SCCC is a partner in ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ) and the Kansas City Region of the Disciples. Disciple churches partner together to serve others in Christ's name around the world while valuing relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Here's a bit about what we believe.
"No creed but Christ."
A theological centerpoint for Disciples has been "no creed but Christ". This simply means we believe in rallying around the central truth that God loved us enough to send Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection bring us hope, healing, and a new way of life and love.
We think if we can agree on that and submit our lives to Jesus' teachings then the other details will take care of themselves. We are an ecumenical people with a history of sharing basic affirmations of Christian unity like the Apostle's Creed while also welcoming questions and conversation regarding their details.
When you are ready to become a member of our church we ask one theological question- "Do you affirm your faith in Jesus Christ?". If you can answer that with a "yes" you are part of the family. No exceptions. No other heavy doctrinal statements. That's enough to hold us together.
We remind ourselves that Jesus is our heartbeat and focal point each week as we take the "Lord's supper" of bread and cup. It's a symbol to help us remember God's love and the promise of new life, as well as a reminder of our covenant of faith with one another as we share one loaf. Whether it is your first time ever in a church and you aren't sure what you think about God yet or if you go to church every week, whether you are a member of SCCC or not, you are invited to experience the mercy and grace of Jesus by sharing the supper as you feel comfortable doing so. All people are welcome at Christ's table.
To us, baptism is like a “wedding ring” of faith. We can be in a loving flourishing relationship with God prior to baptism, but we view baptism as a personal symbol for making a deeper lifelong public commitment to God and as a means of committing to participation in the whole church, God's beloved community.
For Jesus and his followers baptism was an important beginning of the faith journey and an initiation into the community of faith. No one has to be perfect, endlessly knowledgeable, or religious to be baptized. It's just about loving Jesus and telling everyone who we belong to.
Prior to baptism we encourage folks to spend time in study and reflection (which usually means reading some books and having coffee a few times with our pastor) as a means of understanding the covenant we make. If you have questions about being baptized, email our pastor at email@example.com.
While we practice believers' baptism upon a personal faith commitment, we welcome people into our church family who have experienced different forms of baptism or confirmation in other traditions and at other ages. If you claim it as your baptism we gladly claim and celebrate it with you.
We believe the bible was written by deeply faithful human beings who were inspired by God's Holy Spirit to help us understand who God is. When we read scripture we do so to understand how to be a better disciple of Jesus- learning from his Jewish heritage in the Hebrew bible (Old Testament) and from his closest followers and disciples in the New Testament. We think the bible is best understood when read in a spirit of humility in it's historical and cultural context, using all the gifts of reason, science, and history to aid our understanding as we listen to the voices of other followers of Jesus in an ancient world. We also believe the bible is a communal book, intended to be shared, read, and interpreted in the confines of Christian community as we help one another grow and listen to the way that each of us understands and hears it.
The red chalice (pictured above) is a symbol often used to denote Disciple congregations. It is a reminder of the centrality of communion in the worship of Disciple congregations and the sideways cross (the cross of St. Andrew) is a reminder of the importance of inviting others to the table of God's love.
Disciples' Confession of Faith:
As members of the Christian Church,
We confess that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of the living God,
and proclaim him Lord and Savior of the world.
In Christ's name and by his grace
we accept our mission of witness
and service to all people.
We rejoice in God,
maker of heaven and earth,
and in God’s covenant of love
which binds us to God and to one another.
Through baptism into Christ
we enter into newness of life
and are made one with the whole people of God.
In the communion of the Holy Spirit
we are joined together in discipleship
and in obedience to Christ.
At the Table of the Lord
we celebrate with thanksgiving
the saving acts and presence of Christ.
Within the universal church
we receive the gift of ministry
and the light of scripture.
In the bonds of Christian faith
we yield ourselves to God
that we may serve the One
whose kingdom has no end.
Blessing, glory, and honor
be to God forever. Amen.*
*Confession from "The Design" of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Why "Disciples Of Christ"?
In an age of nondenominational churches on every corner, why do we choose to be part of a denomination like the Disciples of Christ?
As Disciples we strive to balance freedom and accountability. We are a free church that makes our own decisions- hires our own pastor and staff, are fully funded and led by our volunteer members, etc. Yet, through our partnership with Disciples we hire pastors who have received and participate in ongoing theological training and endorsement by the CC(DOC) and we are theologically and financially accountable to them for how we support mission.
Disciple churches often look very different from one another on Sunday mornings, but are united in our common confession of faith in Jesus Christ, our weekly practice of the Lord's Supper in worship, our commitment to be reconcilers and peacemakers that welcome and affirm all people without exclusion or exception as children of God, and ministry for the purpose of serving others together in the U.S. and around the world.
Disciples were born in the Midwest during the Second Great Awakening and are part of the Mainline Protestant tradition of Christianity in the United States (along with groups like the United Methodists, Presbyterian (USA), Episcopalian (ELCA), and United Church of Christ among others). Mainliners have roots in movements of justice including the Civil Rights' Movement, equality for women, and the welcome and affirmation of our GLBTQ sisters and brothers.
We value being part of the CC/DOC because it makes us accountable to other churches and Christians spiritually and financially, it allows us to support global missions and new ministries in the United States and around the world, gives standards of education and spiritual accountability to our pastors, and allows us to provide theological education for men and women who are training to become pastors of local churches.
For more about Disciples visit www.disciples.org.