We believe that the gospel is good news about new life and new creation. It is the announcement that Jesus was raised from the dead and through faith in him, our selves, our families, our communities and our cities can be reconciled and renewed. Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” God is renewing all things through Christ and New York City will someday be free of racial division, class struggle and political corruption. Not only has God promised such renewal, we have seen it happening in New York City as Gospel-centered churches are planted.
The church is the visible community of God’s people gathered together in faith to worship and serve him and to represent him to a watching world. God primarily relates to us and to his world through his church, which is the living body of Christ, the vital fellowship of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 3 & 12). She is a supernatural creation, built upon the life-giving message of the gospel; in the church the gospel is embodied, and through the church the gospel is displayed and proclaimed. Therefore we believe that the most fundamental contribution we can make to the renewal and peace of Brooklyn is the planting and proliferation of neighborhood churches faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If the kingdom is the renewal of all things under God’s loving rule, then each church will also be devoted to serving its neighbors and neighborhood in word and deed. To borrow the Apostle Paul’s categories, our churches are both ambassadors and servants. Thus we believe that the gospel is good news that must be proclaimed in word and demonstrated in service. After all, the gospel is the good news of Christ’s renewal project both within us and in his world. We hope that as our churches celebrate Christ and serve Brooklyn, God’s peace will be more and more present in our neighborhoods.
In order for a church to truly minister the gospel of Christ in word and deed, it must take seriously its commitment to the place in which it resides. Jesus commands us to love our neighbors, and in order for us to do so we must follow the example of his incarnation and get to know our neighbors; we must “move into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14) For this reason we intentionally seek to be neighborhood churches, populated primarily by those living in a particular geographic area and serving there as well.
To say that we are committed catholics is to say that we embrace those basic beliefs and practices of the church throughout history. Though we locate ourselves firmly within the more specific Reformed tradition, we are most devoted to those beliefs which define Christians as Christians. Thus we will seek always to find ways to pursue the unity of Christ’s church and will partner with the various churches from other traditions located within our neighborhoods as often and as fully as possible. One primary way we are seeking Christian unity is in that central practice of the Christian church: corporate worship. Our churches will attempt to combine an appreciation for the richness of the church’s liturgical heritage with a vibrancy that is refreshing, avoiding both uncomfortable novelty and stuffy traditionalism. In our worship we are devoted to the preached Word and to the sacraments of Baptism and Communion as the means of grace for God’s people and will celebrate them as such.