First Church exists as a local expression of the Kingdom of God "on earth as it is in heaven". Our mission is "Loving God and Neighbor in Worship, Word, and Life Groups".
Our mission to love God and Neighbor includes the three key areas of Worship, Word, and Life Groups. Worship is the profound experience of entering into the heavenly realm as we remove our focus from ourselves and refocus on who God is. Worship often involves music--but is so much more than singing. Worshiping the Lord together as a community in both Spirit and in Truth is central to who we are. Through worship, we love God, and in worship, we unite in love as one people!
The Word has a name: Jesus! We have committed together as a church community to read the Bible using a resource called Life Journals (see the link on this site!). We read the Old Testament through once each year, and the New Testament twice--all the while listening to hear God speak to us. We are not interested in Bible "studies"--we are interested in the Word transforming everything we are-. In loving the Word, we love God; by Hearing the Word, we fall in love with our neighbors!
We believe the early church had it right--they met every week as a large group, and they also met weekly in home groups (Acts 20:20). We encourage and even expect all who are part of this fellowship to take part in Life Group ministry--because it is the most powerful way that has ever been found to mature people as lovers of God, while also falling in love with neighbors--near and far!
This congregation flows in the greater Spirit-filled evangelical stream of Christianity, but with a love for tradition and innovation as well. We focus on relationship with God and each other, and try to stay as far away from dead religion – liberal and conservative – as we can. We are absolutely convinced that we are "Saved by grace through faith," and not by being churchy or legalistic. In an area of much "churchianity" and religiosity, we, in Jesus, try to shine as a lighthouse of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. The world beats people up – we try to be a Body whom, in the Holy Spirit, participates in seeing people rebuilt, restored, and transformed.
The First Church experience begins the moment you walk through the door. Our service begins at 10:00, but come a few minutes early for donuts and coffee and a chance to meet some new people. Our worship, like our church, is multi-generational and varied in style. We wear anything from suits to shorts, and sing anything from treasured hymns to more modern songs. We take communion every Sunday as a church family as we worship, and also spend a few minutes praying together in small groups. Sunday mornings are full of life with celebrative and deep praise and worship and powerful, life-transforming teachings from the Bible by our pastor. There is always an opportunity to respond and an opportunity to receive prayer as the altar is open, and often full, as we close our time together on Sunday morning.