Brentwood Christian Church is a progressive, open and affirming congregation in the heart of the Ozarks that is seeking to build community, justice, and love.
We seek to build meaningful relationships with one another in the spirit of Christ’s love. We journey beside one another through the ups and downs of life, laughing together, weeping together, and being there for one another in times of deepest need (Romans 12:15).
We stand in solidarity with and for those oppressed due to economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other reason and work for a world where all are treated with the dignity and respect that God’s love demands (Micah 6:8).
God is love. We are guided by the principle of love and all that we teach and do is with the intent of drawing nearer to the perfect and unconditional love made known to us in Jesus Christ (1 John 4:16).
We are part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. Here are some distinguishing characteristics that are valued by many Disciples:
- We believe church is a sacred place where we come together to share our beliefs, doubts, joys, and struggles without fear of being rejected by others or by God.
- We believe that love, not doctrine, holds us together.
- We believe the deepest expression of our faith is found in the way we treat others.
- We believe it is important to take the Bible seriously, but not always literally.
- We believe it is important for faith to value both the mind and the heart.
- We believe Jesus shows us what God is like and what being full of God is like.
- We believe that we learn from one another’s diverse experiences and perspectives, and it’s okay if we don’t share all of the exact same beliefs.
- We believe listening to others and respecting them is a deeply spiritual act, even when we disagree. Not all claims to truth are the same, to be sure, but we believe every claim should be measured by love.
- We believe the wisdom offered from other faith traditions can complement and enrich our spiritual journeys. Our faith is defined by Jesus but not necessarily confined to Jesus.
- We believe church should be a place that welcomes those who believe in God some of the time, or none of the time, or all of the time.
- We believe all are created in the image of God and should be treated with dignity and love.
- We don’t just welcome LGBTQIA+ people, but we affirm them, and we believe God does too.
- We believe we are called to embody the same kind of profound compassion that was seen in Jesus’ life.
- We believe we are called to follow in the footsteps of Christ by being in solidarity with the oppressed and working toward justice, hope, peace, joy, and love for all.
In following the lead of our denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we are striving to become a people of grace and welcome to all God’s children regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, physical or mental ability, political stance or theological perspective; and we affirm the faith, baptism, and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, for neither is grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church, for we celebrate that all are part of God’s good creation.
Brentwood was founded in 1960 — a tumultuous time in the life of the United States. Courageous leaders like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. pointed our nation toward the “beloved community” — a phrase King used to describe societies built on equality, justice, and dignity for all, regardless of race, gender, creed, or any other factor. As a church, we strive to live into this vision. We believe it’s rooted in the love of God and is at the heart of Jesus’ teachings. We’re proud to have been one of the first churches in Springfield to affirm women as ministers, deacons, and elders. Several years ago, we officially became an open and affirming church in order for LGBTQ+ individuals to know they are not simply welcomed here, but affirmed for who they are as God created them to be. We know we still have a long way to go, and we don’t always get it right, but we believe the gospel calls us to try to live more fully into the beloved community. And we’d love for you to join us on this journey.
Every Sunday, we close our worship service with this benediction:
And now, as we go from this place, may the Sacred Spirit made known to us in Jesus Christ go before you to show you the way, go behind you to push you into places you may not necessarily go yourself, go beside you to be your companion, and dwell inside of you, so you may know that you are not alone and that you are loved beyond your wildest imagination. And may the fire of God’s blessing burn brightly upon you and within you, now and always, amen.
(Adapted from Igniting Worship by Eric Elnes)