Frequently Asked Questions
We get a lot of questions. Here are a few...
1. Are you a Christian Community?
Yes, we are a Christian Community. We are doing our best to follow the way of Jesus Christ and grow into the people God is calling us to become.
2. Are you affiliated with a denomination?
We are a part of The United Methodist Church. The Western NC Conference of The United Methodist Church has put an emphasis on starting new communities of faith in the next few years. We are one of those new communities. The Mission of The WNCC UMC is to Follow Jesus, Make Disciples and Transform the World. We feel we are living out that mission perfectly! We launched in October 2010.
3. How are you different?
Although Christianity is our path to relationship with God, we do not believe that Christianity is the only path to God. While being firmly grounded in our Christian scripture and tradition, we want to be in relationship with and work collaboratively with people of other faith traditions to transform the world.
We struggle with the phrase "divinely inspired" in reference to the Old and New Testament, because that phrase has been used to imply that God “wrote” the scriptures through some form of divine dictation.
We believe God speaks to us through our sacred texts – the Old and New Testament, but we do not believe that our sacred texts are the only sacred texts. God's Word is too vast to be contained in 1500 pages, no matter how small the font.
We believe that we are all created in the image of God - whether we are gay, straight, bi-sexual or transgendered, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, American, African, Asian, or Latino. God loves each of us more then we can imagine.
4. How are you similar to other churches?
We use the Old and New Testament as our primary source of information about God and our calling as people of God.
We see God through the lens of Jesus Christ as we know him through our sacred texts, through the churches traditions, through our God given ability to reason and think critically and through our experiences of God in our lives.
In our worship gatherings we sing songs and pray and listen to each other. We dedicate our time to missions and outreach. Jesus spoke often of our need to connect our gifts with others. Whether that is within the Lake Norman area, North Carolina, or throughout the world, we wish to be a community tethered to our sisters and brothers beyond our walls. If we are not a community doing for and with others, then we are not staying true to the life example of Jesus.
We are bound by the rules and policies of the United Methodist Church, although we choose to lovingly disagree with its positions on gay marriage and the ordination of gay clergy, but we agree to abide by those positions while working within the United Methodist Church through prayer and discernment.
We have a budget within which we must operate. We have staff and rent that we must pay, supplies we need to buy, computers, and projectors, so we are stuck in the real world where we have to deal with money. We ask people to support our community in the best way they can – through their prayers, their presence, their monetary gifts and their service. This, however, is not a burden. There is a spiritual dimension to giving and sharing our resources. It is a spiritual discipline to be reminded that our resources are not ours alone. When we evaluate priorities in our life, and share what we have with others, we feel a deeper connection to God and to one another.
We don’t all believe the same things. Some of us are more conservative. Some of us are more liberal. Some of us are traditional. Some of us struggle with traditional ideas. But, we are committed to being in community and loving each other because this is how Jesus calls us live.