What We Believe
We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God and we accept him as Lord and Savior of our lives.
To Share God’s Love:
By accepting people as they are ✞ By encouraging friendship and hospitality ✞ By nurturing learning and spiritual growth ✞ By serving as Jesus did
To offer hope and welcome to all through Jesus Christ
In a way, our annual directory, with its dates, structures, and (especially) names, is as good a definition of “the church” as any. That’s because the church is people: people committed to loving God and neighbor, people committed to proclaiming the Gospel, and people committed to treating one another as brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of age, abilities, race, sexual orientation, income, or physical and mental health “The Church” is a people who know themselves to be fellow travelers down the amazing road we call “Christianity.”
As our name implies, we stand in continuity with those who first followed Jesus as his disciples. Like Peter, we accept Him as our Lord, saying: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Sadly, we are also like Peter in that we don’t always live up to our confession. That’s why we are as grateful as he was to receive, proclaim, and attempt to embody the love and forgiveness of our risen Lord. Our history also includes the birth of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). On the American frontier, early in the 1800’s, some Baptists, Presbyterians, and others came to realize that inter-denominational competition was diluting their witness. They cut their denominational ties and emphasized the unity of all who accept Christ as Lord. Probably, they’d be surprised to learn their descendants have become yet another denomination, but we still believe in – and work for – Christian unity.
As for our particular congregation, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was first founded in Valparaiso back in 1837. (As you might imagine, we’ve moved a couple of times and built several different sanctuaries since then.) Among our claims to fame: we started the first public hospital, the first day care center, and the first food pantry in this community. Our people have always had a heart for social action and the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25 is a congregational favorite: “As you have done it for the least of these, you have done it for me.”
Rev. Tim Trussell-Smith