We learn best through experience and by example. It is our goal as a church to teach one another about the faith through our experiences within the church community; to let this community be our teacher. It is through the exchange of ideas and experiences within and between generations that we pass on to one another the essence of what it means to be a Christian; to have faith, to love God and to love each other, and to live according to that truth.

Upon meeting our congregation and leadership, many people assume that North Church has signed a Covenant of Openess and Affirmation under the guidelines of the United Church of Christ. In fact, other churches have asked us for our covenant, assuming it must be a model from which they could learn!

We're somewhat embarrassed to admit that we've never actually gotten around to writing such a covenant. At North Church we believe in the importance of process, and there is a lengthy process that leads to a formal O&A covenant. Otherwise, we would simply vote to call ourselves an Open and Affirming Church.

Our energies have been directed toward other aspects of ministry over the last few years. Diverting efforts from those ministries to a process that will involve so many of us has just not been possible with the resources we have. We look forward to a time when members of North Church are moved to invest the necessary energy in leading us through the O&A process. We anticipate that this will be a joyful path of discovery in which we all grow in ways we do not yet even imagine. Until then, we'll do our best to keep walking the walk, even if we can't officially talk the talk!

Core values:

We reach beyond ourselves, meeting all others wherever they are in their journey, and relate to them as Jesus would. The Spirit's circle of love creates a community that is a safe place in which to land, especially for those who are unwelcome elsewhere. (Mt 25:40) We seek to be a multi-cultural, multi-racial, gay-and-straight-together church.

We are apprentices of Jesus, beloved Word of God and Savior. We practice core discipleship skills of prayer, Bible study, worshiping together, and service. ( Mt 28:16-20; Mark 6:7-13) We desire the fruit of the Spirit to be self-evident in us. (Gal. 5:22; Mt 7:1) Our apprenticeship to Jesus is the foundation of how North Church operates.

We value the Bible as divinely inspired, and as the primary teaching text for our life of faith. The biblical text, which becomes the lens through which we interpret our lives and our world, helps us discover meaning in life's mystery, strength for its challenges, and grace for the journey.

We recognize God as Master Potter of our lives, transforming us, and calling us to use our spiritual gifts for humanity's benefit, and to God's glory. (Rom 12:1) We establish and maintain healthy and productive relations with others while doing the mission and ministries of the church. We celebrate the diversity of God's children and the unity that God calls us to in the mission of God's church. (John 15:12, A New Commandment)

Respect We treat others with respect, as befits beloved children of God, and follow biblical principles in all relationships. We work through our differences in a way that brings honor to God. We hold ourselves mutually accountable to God and one other on the journey of faith. (Mt 5:43-48)