Faith is the seeking response to whatever it is that human beings gesture at with the word “God.” There is a surplus of meaning in the human experience that moves our hearts to wonderment and gratitude. Monotheistic religions name this reality God; their spiritual traditions teach that the human quest for meaning is filled in seeking this One in whom we live and move and having our being.
Christians are those who look to Jesus and his way in the world to know God. We believe that the story of ancient Israel’s journey with God, and the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is a reliable, essential witness to the mystery of God, and God’s healing power in the world today. To be Christian is to place our trust in this gospel — this “good news” — and to seek to live our lives shaped by this story.
Christian Faith is a relationship of trust in God through Jesus Christ, lived in community in service to the world (church). At Los Altos United Methodist Church we invite you to live your life in the light of this Holy Mystery. We do so with open minds and welcoming hearts.
Our faith is not about certain answers. An answer is a solution to a puzzle. Mystery is an inexhaustible question. Faith is about having patience with what is unresolved in your heart and learning to love the questions themselves.1
As one theologian has written, we are confronted by mystery in all the central affirmations of the Christian faith: the wonder of creation; the shocking humility of God in Jesus Christ; the transforming and healing power of the Holy Spirit; the miracle of forgiveness; the astonishing gift of new life in communion with God and one another; the call to mission; the Resurrection promise that evil and death are not the final word.2 These affirmations are the map to a journey with God left to us by Jesus and our ancestors in faith. Though at moments we may be confident in what we believe, we also acknowledge that God is bigger than one tradition or faith can encompass.
In the Wesleyan tradition of Christian faith, we believe that to be “saved” is to know that you are a beloved child of God, and that there is nothing in life or in death that can separate you from that grace. Grace is knowing you are worthy of love, that you are enough. In the light of this love, we are called to honor the sacred worth and seek the welfare of every person that has breath.
We also believe that the image of God is seen in the diversity of the world. At Los Altos United Methodist Church, we honor the dignity of difference. We cherish the sacred worth of all persons regardless of their gender, sexuality, age, race, or physical limitations. Each human being is uniquely beautiful. In Jesus Christ, we understand this is how God loves. To love as God loves: this is life. Salvation is a journey in the image of Jesus, a human journey full of failures and forgiveness, doubt and wonder.
The first Christians were called the people of the way. This seeking way encompasses the whole of our lives, the whole of ourselves. When Jesus was asked about the meaning of life, he said, “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” At Los Altos United Methodist Church, we offer a full range of opportunities to journey together, explore our faith, and know the assurance of God’s love for us, as we seek to make a difference in the world God so loves.
1Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet.
2Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 3
Rev. Mark F. Sturgess