Jesus was once asked to name the greatest commandment. His reply was this:
The first commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Christians believe that love is the heart of our faith. Loving God and loving neighbour belong together in a rhythm of worship and service, and this should inform all that we do.
Unfortunately, humanity often fails to love one another and our world. But Jesus is the example that where there is pain and suffering, in the darkest moments, no-one can take hope from us. Where we fail God meets us with unfailing love and forgiveness.
We believe that God showed his love for us by sending Jesus Christ. Fully God and fully human, he was born, he died, and he rose to new life. Jesus gives us the hope that nothing can separate us from God’s love and care, not even death; that God has gone from the highest heights of heaven to the lowest point of death and gathered all of it into his arms.
We believe in one God, but in three persons. The trinity can be a confusing idea but essentially it means that God has made God’s self known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that at the centre of our faith is the dynamic movement of a loving relationship, a relationship that we are invited to be part of.
The Holy Spirit is what draws us into that relationship, it is the breath of life within each of us, the presence of God in all humanity. Christians should look for the presence of God in all places, never forcibly bring God to people, but to look for God where God already is. Because of this, we believe all should be welcome in our churches, whatever their gender, sexuality, language, background knowledge, immigration status, marital status, physical capability or any reason they may have been excluded elsewhere. We should recognise every person as created, valued, and loved by God.