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Core Beliefs

CORE VALUES FOR THE MECHANICSBURG  CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN

(Affirmed by the Congregational Forum, Spring 2017)


Every congregation of Christ’s disciples expresses its faith in day to day words and actions.  Claiming Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is not only revealed in the words we speak, but in the priorities that are revealed in our life and ministry.  Your leadership has been challenged to discern what “core values” are reflected in our congregation’s life, as a community committed to following Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  What values do we demonstrate, and in some cases, aspire to reflect in our life together? 


Your Leadership Team began the process by describing the vast variety of things that we “do” in the life of our congregation. The purpose was not to describe just what we want as priorities in our life together, but rather to discern what our current activities suggest about our “operating values”?  We collected some extensive lists and then worked in several sessions to identify what central or core values these activities reflected for us as a community.  We explored those descriptions in our large group, and then asked a smaller team to refine the descriptions for the five areas we identified.  What you find below are the result of our effort.  Your Leadership Team has approved this list for presentation to the Congregational Forum for affirmation.


·        Strengthening Congregational Community

·        Witnessing through Service and Outreach

·        Welcoming and Valuing Others

·        Developing Believers

·        Living our Faith



What is the purpose of identifying these core values?  How will they be used?

Identifying our current core operational values does two things for us:  It describes current priorities in our congregation’s life, and it provides a baseline for our further work to empower and energize our congregation.  If this is the list that we affirm at this time, your ministry teams can ask these questions about our current programs and activities: “How does this activity align with our core values?  How might this activity be modified to more fully address a particular core value?”  As our teams and other groups within the congregation consider new ventures, the same questions will be appropriate.  In this way, core values provide a basis for a vision for the church, and for strategic planning and decision-making.

But there is another benefit.  These core values are a responsible attempt to identify what we are doing now.  But naming them may also help us to discern what these values could “look like” beyond what we are doing now, at present.   For example, “Witnessing through Service and Outreach” currently happens mostly through local avenues like our support of New Hope and our financial commitments to district and national service ministries.  But this value could also be addressed through planning a mission trip with a sister Church of the Brethren in Haiti.   Doing new things under those core values could result in giving new shape to the value itself.