What we believe
About God. We believe in the one true, holy and living God. He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and rules with gracious regard for his creation and salvation of humankind, to the glory of his name. We believe he reveals himself as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, distinct but inseparable, eternally one in essence and power.
We believe the Father is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. The Father can be intimately known by knowing the Son, Jesus.
We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. He lived, suffered and died on the cross. He was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, He shall return. He is eternal Savior and Mediator, who intercedes for us, and by him all people will be judged.
We believe the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and Son as God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also dwells in followers of Christ in order to provide them with power for living, understanding of truth, and guidance to do what is right. He enables followers with gifts and resources to serve and participate in his kingdom. He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.
About Scripture. We believe the Bible reveals the Word of God. The Bible is God’s revelation about himself to humankind and is to be the rule and guide for faith and practice.
About Humankind. We believe God’s special creation is humankind, male and female, bearing his very image. Humanity’s original purpose is to bring glory to God in fellowship with him. Sin’s effects pervade and corrupt all of creation and all of life including cultural, social, and religious life. All humans inherit sin, are inclined to sin, and are lost without the saving grace found in entrusting one’s life to Jesus Christ and receiving forgiveness he provides by his sacrificial death. Because God created humankind in his own image, and that Christ died for humanity, we believe that all persons possess dignity and worth.
About the Church. The church is the community of all followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the head of the church, whose mission is to make disciples and spread the love of Christ. Followers of Christ should actively engage in the local church to worship Him, to know Him, to pray, to make new disciples, to grow to maturity in faith, and discover and utilize their personal gifts in the life of the church.
About Hope. We believe that God’s plan includes the giving of new life to those who choose to receive the forgiveness found in his sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. New life has real purpose and meaning in Christ here and now as well as an eternal life in the presence of God in the future. We believe in the return of Jesus in glory to bring this age to an end bringing judgement to Satan, unbelievers, and all evil. We believe true followers of Christ will receive a glorified body to be made present with God and with all of the believers from all ages.
About the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion. Sacraments are special means of grace that exceed human understanding. From our traditions, we recognize baptism and communion as sacraments. For us, baptism marks the initiation into the church and signifies the beginning of the process of salvation for the individual. Communion is our response to Jesus’ command when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” We participate in the meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the night before his arrest and crucifixion. It is then we remember what he has done for us, confess our need for him, and proclaim our hope found in him.
About Human Sexuality & Marriage. It is not the purpose of Pleasant Chapel’s polity to make statements regarding the church’s position on every current social or cultural issue. However, because of the current nature of the disaffiliation from the UMC and because human sexuality is such a divisive and yet ambiguous problem within the church, the following reflects the church’s belief.
Pleasant Chapel welcomes all people to explore and grow in Christian faith, to connect with this family of fellow followers of Jesus Christ, and to participate in the church’s ministries. All are accepted and all are affirmed as people who have sacred worth and bear the image of their Creator. Accepting and affirming, however, do not mean all behaviors correctly reflect the image that followers of Christ are to bear (this is the basic reason many churches have struggled with the issue of human sexuality). Followers of Christ are called to live holy lives that reflect the goodness of our Creator. We believe that human sexuality is a gift from God to be expressed within the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman. Expression not in the marital covenant is sexually immoral and is therefore not condoned, celebrated, or promoted by Pleasant Chapel.