What We Believe – Christ Church at Grove Farm

What We Believe

The culture of our church is much like any other family: we are diverse in our expression but unified in our beliefs. Although non-aligned denominationally, we worship in the Anglican tradition, relying on the historic Creeds and the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church to define our doctrine. This takes on a more formal ethos in our blended service, while our contemporary service is more casual. Our heritage in the Anglican tradition provides the firm foundation from which we reach out to our world with the timeless truths of the Gospel. Our values are based on the Word of God, our final authority in all matters of faith and practice.

Our Biblical worldview is manifest in our DNA in the way in which we have historically preached from our pulpits, and engaged with the culture around us. This has led to our being somewhat unique among American evangelical churches, in the following ways.

The Primacy of Evangelism

Evangelism is perhaps the best single word to describe our DNA at Christ Church. In everything we do, we try to be intentional about making sure that we are giving people the opportunity to hear the Gospel, and come to know Christ. We have a history of reaching out to our neighbors and inviting them to special services for this very reason. Beyond the “traditional” outreaches for special services at Christmas and Easter, we have been evangelistically intentional about other times of the year, like our special Mother’s Day service, or a 9/11 Memorial Service honoring our local first responders, or inviting all area veterans to come to Christ Church so that we may honor them on Veterans’ Day. We have become known for these and other special services in the past, and we want to continue to provide opportunities to celebrate people and events which we believe God will use to draw more people to Himself.

Culture of Life

As people made in the image of God, we believe in the dignity of every life at every stage, and therefore we are unapologetically ProLife. We also believe that every woman who has experienced the pain of a past abortion can receive forgiveness, healing and reconciliation from God, whose property it is to have mercy. We strive to bring grace-shaped truth to this difficult issue. This is why we set aside the month of January to focus on Life, where we might have a testimony or two from someone who has been touched by abortion in some way, or perhaps has experienced a crisis pregnancy. We usually have a speaker from Choices Pregnancy Services (one of our supported ministries) share what is happening in their sphere of influence. Our annual bus trip to the March for Life in Washington, DC has been a Christ Church tradition for many years, and will continue as long as we remain a country in which the killing of our children is codified in law and encouraged by our culture.

The Sacredness of Sexuality

We believe that just as our ethnicity was designed by God and is unalterable, so too we believe that our sexuality is a sacred gift and not subject to change based on our own proclivities or desires. We acknowledge that sexual brokenness reveals itself in many forms, and is an increasingly common human condition. We strive not to characterize one form of sexual brokenness as being worse than another. We believe that the biblical parameters of marriage as a monogamous lifelong covenantal relationship between a man and a woman provide the best foundation for human flourishing. We also believe that as our society continues to fall away from this concept, we need to welcome the sexually broken and minister to them where they are, depending upon God’s grace to lead them to redemption.

Celebrating the Lord’s Supper

Our service of Holy Communion is a commemorative act with deep spiritual meaning. As a new ordinance given by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself to be practiced regularly by His followers until He comes again, it is both a remembrance for believers and a proclamation for the world. It is a solemn reminder of His own body providing atonement for our sins, as well as a testimony that we are not ashamed of our Lord or of His atoning blood; we belong to Him. Communion not only looks back to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ which purchased our freedom from the bonds of slavery to sin, but it looks forward to the day when we will be united with him in glory. We invite all those who have placed their trust in Jesus to share in the Lord’s Supper with us at His table.

Celebrating Baptism

 We celebrate the baptism of infants and children, not as a means or a seal of salvation, but as a covenantal act. It is administered within the context of a child’s believing parents that the baptized child is set apart to grow up in the faith family of Jesus Christ, with the help and support of our local body of believers. We will also dedicate children, rather than baptize them when this is the desire of believing parents. In both instances, we as a church pledge to come alongside and support the family’s instruction and example to follow the Lord. Benefits obviously confer to a child so set apart, which are numerous but not salvific. Christ Church at Grove Farm also practices Believer’s Baptism by sprinkling or immersion, for all of those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ but who may or may not have received infant baptism. In that case, baptism is a public affirmation of the believer’s new life in Christ. Jesus ordained baptism for those who place their trust in Him.