Disciples' Identity, Practices, and Beliefs

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Our Identity                                                                  

We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord's Table as God has welcomed us.

Our Practices

• Open Communion. The Lord's Supper, or Communion, is celebrated in weekly worship. All who seek God and are drawn to Christ are invited to participate.

• Freedom of Belief. Disciples are called together around the belief in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Persons are free to follow their consciences guided by the Bible, the Holy Spirit, study and prayer, and are expected to extend that freedom to others. We hold the centrality of scripture, recognizing that each person has the freedom — and the responsibility — to study God's Word within the community of the church.

• Baptism by Immersion. In baptism the old self-centered life is set aside, and a new life of trust in God begins. Although Disciples practice baptism by immersion, individuals baptized at any age and by any mode can unite with the church by making a confession of faith.

• Belief in the Oneness of the Church. All Christians are called to be one in Christ and to find ways to work together in showing God's love through witness and service. We hear a special calling to make visible the unity of all Christians. In our diversity we belong to one another because we commonly belong to Christ.

• The Ministry of All Believers. Both ministers and lay persons lead in worship, service, and spiritual growth. We affirm the priesthood of all believers, rejoicing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit — which include the gift of leadership — that God has given for the common good.

Our Beliefs

The Preamble to the Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is an affirmation of the faith of the church throughout the ages — not as a "test of fellowship," but as a confession of faith that identifies the Disciples' commitment to and place within the one body of Christ. It states:

As members of the Christian Church,
We confess that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of the living God,
and proclaim Him Savior and Lord 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.