At the center of every community of faith lies a set of beliefs, a story which shapes and guides everything that faith community is and does. So, what does Union Center believe?
We believe that God created everything, and that he created it to be good, experiencing wholeness and joy as everything existed in intimate relationship with him. In this creation, God placed people whom he created to live as he lives, a life of deep connection, intimacy, and joy as people lived in a loving relationship with God and one another, caring for his creation.
However, rather than receiving and living the life for which they were created, people chose to strike out and remake life on their own terms, something called Sin.
We believe that Sin, in its essence, is more serious than doing bad things. Sin is willingly choosing to live out of place, a life contrary to life for which we were created. Sin severs the intimate connection we were meant to experience with God and one another and leads us to a life of pain, brokenness, sorrow, and death rather than joy and wholeness, because, in our Sin, we are separated from the source of life, wholeness, and joy, God himself.
God could have abandoned his creation, but he demonstrated that his character is one of great love and faithfulness, for he immediately began to move to rescue and restore his entire creation and people within it. Throughout the ages, God has moved, again and again in various ways, engaging people, pointing them to the life he intended and the truth that living this life takes more than trying hard. It takes a willingness to live a dependent life oriented completely around him, something called faith. The record of these encounters is found in the Bible, an important gift from God which is a guide for understanding who God is and what the life he intends for us looks like.
The greatest demonstration of the life God intended for us is seen in the person of Jesus. In Jesus, God took on human flesh and lived the life we are meant to live.
In other words, in Jesus, we see what it is to be fully human, fully loving God and others. Then God, in the person of Jesus, offered his perfect life for ours. On a cross, Jesus took into his body the suffering, pain, and death we have brought into the world through our Sin and overcame them with his resurrection, defeating once and for all the consequences of Sin. Victorious over pain, sorrow, and death, God, through Jesus, offers forgiveness for our Sin and a way back to the life for which we were created. As we orient our lives around Jesus in faith, looking to his life as the life we are meant to live and depending upon his Spirit for the strength to live this life, we begin to move back to life as God intended it. We begin to experience freedom, not just from the consequences of Sin but from Sin itself. We begin to love God and others in an ever-increasing manner and continue to move to the full experience of life with God even after death, something called Heaven.
As people of faith, we do no simply look forward to the fullness of that which God intends for us. We intentionally join God in what he is now doing in the world, his great project of restoration and redemption. We believe that the good news (the Gospel) is that God in Christ has made a way to life as it was intended. We seek to experience the realities of this good news in the present in the way we live and not just in the way we think. Further, we seek to share the hope of a restored and renewed life with others both through our words and through our actions, demonstrating with our lives the joy of the life which only God in Christ can provide. We believe that one day, Jesus will return and God will complete his work of redeeming and restoring all things. On that day, those who have chosen to orient their lives around Jesus in faith will continue to experience life with God as it was intended (Heaven), and those who have chosen to refuse this life will be allowed to continue a life on their own terms with all this entails, separation from God for all eternity, something called Hell.