Christianity is not a program, a plan, a philosophical position, or a set of theological propositions. Christianity revolves around a person. Depending on your experience, this sounds cryptic or right or fluffy or familiar. What we present here is neither a comprehensive statement nor a checklist that you have to agree with to join us. This is a concise list of some of our core beliefs.

We believe that God is real. That life, therefore, has meaning and purpose.

We believe that the world is not the way it’s supposed to be. That shame, loneliness, addiction, and every kind of pain begin in the heart and creep outward, but that goodness and glory nevertheless surprise and delight us. We prefer the phrase “glorious ruin” to describe ourselves and the world in which we live.

We believe that God spoke and is speaking, that God communicated to his people throughout history, and that communication is recorded in the literature we call the Bible.

We believe that God was and is encountered in Jesus of Nazareth. He is humanity’s champion. He faced evil in its fullest form for us on the cross. By letting it crush him, he broke its power. Now he brings the hope, and the promise, that one day evil will be vanquished completely.

We believe in the reality and the power of grace. Though we are worse than we could ever realize, we are more loved than we could ever imagine. We call this the gospel.

We believe that everyone is created in the image of God, which is another way of saying that no matter how messed up we are, there is something good and true and beautiful and valuable about everyone, and that everyone deserves our respect and love.

We believe that the Church is the heart of Christian community. The Church doesn’t save, but it’s the community of the Savior.

We believe that God cares for this town. Together with other churches and organizations serving Southern Illinois, SIU:C and the city itself, we want God to use us to love Carbondale, to revitalize its institutions, and to renew its neighborhoods and culture.

We believe that the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) is a reliable summary of biblical Christian teachings subordinate to Scripture, and we receive it as such.

(adapted from