FGCC – Forest Grove Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a 200 year old Christian movement which seeks unity among followers of Jesus in the midst of diversity of theology, history and practice. People often are unfamiliar with our tradition, so they ask, “Is that a bible church or a non-denominational church?” To which I answer, “Yes. Its actually one of the first ones in the US, growing out of that very sort of spirit (or Spirit?) in the early 19th century. But anything that hangs around for 200 years takes on an organizational life of some kind, so we were recognized as a denomination about a hundred years ago.”
We are still focused on pursuing an early Disciples’ motto: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials charity, in all things love.” And for us, the one essential as Christians is our four-fold affirmation of faith: “Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God, Savior and Lord.” With that as the center, we come together at the Lord’s Supper weekly and understand that we are made one with the whole people of God. We believe that each person can develop the ability to study scripture and interpret it for themselves within the context of the faith community, in prayerful conversation with other believers and the historical teachings of the church. That it possible does not mean it is easy, nor that everyone will want to put in the time and effort necessary to interpret scripture faithfully or well. The very fact that so many smart, prayerful, earnest and well meaning people can study the same text and arrive at such different conclusions should keep us very humble about our own and others’ beliefs.
We also affirm that every follower of Jesus is ordained by him through baptism to ministry for church and world – proclaiming the good news through word and action – and becoming our own living answer to the Lord’s Prayer, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This is no small task, and as Paul indicates, requires the involvement of everyone living out their own gifts with inspiration. God desires to extend to us grace through one another. God calls us the continuation of the incarnation – “the Body of Christ” – a manifestation of God’s redeeming love. This is the identity into which we seek to live.