Wayzata Community Church believes…
- All people are included in God’s unconditional love and grace
- In Jesus Christ whose life revealed God’s love at work in the human family
- In the Holy Spirit as the power by which we are brought into closer harmony with our Creator
- Strive to follow the path of Jesus Christ, while recognizing other pathways to the Divine
- Encourage each person’s spiritual journey, embracing a variety of spiritual disciplines
- Understand that the words we use to express our faith are to be lived out by loving and compassionate action
- Take the Bible seriously, not literally; finding more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty
- Agree to differ, unite to serve, and resolve to love.
In the various sections below, you will see how these spiritual values are made manifest in the daily life of the church. The areas addressed include: Holy Scripture, sacraments, education, governance, membership and denominational affiliations,
Christian churches look to the Bible as the foundation of worship and study. Christian churches differ in their approach to these sacred texts. We use the tools of modern biblical criticism to seek more light and truth from the scriptures, which are a living witness to faith. While we take the Bible seriously, we approach the text historically and critically to discern God’s message for our lives in the here and now.
How does the Bible speak to us?
We believe the Bible is a book of faith. The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) tell us of the ancient Israelite people on their journey of faith and their struggles. The New Testament continues the narrative as a witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and to the developing early church. The biblical writers were conditioned by their culture and history even as they were inspired by their faith. Some of the language of the Bible is not literal but metaphorical. We look within the story to find its meaning for our lives.
How do we study the Bible?
Today we confront issues and conditions that were unknown to the biblical writers. We turn to scriptural witness to illumine our theological and ethical wrestling with today’s challenges. We have a joyful expectancy that new insights and guidance will come from careful study and meditation. In understanding the deeper messages of scripture, we are not limited by past interpretations. Opportunities for study include:
- Study groups
- Guest lecturers and Spiritual Searcher programs
- Individual study
The term sacrament is defined as a sign or symbol of God’s action and self-revealing, and our human response. Sacraments are practices authoritatively based in scripture; they are a gift from God. Every celebration of a sacrament is a reminder of the mystery of the blessing of grace we receive as the family of God. Wayzata Community Church celebrates two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.
Baptism is the formal initiation into the Christian family of faith. Infant baptism by the sprinkling of water is our practice, though baptism is not limited to any particular age and may include immersion. Anyone who wishes to learn more about this sacrament is invited to call our Pastoral Care office.
Communion is also known as the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist. Communion is offered weekly at the 8:00 a.m. service. It is offered at all services at the change of liturgical seasons (Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Pentecost) and on other liturgical days including World Communion Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday. Upon request, the clergy and the deacons take communion to those unable to attend a service of worship.
Formation is much more than education and instruction – it is a lifetime process for each person who desires a relationship with the Divine. Wayzata Community Church is a church striving to care for people from the cradle to the grave, giving them the opportunity to be transformed by an authentic experience of God. Every service of worship, program, class, bible study, mission trip, etc. contributes to the formation of our faith community.
Since formation takes place in different ways in each stage of life, our staff responds to the uniqueness of each age, providing developmentally appropriate ministries at each level. We believe that relationship is central to spiritual formation. A relationship to God can be found in a personal spiritual pilgrimage, supported by worship and spiritual guidance. At all ages, forming friendships and serving in community allows us to experience God in and through others.
Wayzata Community Church is affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC). This denomination has a congregational form of government in which the local churches retain autonomy on all matters of faith and practice. We are in covenant relationship with other local churches through these denominations for purposes of ordaining clergy and engaging in mission.
Wayzata Community Church retains autonomy in all matters of faith and practice. This is consistent with the polity and practice of the United Church of Christ (UCC). We are bound by covenant relationship to consider prayerfully and deliberately the pronouncements and positions of the denominations’ governing bodies. A Council, elected by our membership in an annual meeting, governs us according to our own constitution. We also elect a Diaconate to assist in serving the spiritual needs of the congregation. With denominational guidance and approval, clergy are ordained and called by the local church to serve.
Our diverse, pluralistic, interdenominational congregation welcomes all individuals. At Wayzata Community Church there are places to worship, to deepen your understanding of God, self and spiritual life; there are places to get to know others more deeply; and there are places to serve.
We receive new members by:
- Profession of faith (for those new to the Christian faith)
- Reaffirmation of faith (for those renewing an earlier commitment)
- Transfer of Letter (for those coming from another congregation)
- Reinstatement of inactive or former members
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