Guiding PrinciplesNOTE: To access additional related information, please visit our What We Believe page.
We are a Reformed, Protestant church with a strong adherence to Biblical principles and a commitment to following the teachings of Jesus our Savior and Redeemer. We recognize that we are all sinners in need of a Savior1. By faith alone we are saved by grace and trust in the redeeming work of Jesus for our salvation. In keeping with Christ’s admonition, we are committed to taking the gospel beyond our church walls to all nations, and caring for the downtrodden and those in need2.
How We Strive to LiveWe will strive to:
- Live each day as if this is the day that Christ returns3 ;
- Treat all people with the respect and love modeled by Christ4 ; Welcome all who come to worship with us;
- Be diligent in prayer and study of the Word5 ;
- Demonstrate compassion in our relationships with congregants, staff and Session members; bear one another’s burdens gladly6 ;
- Give of our time and resources in support of SEPC and growing the Kingdom throughout the world7 ;
- Support the doctrine of the EPC including the seven Essentials of the Faith and Westminster Confession of Faith;
- Embrace the EPC creed of “In Essentials, Unity; In Non-Essentials, Liberty; In All Things, Charity.
2 Matthew 28:18-19, James 1:27, 1 John 3:17-18, Jeremiah 7:5-7, Proverbs 21:13
3 Luke 12:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 5, 2 Peter 3:14
4 Matthew 20:26, John 13:13-15, Philippians 2:3-7
5 Romans 12:12, Ephesians 6:18-19, 2 Timothy 2:15, Hebrews 4:12
6 Romans 12:14-19, Galatians 6:12, Colossians 3:12-15
7 Malachi 3:10, 2 Corinthians 8:13-15, Corinthians 9:6-8
We recognize that we will do all of this imperfectly, but we stand by grace through faith in Jesus. Admitting our weaknesses, we strive to be a community of grace.
Our Ministry Priorities
- Teaching of sound doctrine in the reformed tradition: salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ8
- Integration of the ethnic makeup of the local community into the SEPC body of Christ9
- Discipleship and mentoring of individuals so that they become increasingly more mature in their faith in Christ10
- Preparation and encouragement of congregants to participate in evangelistic opportunities and share the gospel of Christ with others11
- Extending comfort and encouragement while providing for the needs of those suffering in health, relationships, and poverty12
- Formation of small groups of congregants who support each other, grow together in their knowledge and application of God’s word, and are open to assimilation of new members
- Support of local and global missions, including the direct participation of congregants in mission activities
- Worship services that incorporate varied styles and encourage the active participation of congregants
- Integration of congregant age groups in SEPC programs and activities
- Broad utilization of congregant individual gifts in SEPC ministries13
The purpose of our statement of ministry priorities is to:
- Define in a general sense the primary objectives and goals that comprise SEPC’s overall ministry, i.e. what we intend to accomplish;
- Give direction to staff and lay leaders in determining the purpose and makeup of their various programs, ministries, and organized activities, while allowing flexibility in the utilization of individual gifts;
- Provide a biblical framework with which to assess the validity and vitality of every program, ministry, and organized activity;
- Provide a framework by which each individual can pursue a more intimate relationship with Christ by conforming their daily lives to God’s will;
- Unite our congregation as a community of believers whose faith is lived out through active involvement in SEPC programs, ministries, and activities.
9 Isaiah 56:3-8, Gal. 3:26-28, Eph. 2:13-17
10 2 Tim 2:2; Examples: Moses/Joshua; Paul/Timothy, Titus, Philemon; Barnabas/Mark; Jesus/12 apostles
11 Luke 10:1-9, 1 Pet 3:15
12 Proverbs 22:9, Isaiah 61:1-2, Ezekiel 34:16, Zechariah 7:8-9, Acts 2:44-45, 4:34-35
13 Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12