“The purpose and the fruit of our whole life is the knowledge of the Trinity in unity.” (Thomas Aquinas)
God is triune, one Being in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s impossible to fully comprehend, but it’s the most profound truth. Because God is triune, he created humanity – including you – in his image, for relationships of pure love and joy. (We learn about this in the Bible, which is the unique Word of God that teaches us who God is, who we are, and how we are to relate to God.)
When the human race chose instead the way of self-love, it broke the world, broke our relationships with each other, and broke our relationship with the triune God. Nevertheless, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). That’s just the kind of God he is.
So, two thousand years ago, the Father sent the Son into the world to be born as a human: Jesus of Nazareth. This is called the Incarnation (God the Son taking on a real human nature). Jesus reveals God to us, because he is God. He always has been, and he always will be. And what he reveals about God is good news for people like us. Jesus lived, died, and rose from the grave for his people, as one of us. God is the kind of God who, for love’s sake, would become a human and suffer to the uttermost in order to save us for relationship with himself and each other. And he did it in Christ.
After his resurrection, Jesus returned (ascended) to Heaven, where he has been ruling over all things for the sake of his Church, sending forth his Spirit to advance his Kingdom of love, and interceding for his people at the throne of his Father. Now, by God’s grace, we participate together in Jesus’ everlasting life. Jesus prayed on our behalf, “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). We enjoy the incarnate Son’s communion with the Father through the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Rather than distinguishing ourselves from other churches, we want to emphasize what unites us with the Church throughout history and around the world, especially the central tenets of the faith as found in the Holy Scriptures. The Apostles’ Creed is an excellent statement of faith from the ancient Church, a summary of essential beliefs about God and the Gospel that Christians hold in common:
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified,dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
As a congregation of The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the Westminster Standards serve as a more thorough and official statement of what we believe, consisting of a Confession of Faith and two Catechisms. The Standards do not take the place of the Scriptures in our lives, but we believe they are a good interpretation of the Scriptures with regard to our great salvation. (Those who would become Elders or Deacons in our church must be able to affirm them with a good conscience.)
“God is in the business of creating community.” (James Torrance)
When your God is triune, a Being in Community, then community is very important – even if imperfect in this life. People matter, and people being together matters. People caring for other people is how we reflect God’s image, because that’s who God is. Look for opportunities to join other people in worship, prayer, conversation, and service on the calendar.
“As a kid I learned of Jesus and thought of him as my best friend. But I found cruelty in the church, so I left it and mourned my friend Jesus. My heart cold to the word, ‘Christian,’ I turned to Wicca. In 2013 I needed community and I was feeling out of place with my current friends and with my cancer and medical issues. One friend attended Ascension, so I decided to attend one Sunday. The people I met were really fun and nerdy, and that made me feel good and not out of place. I felt kindness and intelligence in the hearts of the people I met. I found myself feeling happy being at church. I also found myself crying during sermons and listening to the word, having the understanding sinking in. The feeling of being a kid and having Jesus as my best friend was coming back.” (Heidy)
“With an increasing number of options for church in our area, and a personal desire to be part of a local church community, Ascension is a place where my family and I can grow in our faith. Gospel-centered preaching, meaningful liturgical worship, family-friendly environment, local community engagement, and a growing community of believers are some of the things that you will find at Ascension. Anyone looking for a church home in the area would be well served to come check us out.” (Herman)
ELDERS oversee the spiritual life of the church. They are like shepherds who know, feed, lead, and guard the flock of God that has been entrusted to their care, under the Chief Shepherd of our souls, Jesus Christ.
DEACONS care for the material needs of the church, and lead the church in works of justice and mercy for the sake of the Kingdom of God advancing in the world. Jesus exemplifies the sympathy and service that Deacons seek to reflect and cultivate in the church.
Rev. Eric Costa, Pastor
Joe Pope, Elder
Joe Hamilton, Deacon
Nathan Jaques, Deacon
Tim Sery, Deacon
Kady Boden, Music Director