People often comment that Ascension seems to be a very dynamic and caring congregation. We are truly humbled and honored to hear this. Like any church, we are NOT perfect! (How could we be when everyone here – including our pastor and staff! – are sinners?!?) But by God’s grace we try to become more and more the people that God the Father created us to be, that Jesus the Son redeemed us to be, and that the Holy Spirit empowers us to be.
We have developed a series of “Core Values, Beliefs and Practices” statements that we use to try and help others learn more about what we believe, teach and practice here. Here is a list of some of our “over-arching” values:
Our congregational life, ministry and practice will be firmly rooted and centered in Lutheran Theology, with a strong emphasis on God’s Grace and Forgiveness. (God Always Comes Down!) We want everything we do at Ascension to be centered in God’s Word (Bible) and bathed in Prayer. Membership in this congregation indicates a commitment to be Disciples and Followers of Jesus, not like “members” in a “club.”
We want Authenticity, Integrity, Honesty, Passion, Maturity & genuine Humility to be hallmarks of our life and ministry.
We commit ourselves to pursuing Excellence, which means always seeking to do the best we can with our circumstances and resources. This includes an openness to using Tools, Resources and Technology.
We want to celebrate and cultivate Creativity and Beauty. We are willing to Experiment and Take Risks, openly acknowledging that such a culture means Mistakes will be made. But we pledge to regularly Evaluate what we do and Learn from our mistakes.
We are committed to the discipline of recruiting, developing, training, and equipping Leaders. This will be essential for our health and vitality as we seek to build a congregation that is Volunteer-Driven, with our Staff serving as “Catalysts” and “Coaches.”
We believe that for our congregation to be healthy and vibrant, All 5 Purpose Areas – Worship, Grow, Care 1 & 2, Share – need to be lifted up, supported, and done well. However, at the same time, we readily admit that each of us will have a primary Passion in only one or perhaps two of these areas, and we want to release our members to pursue their God-given passion in ministry. Thus there will be a “healthy tension” between our corporate Responsibility and our personal Focus.
We want to be a Permission-Giving congregation, which means we try to say “Yes” as often as we can to ministry ideas. At the same time, we give our members Permission to say “No” whenever they are asked to give or serve, without having to feel guilty or embarrassed.
We joyfully accept the Challenge that commitment to these values, beliefs and practices will require Flexibility in our organization and approaches to ministry. From the very beginning this congregation has been Open to Change for the sake of the Gospel. We fully intend to keep it that way.
We have committed ourselves to some pretty high standards, wouldn’t you say? But since we belong to a God of high values and standards, why should it be any other way?