The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was one of the first denominations founded on American soil and celebrates a diverse array of beliefs and backgrounds. Our focus on Christian unity means that we do not try to divide up people based on different understandings of faith, but rather we welcome all people in the spirit of God’s unconditional love. The identity statement of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) proclaims that “We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.”
But what does that mean? Watch the following video or read below to understand what we mean by being a “movement for wholeness.”
We practice unity and inclusion at the Lord’s Table
All are welcome to the Lord’s Table for the sake of mission and for the sake of the world as the one family of God. The chalice is our logo because it represents the communion table that is open to all people each and every week.
We are a movement for Christian Unity
We honor our heritage as a movement for Christian unity by cooperating and partnering with other faith communities to work for bringing about wholeness – healing and justice – in the world. This is what it means to be “ecumenical.” We also honor the heritage of Christian unity by staying together in covenant as a witness to the world that even when we disagree we can still make room, welcoming all to the table as Christ has welcomed us.
We practice believer baptism
While we honor baptisms from other denominations, our practice is “believer baptism“ in which a person makes the choice to follow God’s call rather than the choice being made for them as an infant. Baptism is a reminder that every person is called to serve God – the idea of the “priesthood of all believers.”
We study scripture for ourselves
We are called to study and read scripture for ourselves. Rather than having tests of faith and creedal statements, we critically and thoughtfully study scripture, taking into account the history and background – the context – in which it was written rather than insisting only on a literalist interpretation.
We answer God’s call for justice
We move to answer God’s call for justice particularly in the areas of care for the earth, the challenges for women and children, poverty and hunger and immigration. We seek to do this work in cooperation with other people of faith. Some say we “get dirty for Jesus” as a way of conveying the hands-on mission orientation of many of our faith communities.
For more information about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), visit our denomination’s website at http://disciples.org/our-identity