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The Brentwood Declaration

 

The Brentwood Declaration

How Brentwood Presbyterian Church Understands Its Faith & Mission

This is a brief summary of the faith that inspires and guides the participants in Brentwood Presbyterian Church in their daily lives.  It’s the story of God’s creation and God’s continual care for it.  It arises from our commitment to nourish souls to flourish in the grace of Jesus Christ through worship, learning, fellowship, and service.

We composed this statement to point to the source of our flourishing and the ways of seeing things that nourish our life together for our service to God’s creation.

We offer it as one means that the Holy Spirit might use to attract your prayerful consideration of the claims of the Christian gospel.  At the same time, we welcome respectful dialogue with those who understand their faith and mission differently in the hope of finding ways of collaborating in blessing a world suffering from turmoil and trauma.

 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
and declared them to be very good.
God then created humanity, male and female,
to cultivate blessing throughout the world.

Rejecting the limits of their power,
our ancestors rebelled against God’s vision of goodness,
resulting in toil, tyranny, trauma, and death.

But God never gave up.
In a definitive act of reconciling forgiveness,
God became incarnate among us.

In the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth,
God restored the original goodness of creation
as a commonwealth enjoyed on earth as it is in heaven.
The Holy Spirit continues to work out the fulfillment of that act.

Through the church universal in which we participate,
the Holy Spirit nourishes us to flourish as God’s friends
through worship, learning, fellowship, and service.

By God’s grace, in Jesus the Christ, through the Holy Spirit,
we know what it is to be loved and to love
amidst all the problems of the world,
and we are equipped, empowered, and sent
to sow the seeds of God’s shalom in all of our circles of influence.

In the end, God’s love will transform the heavens and the earth,
and bring justice, peace, and joy to every dimension of creation.

Brief Notes on the Brentwood Declaration

 This declaration of our understanding of the flow and impact of God’s love for the cosmos arose from the mission and ministries of Brentwood Presbyterian Church.  It speaks to how we see the energy that is God.  This God invites, inspires, equips, and guides us to participate in making this world a more compassionate, prosperous, and safe space to flourish.  We find this divine power revealed most clearly in Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ through whom this God redeemed the world.  The caring and correcting influence of this God continues in the work of the Holy Spirit.

In the words of the declaration, we seek to give a clear account of the companionship and hope that Jesus Christ forges with us for our mission of blessing this world.  In the face of growing indifference to the Christian faith and various distortions of its core meaning and message, our composing of the Brentwood Declaration drew on the work of God’s Holy Spirit through generations of faithful followers of Jesus Christ as they made sense of their faith and mission in their worlds.  We offer it as an invitation or you to become a more conscious follower of Jesus Christ and as a guide for our growth together in God’s mission of justice, peace, and joy.

We trust that this declaration is another step in our continuing journey as a Christian community into fuller participation in the unfolding realization of God’s hospitality and hope.  As we mature in that participation, the Spirit takes us from wandering to wondering, from the dark to the light, from isolation to community, from confusion to clarity, and from despair to joy.  It’s not always a straight path, but we can trust in the One who accompanies us to the destination of God’s shalom.

We pray that this declaration works as a warm welcome for you to find a home base for your flourishing as God’s friends in blessing God’s creation here at Brentwood.

Considering the Claims of the Christian Gospel

The Christian faith is a response of gratitude to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.  It is Gospel – good news for all.  The broad outlines of the story of how these good things happened and continues to unfold are found in the Brentwood Declaration.

Here are three questions that you might find yourself wondering about as you consider the possibility of following Jesus and participating in his mission of justice, peace, and joy in this world and the next.

1. When I take the time to examine what really shapes the meaning of my life, what are the sources of significance that are most powerful?
2. How do these align with or diverge from the Brentwood Declaration?
3. What questions is the Spirit provoking for further consideration?

There may well be some ideas and language in the declaration and our comments that don’t make much sense to you.  Participants in Brentwood are always open to exploring these matters further, especially our minister, Brian Fraser.  He can be reached at .

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