Ours is a broad church, in that the church is made up of individuals whose beliefs range over a wide spectrum of theological thought. We proudly hold them all together, but to do so, it is necessary to keep dogma to an absolute minimum. There is little that is required other than seeking to be, as early Christians were called, “people of the way.” The ‘way’ is, of course, the way taught by Jesus.
Borrowing from the website of Progressive Christianity, we can affirm that…
- following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;
- the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;
- our community is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to: conventional Christians and questioning skeptics, believers and agnostics, women and men, those of all sexual orientations and gender identities and those of all classes and abilities;
- the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;
- grace is found in the search for understanding, and there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;
- we strive for peace and justice among all people;
- we strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;
- we commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.
Since articles of faith are, by definition, unable to be proven, we cannot say anything is correct or incorrect; we can only judge them as helpful or unhelpful. If a belief leads to a more compassionate, loving, open, aware, just, fair and free individual and society, then we can support it, even if it is not a belief we share. If, however, a belief brings disharmony, hatred, prejudice, violence, repression, injustice and evil into the world and into individual lives, then it must be questioned and challenged, and it is our responsibility to do so. Over the centuries, the church has harboured both helpful and unhelpful beliefs.