“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16, NIV)
Connect. Grow. Serve. These three words help guide us as we fulfill our mission to the world. As each individual connects to God and to each other, we are drawn into the nature and character of God, growing in understanding and Christlikeness. As we grow into who we were created to be, we are compelled to serve God and each other. As we serve the world around us, we invite others to begin the cycle in their lives, connecting to God by accepting the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10, NIV)
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are invited to be reconciled to God. Through faith in Jesus, we can confess our sins and find forgiveness and salvation. This is the basis of our connection to God, and the beginning of a life-long relationship with God. As the church, we gather each week to sing, to pray, to listen, and to participate. Through inspiring worship, we experience the presence and power of God’s Holy Spirit each Sunday.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27, NIV)
Created in the Image of God, we are designed for relationship, and that relationship is best found in our connection with one another in the church. It’s been said that the Cape Elizabeth Church of the Nazarene is one of the most welcoming congregations in the area. We see ourselves as fellow travelers on the journey, and always welcome new people to join us. As you come to know God, you will find yourself deeply connected with new friends and companions for the journey.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV)
Our salvation is not only for the sake of eternal life with Christ, but also to transform our lives in the here and now. Once connected to God, we have the impulse to continue to grow in grace, becoming more and more like Christ. Romans 8 tells us that we find life and peace as our minds are governed by the Spirit, and that a full and abundant life is discovered because “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead” also lives in us.
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.” (Psalm 1:3a, NIV)
How do we grow? We grow through personal devotional practices, scripture reading, prayer, and personal worship. We also grow as we come together for worship and nurture as a congregation. The Cape Elizabeth Church of the Nazarene provides weekly opportunities for discipleship and training through Sunday School (for children and adults), and weekly home-based small groups. Through deepening our roots, we grow and bear fruit for ministry and service.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service.” (Ephesians 4:11-12a, NIV)
Throughout scripture, we discover that God has given us gifts to be employed in service to the Kingdom of God. Through the church, we each discover our role, and the ways in which God can use us in service and ministry. Whether we are serving a meal, preparing Crisis Care Kits, or helping our children serve the neighborhood, we are releasing God’s creative work for ministry through us.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20, NIV)
As we serve God, we discover that we are ambassadors for the Kingdom, inviting others to begin the cycle anew in their own lives. As we proclaim the good news through word and deed, others are drawn to the gift of new life in Jesus’ name.