To begin, our knowledge of God in Christ. The active presence of God is experienced through Christian practices. Our Christian practices include things like keeping the Sabbath, discernment, testimony, forgiveness, and hospitality. These practices are not meant to separate us from the world, but help the church to be part of a life that allows for her people to respond and be part of God’s active presence in the world.
By experience God’s active presence in the world, the church will be a community. The community will allow for individuals to discern with one another the differences between desire and need, as well as learn from one another. Living in community will also give people the chance to realize the problem of sin and evil in the world. Gratefully, they will also be able to take part in the sacrament of baptism in which they will experience the life, death and resurrection with Christ Jesus. The transformation that occurs at the waters of baptism makes clear that they are all initiated into a new community that brings life.
Being part of the new community (or church) allows individuals know that they belong and are welcomed. They will continue to share this message to all people as the church will be community not just for them, but all people. The message of God’s grace needs to be shared with everyone in order that they see the transformation of the community of believers.
What is crucial to remember is that Jesus commands his disciple to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creatures" (Mark 16:15). The God news of God’s love and redeeming work in the world should be proclaimed in all places, not hidden by a group of secluded people in a building. The church needs to remember that they are an Easter people called to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection to the people.
It is easy to think that the church needs to create a new mission when what we see does not work or does not live out the mission we were called to. It is even more apparent when we look at those at the first third of life that the church needs to rethink it’s mission in the world.
The view of God needs to be of God as Trinitarian: God is for the world. God is defined by relationships. God limits Godself in order to be in relationship with the world and humankind. God gives of God’s self. God created, redeems and sustains. God is no distant and reserved only for those 2000 years ago.
The church also needs to be able to call and gather individuals. The church cannot be church by themselves. It takes people being in relationship with one another and God to live out the Gospel message. In baptism, we are welcomed into the Lord’s family. Not only we welcomed, we are received into the body of Christ as children of the same heavenly Mother. While in that family, we are unique people in the beloved community (LBW 125). Faith is active and alive. The work we are called to do is all active and alive.
The church is community; called and gathered on the incarnation of Jesus Christ bringing salvation to the world. The mission of the church is to then make this a message that can be proclaimed to all people. The Holy Spirit works through individuals to make this a reality that all people can experience God’s good news of his risen son.
The community of Church will also gather to experience God’s love through the sacrament of Holy Baptism and Eucharist. We will be able to experience God’s beautiful grace as God extends the invitation to all of us to meet God at the baptismal waters to experience God’s life, death and resurrection with Christ. It is also at the Lord’s table that we gather with our enemies and strangers to take part in the same meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his death on the cross.