The mission statement of Nativity is a great explanation of who we are, what we believe, and what we are about. It is:
“Called by the grace of God, we reach out to all people with the love of Jesus Christ.”
“Called by the grace of God,”
Everything starts with God. God acts on our behalf, calls us into being, claims us as children, and leads us into service. Deeply rooted in the Lutheran tradition of grace, we assert that our lives and mission emanate not from our dedication or ability, but from the God of the universe. God redeemed the universe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Humanity did its level best to extinguish this divine light, but God’s love is infinitely more powerful than human sin.
“we reach out to all people”
Regrettably, the history of the church is full of instances when its outreach was for some but not for all. It has excluded people because of their nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, or inner struggles with the doctrines of the church. Whenever this has happened it has resulted in something less than what God intends. We are not claiming to have solved these issues or risen above prejudice, but we do commit ourselves to be an inclusive congregation that will work for an inclusive church and society. All means all.
“with the love of Jesus Christ.”
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was. he replied that we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are to also love our neighbors as ourselves. There is no ambiguity about this central teaching. Scripture tells us that God is love. Jesus in his life and teaching was the incarnation of God as he gave love to whomever he met. That is our calling at Nativity. We want to be reckless lovers of God’s creation and the whole human family.