Our Mission is to “Make Disciples of Jesus, who become a family together for the good of Gloucester City and beyond.” Everything we do falls under these directions of becoming more like Jesus, closer together, and not just for our benefit, but for blessing the surrounding communities no matter what they believe.
Every community has virtues and values that define them. We feel like you can know everything important there is to know about us from the chief Christian virtues,
This is our D.N.A., the code that our lives are driven and determined by, and what we seek to reproduce again and again in the lives of those God allows us to reach
We always strive to make our community a welcoming place to express your doubts and explore what you believe for yourself. If you don’t know what you think about Jesus, and even if you’ve maybe had a bad experience with the Church, we hope you’d take another look at it all with us.
However, we are here because we have faith, not a vague belief in ourselves, but the good news of Jesus. We believe the only way can we have a relationship with God is by trusting & resting in what He has done for us, not in what we can do for Him. The life of faith is not always easy but it is never boring.
We will always be committed to ‘the faith’ but at the same time being a greenhouse for your faith, which you can process and discover without shame and without pressure.
We find competing visions of hope in the classic movie the Shawshank Redemption which about an innocent man who escapes from prison.
“Hope is either the most dangerous thing or the best thing there is.”
If nothing is going to change, hope is just going to drive you mad. If you are about to get out of a bad situation, hope just might give you the strength you need to hold on another day. Basically, we have hope that there is no situation and no person so messed up or so difficult that God can not break in and bring hope.
We want to be a family together who holds out hope for each other. We also have a lot of hope for our town and the larger community and are huge fans and celebrate good things we see that are happening. We are proud of the many people that have been making this town and the wider community what it is for years. We are also here to fight for our community, and we aren’t going anywhere.
We conclude with Paul and ultimately with Jesus that Love is the greatest virtue. To really love others we need to first feel and be loved and valued ourselves. We believe that God first loved us by sending His Son into the world so that we might be empowered to love one another. At the end of the day, whatever you believe, and no matter what you don’t, we will love you. We must battle the tendency towards selfishness week in and week out by going deep in our understanding and experience of God’s love for us.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
“Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:36-40
What kind of Church is this?
The kind of Church that exists for people who don’t necessarily see themselves as Church people. The kind of Church where it’s okay to belong while you are in a process if figuring out what you believe. The kind of Church that’s grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and unashamed of God’s free grace in Jesus over any of our efforts. A Church that is always seeking to remove barriers that don’t matter, that seeks to love well, and serve the community but is absolutely committed to great depth in God’s word. Ultimately the kind of Church made up of residents new and old that are learning to love like Jesus, and specifically want to celebrate every good thing already happening and fight for more in Gloucester City and the surrounding towns.
What do you believe?
Before anything else we are a Christian Church that holds the Apostles Creed as the essential teaching of Christianity along with every other major branch of the faith. We hold on to the well-known motto “in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.” Those who join our church, recite the creed as a profession of faith that is bigger than our own experiences of God and joins us with Christians of all times, denominations, and places.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended
into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness ofsins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
We are a church that centers on the gospel and focuses on what we have in common with our brothers and sisters but we do have distinctives just like when you go to someone’s house, and some like the temperature high, some have it low, others take off their shoes. These are some of the distinctives at Epiphany Church, which while not required to belong are held by its leaders.
We believe that all the spiritual gifts (including prophecy, healing, and tounges) recorded in the scriptures have not ceased and are given to us today by the Holy Spirit. We want to encourage you to seek all the gifts that God may have for you for your encouragement and to build up the Church. Mostly this means, that we will pray in faith for you to be healed, want to see you be set free, and absolutely believe that God still speaks to us through other people, dreams, and visions, but it all must be weighed and judged first by the word of God, and those with a track record of discernment (we need to be grounded in the word and in the church!).
We believe salvation starts and ends with the grace of God. That the Bible is God’s very word and that it is trustworthy, sufficient, and the absolute final word in our life and faith. Our pastors subscribe to reformed creeds (such as the Savoy Declaration). Being reformed we also believe that baptism is the sign of the covenant for those who believe and their children who are raised in the faith. (Here is a longer explanation of why we baptize babies.)
We believe that each Church is accountable directly to the Lord, and not immediately to any other council or governing body. We also believe that every member has a voice and is used by God to be responsible so that the Church remains faithful and on the mission God gave her. Autonomous but not alone or unaccountable! We are affiliated with the CCCC (Conservative Congregationalists Christian Conference) to spread the gospel and are submitted to their theological and ethical boundaries.
We understand that the issue of sexuality hits close to home to many of us, yet it is really important to be clear about where we stand. We affirm the traditional view of marriage and gender as taught by the scriptures, which is what you will hear and see from the leaders of the Church. That is that marriage is between one man and one woman for a lifetime and that God designed sex to be a gift enjoyed in that relationship alone.
We also affirm the dignity of every single person as made in the very image of God and do not hold that various ways of departing from this should bar participation in the life of the church or worship. We also will defend anyone, from any form of disrespect in our church family, just like we would not accept this for any other lifestyle, struggle, or deeply held position.
Politics and Race
Our church is multi-generational and multi-cultural. Which means we look, think, vote, and even sound different from each other. We love that and will protect it! Our primary identity is not our education, our race, our politics, or anything else, but it is that we are together sinners in need of God’s grace! From that place of deep connection we are called to speak out against not only personal sins but injustice and corruption in the society around us.