No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here:
If you are young or old, you are welcome
If you have brown skin, black skin, white skin, or any color of skin, you are welcome
If you are married or single, you are welcome
If you are gay or straight, you are welcome
If you are transgender, you are welcome
If you are a man or a woman, you are welcome
If you cannot hear or see, you are welcome
If you are sick or well, you are welcome
If you are happy or sad, you are welcome
If you are rich or poor, powerful or weak, you are welcome
If you believe in God some of the time or none of the time or all of the time, you are welcome
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 the umbrella of God’s love, as exemplified in Jesus Christ, is big enough for everyone to be welcomed.
- 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 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.
- 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 don’t just welcome LGBT+ people, but we affirm them, and believe Christ does too.
- We believe we are called to embody the same kind of profound compassion that was seen in Jesus’ life, and to follow in his footsteps by standing in solidarity with the oppressed and marginalized.
“Engaging, Experiencing and Extending the all-inclusive love of Christ”
As a congregation that values both the mind and the heart, the mission of Brentwood Christian Church is to offer a welcoming environment for those in the greater Springfield area to engage, experience and extend the all-inclusive love of Jesus Christ as we share in dynamic worship, extravagant hospitality, unwavering respect and compassionate care.
We believe connecting to the same Spirit expressed in the life of Jesus Christ has the power to enliven and transform us today. As we ground ourselves in this Spirit, we are reminded that the deepest forms of worship lead to transformative acts of justice, mercy and compassion (Micah 6:8).
We believe each human being is created in the image of God and should be treated with the dignity that affords, no matter what one’s background or status might be. We are called to intentionally welcome and embrace those from all walks of life (Genesis 1:27).
We believe that listening to others and respecting them is a deeply spiritual act. 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 (John 8:7).
We believe that the church exists for the sake of those it is called to serve. Recalling that we can only love God as much as we love others, we strive to reach out from “our doorsteps to the ends of the earth” (Matthew 25:34-40).
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 for all people, regardless of race, gender, creed, or any other factor.
As a church, we’ve tried to live into this vision as well. We’re proud to be one of the very first churches in Springfield to have affirmed women as deacons, elders, and ministers. More recently, Brentwood made the decision to officially affirm LGBTQ persons as full members and leaders within the church.
We strive to continue the legacy of working for racial justice, believing that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We know there’s still a long way to go, but we believe the gospel calls us to try to live more fully into the beloved community. That’s what we’ve tried to do for nearly 60 years, and we don’t plan on letting up any time soon.
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)