Perhaps what matters more is the kind of church we want to create, and why. And the best way to get at that (aside from a nice long conversation over a pint of Cold Smoke) just might be to look at the...
5 Things We Value Most
- Truth - We are convinced that every person yearns deeply for clarity and purpose in life. We believe this clarity and purpose, which we name Truth, comes most visibly in the person of Jesus and the witness of the Christian Scriptures; this Truth is also the root of other qualities we prize: honesty, integrity, authenticity. We recognize the Truth of Jesus is difficult - for believers and unbelievers alike - and so we rely on varied perspectives and honest questioning to keep All Souls centered as we travel together toward a fuller understanding of Truth.
- Beauty - We believe that our ability to discern beauty - so clearly present here in the last, best place - inevitably shapes our vision of peace, justice and redemption, both personally and for community. We think beauty should lead us to welcome diversity, to value dialogue, and to appreciate mystery. So we desire to live beautiful lives, to celebrate beauty wherever we find it, and to make Missoula a more beautiful place.
- Community - We believe that people are meant for community, and that the truest community happens in relationships that are not contingent. So we strive to be a community of faith where you don't have to share our convictions about Jesus in order to be welcome as our friends. We embrace all sorts of people, not because they agree, but because they are human, created in God's image. We refuse to reject folks who think differently. We welcome outsiders and skeptics. And we invite you to join us, no matter where you are or where you may end up.
- City - We believe Jesus calls us beyond ourselves to love our larger home, the City. We believe God is working redemptively in people, places and institutions all across Missoula, whether they recognize him or not. So we celebrate with the city in its triumphs; we serve the city where it is hurt and broken; and we seek out others who love the city because we still have much to learn.
- Grace - We believe that Jesus' message is fundamentally one of grace, that Christianity is not a list of rules you need to keep to make God love you, but good news about what Jesus has done because of God's radical reconciling love for us. Our calling is to respond in faith - turning from our attempts at self-salvation, aligning ourselves with the redemptive work of God, trusting he will change both us and others. We believe real grace is transformative - through love, not guilt. If this is how God deals with us, this is how we should deal with others.