Who Is Jesus

Jesus is the center of our church’s identity and life, and the story of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection and return gives concrete shape to Christian spirituality.

We believe that God created the world and everything and everyone in it. We believe that the world is broken, and we are, too, because of our choices to be independent from God and deny God’s kingship over us. We believe that God is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness”; God wants to reconcile us to himself.

The Christian understanding of the person, Jesus, who lived in Palestine in the first century CE, is that Jesus was sent from God—and actually was God—and fully shared our humanity, including our estrangement from God and our broken relationships with each other and our world. He taught us about God and the life God wanted us to live. He healed sicknesses, confronted evil, and welcomed us to know God and follow his way of sacrificial love. He ultimately died on a Roman cross, condemned though innocent. On the third day from his death, Jesus was physically resurrected, and, after appearing to and teaching his followers over forty days, he ascended out of our world. Through his life and death and resurrection, he has reconciled us to God.

Jesus is the center of our church’s identity and life, and the story of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection and return gives concrete shape to Christian spirituality.

Jesus promised to return, to complete his re-creation of the world and us. That’s what Christians are waiting for, our ultimate hope for making us and our world whole. Until then, God has given us the Holy Spirit, as a kind of down-payment and guarantee of what’s to come, effecting our experience of the “already” part of Christ’s redemptive work, as we wait for the “not-yet” part.

Worship

We have three goals in our worship together: 1) to encounter God’s Spirit, 2) to tell the story of God (especially Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension, and awaited return), and 3) to be formed to think and love like God does. We hope we all will experience these richly, every time we meet.

Each Sunday, you can find specific information about our worship, like the order of our service and song titles and Scripture references, on our website.

In general, we begin with a Scripture passage that expresses God’s invitation to us to know, hear, speak to, sing to, and be near to God. We also open our service recognizing that God’s Spirit is with us constantly, and no less as we’re gathered for worship. 

Then we pray and sing. Some of our prayer is recited together, and some of our prayer is all of us praying in our own words, together. We sing mostly contemporary worship songs with older/ancient songs mixed in, too. We like to think of our songs as prayer, sung instead of spoken. As we sing and speak our prayers, people might clap, dance, lift their hands, bow their heads, and more. These are all physical expressions of prayer that God has welcomed in the Christian Bible and throughout church history.

Joint Service @ Tysons

We “pass the peace of Christ” every Sunday too. In other words, we offer a sign to each other that the peace we know with Christ is also peace we share with each other. It can be a simple handshake or saying “Welcome, glad you’re here” or introducing yourself to someone near you.

We often hear stories from different people in our community. These stories are pretty diverse—they can be about work, relationships, the church, experiences of Jesus, and more—but they are all meant to help us get to know each other and encourage one another in knowing God.

The sermon is another part of our worship. Our sermons are typically expositions of a Scripture passage, and we hope you will find them thoughtful, candid, and affecting, leading you to a deeper encounter with God.

On the first Sunday of each month, we eat wafers and grape juice in a ritual called communion. This celebrates the body and blood of Jesus, broken and poured out for our sake. We often recite Scripture or an ancient creed (a summary of Jesus’ story) as we celebrate communion.

We also collect offering, or financial contributions to the church, on Sundays. If you’re new, please don’t feel any obligation to give. But we do this as a way for our community to be generous with our finances and to express our trust in God’s provision.

Finally, our service ends by recognizing that we are sent to others. Just as we’ve experienced good things in Christ and his Spirit, we know we’re also being sent, every day, to help others experience them too.

CLOSE