MIDDLEBURY CHURCH of the BRETHREN CORE VALUES

GOD…We believe in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. Christ the Son was fully human and fully divine. “Jesus is Lord”! (Romans 10:9) The example, teachings and Spirit of the living Christ guide our life together.

SCRIPTURE…We understand the Bible to be God’s inspired word, a love letter to his children. We discern God’s will through the study of the scriptures, with an emphasis on the New Testament—and in particular the gospels—for there we see God directly revealed in Jesus’ words and actions. “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) A noncredal church, our historical statement remains: “The New Testament-Our Rule of Faith and Practice” and “No Creed but Christ”.
PRAYER.. .Prayer is a mainstay of the congregation. Direct communion with God, both individually and corporately, is essential for vital faith and successful ministry. Prayer is the means by which we seek the mind of Christ. “Pray without ceasing”! (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
LOVE...Our worship, our fellowship and our mission are about love. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself’ is the best description of the purpose of our church. (See Luke 10:27)
WORSHIP…Central to the life of our congregation is joyous worship. (See Psalm 29:2) This worship is the natural expression of our love and gratitude for the God who saves us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We proclaim Christ as The Good News (gospel) for all people. Our greatest efforts are given toward excellence and relevance in worship. All else flows from this.
DISCIPLESHIP…We intentionally make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them all that we learned from Jesus. (Matthew 28:19-20) We organize our ministries and programs to call each person to an ever-deepening commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.
FELLOWSHIP…One of the delights of the Christian life is coming together for fellowship. Just as the early Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship,” (Acts 2:42) so we regularly meet together for meals, recreation, sharing and prayer. Furthermore, we are strongly committed to maintaining fellowship with the churches of the Northern Indiana District, the Church of the Brethren, and the wider body of Christ.
MINISTRY…As the body of Christ we are all ministers, ordained at our baptism. (See I Peter 2:9) The pastors, as set-apart ministers, are charged with helping the members discover and unleash their spiritual gifts for the edification of the church and the world. We encourage the launching of new ministries that are consistent with our core values. Women and men stand on equal footing in this church, with all ministries, roles and offices open to male and female alike.
EVANGELISM…Though some have special gifts in this regard, every member is an evangelist. We reach out to our community and world with an ever-widening embrace, inviting all to know the healing and saving love of Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 28:18-20) We work in concert with our district, denomination and interdenominational bodies to carry out the mandate of evangelism. We continue the Brethren tradition of mission to the whole person— meeting needs of the body, mind and spirit. We are an inclusive fellowship; everyone is welcome here, regardless of class gender, sexual orientation, race, or ability. All are welcome to worship and study with us, to be baptized and participate in communion, to become members and to share their God given gifts in all ministries, roles and offices of this congregation. All stand on equal footing in this church.
SERVANTHOOD...We are servants of God and neighbor. “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Our master was a servant, so our lives are to be lived in humble service to all. (See John 13:16)
PEACE…We are committed to peacemaking as a way of life. (See Matthew 5:9) The nonviolent response to evil is one of the central themes of the cross of Jesus Christ and demanded of his followers. While individual conscience is respected in this matter, the leadership of this church shall preach, teach and live the way of peace unapologetically.
STEWARDSHIP...We are stewards of God’s possessions. Everything we have is God’s. We simply hold it in trust for him. (See Psalm 24:1) We employ our lives and our resources for the building up of the kingdom of God. We promote tithing and regular, proportionate giving. (See I Corinthians 16:2) We share as much as we can with those who are impoverished, whether they are in the next pew, down the block, or across the sea. Our stewardship includes care of the earth, from which all temporal blessings flow.