Rejoice Fellowship is a Lutheran congregation, but that does not mean we only serve Lutherans. This reference is to give you an idea of where we are coming from, theologically.
We believe that God is the creator, who breathed life into being. God loves all people and reaches out to us first. There is no chasing after God or earning God's favor. God is already there for you and for all of us, ready to equip us to serve one another in love.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world and son of God. Through the scriptures we are taught of the ways in which Jesus opened his arms to all, lifting up the marginalized and calling out oppression. We believe that Jesus was crucified by a tyrannical regime that wanted to silence dissidents. And Jesus' resurrection shows us that death has been swallowed up in victory, and there is no silencing God's desire for justice in this world.
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the Trinity. While there's a lot we don't fully understand about the Holy Spirit, scriptures tell us that when there are big changes and big movements among us, the Holy Spirit is at work.
We believe the Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - all are co-equal and co-eternal. This means that the Father is not more important than the Son, nor did any of them "arrive" on the scene after the others. From the beginning of time, we believe God has been three persons in one, confounding our human logic and displaying what divine community can be.
We believe the bible to be the inspired word of God, written by beautiful, yet flawed, human beings. Though spanning back thousands of years, the scriptures have much wisdom for life today. Sometimes comforting, sometimes confusing, sometimes downright chaotic, the scriptures are our playground of faith.
We believe that communion is the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, and a meal that Jesus himself instituted at the last supper. We do not fully understand how simple bread and wine can become such a thing. But we trust that the true presence of Christ is in, with, and under the bread and wine. Communion is also one of our two sacraments. Anyone who wishes can receive communion. Accessibility is important to us, so we always have gluten free and non-alcoholic elements.
Baptism is also a sacrament in our tradition. We believe that baptism is a gift from God through water and the holy scriptures. In the actual baptism itself, the baptized person(s) are marked as children God and become one in the body of Christ. The cleansing water assures us that though we are flawed, we are fully loved. Every day an old part of us dies so that a new part of us can rise. The waters of baptism can refresh our spirits and fuel us for the day ahead. Anyone of any age can be baptized. When infants and children are baptized, we have a special rite of Affirmation of Baptized/Confirmation when the child is in their teenage years or older. In Confirmation, individuals engage in formal education with the pastor and declare for themselves their beliefs and affirm the promises that were made for them in baptism.
Leadership in our community - either official positions, like council members or worship assistants, or team leaders - is not withheld from anyone based on gender, sexuality or other forms of marginalization. All people are capable of leadership!
Our community thrives when the people are engaged! The more involved you are as an individual, the more our collective community is capable of doing. This can mean leadership positions but it also means worshipping with us regularly, engaging in educational opportunities, lending a hand for events, and so much more.
What is it that connects you to the Divine? This can be different for everyone, and we strive to support the spiritual needs of our community as best we can.
Education for all ages! We offer educational opportunities for all walks of life. What makes us stand out is our incredibly personalized educational experiences. Either for families, individuals, small groups and large groups, we build upon what the community needs at any given moment.
Serving our neighbors is a vital component of our faith. We have done this through food drives, volunteering, and connecting more deeply with our organizational partners and neighbors. It is our mission to listen to not only where we think God is calling us to serve, but also to what the community immediately around us needs.