To understand who we are, you have to understand our values. Certain values have become a part of our DNA as a church. They represent who we are and guide who we are becoming. Although our values continue to develop and grow, they help us to remember who we are as we creatively engage in our culture in a non-institutional way.
The 100th Sheep
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20b
Silverlake Church exists for the people outside of our community. Of course, our church community builds, strengthens and heals all who join us. But these are steps on the way to our ultimate goal: to embody the love of God expressed so powerfully by Jesus in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15 above). Central to our existence as a church, then, is strengthening relational networks relationships in the community around us; one relationship and one opportunity at a time.
Our Relationship with God in Jesus Christ
"I am the way, the truth and the life." Jesus in John 14:6a
Silverlake Church invites all who are seeking a relationship with God in Christ to join us. If you are considering the person of Jesus, you are welcome. If you are a new Christian, join us. If you have been a Christian for many years, this is a community where you can continue to grow in your relationship with him.
We do this in three ways at Silverlake. We equip people to develop a personal devotional life with Christ. But, as has often been said, "No one seeks Christ alone." It is essential for all who are seeking Christ to do so in community. We gather every week for worship as a community. We also gather in small groups at other times during the week. All three of these areas of emphasis are essential to go deep with God.
Growing As A Family of God's People
"...speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Ephesians 4:15-16
Our goal at Silverlake Community Church is to build a community of transformation, healing and love. Our metric for success, then, is not about quantity, but about quality. We seek to strengthen the quality of our fellowship by learning how to serve one another in love.
Being Led By the Holy Spirit
"Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." Acts 16:6-10
Silverlake Church does not define herself according to a stable institutional structure. Nor does she seek to manage a structure as a means of knowing who we are and what we should do. Instead we are defined by a relationship with God through Christ which is experienced through the Holy Spirit. The institutional form of our church focuses on adaptability, so we might shift and change as the Spirit calls us to. Faithfulness is about following this lead of the Spirit into our community and our world.
Living Justly and Loving Mercy
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the chords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Silverlake Church seeks to develop transformational relationships of service and love with the marginalized of the world. Presently, we are focused on the homeless and hungry in the Silver Lake community as well as the women and children of Burundi, Africa.
The Certain Hope of God's Kingdom
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse." Revelation 22:1-3a
We are consistently empowered by the hope of heaven. However, this isn't "pie in the sky when you die". The hope of heaven motivates us to form relationships with other congregations and Christian networks to work for the good of the world. These relationships are enacted prayers for the coming of the kingdom.
Silverlake and women and children in Burundi, Africa. Being centered on our relationship with Christ has allowed our church to transcend our culture's demographic boundaries. You can see it every Sunday as a wonderfully diverse group of people gather together around Jesus Christ. Together we are learning to let go of past wounds and prejudices, overcome ingrained stereotypes, and be reconciled to one another.
We recognize what God is doing at Silverlake in this passage from the Bible about Jesus: For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility...His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace..." (Ephesians 2:14, 15b) Bottom line: Whoever you are and wherever you are in your journey with Jesus, we would love to meet you!