Who We Are: A Progressive Christian Church
[NOTE: At its regularly scheduled meeting on April 9, 2003 the Church Council of The First United Methodist Church of Reno unanimously voted to accept that this declaration is an accurate description of our church.]
By calling ourselves a "Progressive Christian Church," we mean at least the following things:
- We claim Jesus Christ as our entry into the reality of God.
- We recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for and other ways of expressing this same experience.
- We understand that our sharing of bread and the cup in Jesus' name - that we call Holy Communion - to be a representation of a family meal that God offers to and for all people.
- We are a reconciling and inclusive church. By that we mean that "our hearts, our minds and our doors are always open" to all sorts and conditions of people - not only to join in our worship and in our common life as full partners, but to be welcomed as members of The United Methodist Church. This includes (but is not limited to) believers and agnostics, conventional Christians and questioning skeptics, the despairing and the hopeful, people of all races and cultures, all classes and abilities, all sexual orientations and gender identities - who would share alongside of us their spiritual journey without imposing on any the necessity of becoming "just like us."
- We claim that the way we treat each other and those outside of our community is more important than the way in which we express our beliefs.
- As we seek to become the daughters and sons of God that we are - fully human beings - we find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the profound questions rather than in doctrinal answers.
- We see ourselves as a deeply spiritual community out of which we discover the resources required for our work in the world: to always strive for peace with justice among all people and to bring hope to those Jesus called "the least" among us. Our vision - as it is expressed from Micah 6: 8 - is "to do justice... to love kindness...and to walk humbly with our God."
- We recognize that our faith entails costly discipleship, a renunciation of privilege, and a conscientious resistance to all that is evil - wherever and however it manifests itself - that has always been in keeping with the best tradition of the Christian church.
- Based upon the eight points from "The Center for Progressive Christianity" - www.tcpc.org