The very basis of our faith is grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not fro yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." And grace is all over scripture (check out this list of Bible verses, just for a start!).
But what, exactly, is grace? Grace is how we receive God's "never stopping, never giving up, in breaking, always and forever love" - whether we feel we've earned it or not. In his book, What's So Amazing About Grace?, Philip Yancey describes it this way: "Grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make God love me less. It means that I, even I who deserve the opposite, am invited to take my place at the table in God’s family.”
Grace is God's posture towards us, at all times and in all places.
We want to be a community that both receives and reflects God's grace. We want to echo the blessing found in 2 Peter 3:18, that we "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour." And we want to grow in grace together, through worship, discipleship, and serving together in our neighbourhood. We want to be a people who recognize God's work of grace in our lives, each and every day.
And we want to reflect God's grace in our lives. As we scatter, as we venture out into our neighbourhood and seek to bring Life into all the places we live, work, and play, we will seek to embody grace in our interactions with our neighbours. As we find our roots in our place, we will build those roots with a posture of grace.
This doesn't mean that we won't hold each other accountable. If we are to grow as we gather and scatter in our place of North Oshawa, we need to hold each other accountable and keep each other on track as God's people. But - this needs to be done with grace.
In our new community of faith, we will both receive and reflect God's grace. Just as grace is God's posture towards us, we will do all we can to hold that same posture toward each other and toward our neighbourhood.
So - will you join us?