that they might seek to integrate that learning into their own lives. We do not seek to participate directly in all of the ministries of those in our community, but encourage those who attend to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit in how it might transform the lives they lead.
Simplicity – We like to keep it simple, stripped down, and as earthy as possible. We embrace that following Jesus isn’t about being flashy or impressive. Simplicity allows us flexibility to respond to God’s calling in unique ways and allows us to focus on what is most important. (Mark 10:17-27, Matthew 6:19-21, Acts 2:43-47)
Community Context – We seek to understand its place, both within our local community, and within the global community. We seek to reach out to our
neighbors with humility. We seek to connect with the global church to become the hands and feet of Christ. In each of these interactions, we also seek to understand how the place and the world in which we live needs to affect both what we do within the church and our own personal lives. (John 17:20-24, 1 Peter 3:8)
Reconciliation and Peace – The 509 seeks reconciliation and peace through forgiveness of our brothers and sisters as a response to the grace and reconciliation we have received in Christ. (Matthew 521-28; 38-48, 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; 6:14-15, James 3:18)