There are many things that shape the values we embrace as individuals: our background, our culture, our family, our social context, etc. As we grow as followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to live with Kingdom values. Some of the deeply embedded values we have learned in our lives will be challenged, while other values may be affirmed and strengthened. Our hope is that we will gain the wisdom to hold closely the values that Jesus desires for our lives and to let go of what keeps us from living more fully into Kingdom values. Mt. View is seeking to embrace, encourage, and live into the following values. We will never do this perfectly, and thus we begin with our first value: grace.
We believe the grace of God through Jesus Christ is absolutely transformative. As we experience it in our lives, it will influence the ways in which we treat one another amidst our harsh and critical world. It will propel us to be a peculiar people who embrace the messy reality of what it means to live in genuine relationship: to choose love, to put on compassion, to forgive, and to pursue God’s ministry of reconciliation. None of us are able to do this perfectly, but we want to encourage the extension of grace, because we are all in need of it again, and again, and again.
We desire to be a people who begin with a sense of curiosity, trusting that there is always more to learn about ourselves, others, the world, and God. Everybody has a story and a longing to be seen and known. And yet, so often we live into our own criticism of judging or making assumptions about others, shutting out the opportunity to discover and gain understanding, and in the process we make our worlds smaller. Our hope is that we live with wonder and an expectation that we will encounter God afresh as we live with attentiveness and an awe about what God is doing in our lives and in the world, and that our hearts and worlds will be enlarged.
The Lord tells us to, "do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God." We are told not only what we are to do, but also how we are to posture ourselves - with kindness and humility. Oscar Romero once prayed, "...We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest." When we know our limits to doing justice, we are better able to embrace kindness and humility, celebrating the gifts of others, and trusting that God is the ultimate source of transformation.
We each hold a deep desire to be valued and to belong. Regardless of our familial, social, or cultural backgrounds, God invites us to be a part of God’s family where we are each called “beloved.” Scripture tells us, "if we belong to Christ, we belong to one another, there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus." We seek to cultivate an environment of belonging, where our lives are being transformed and enriched by our interconnectedness. No matter where we are from or what we have been through, we hold in common that we are daughters and sons of the Living God and we each bring something to the table.
Jesus was always about enlarging the table and connecting the lives of unlikely people. We strive to live in the same way, as we extend hospitality and as we receive hospitality from others. Emmanuel Katongole says, "There is a Rwandan proverb, 'Unless you hear the mouth eating, you cannot hear the mouth crying.' You have to begin by eating together. Then you begin to realize that the dividing wall has been broken down, and we are no longer strangers."
In a world that encourages a “me and mine” mentality that is generated in a mindset of scarcity, we believe we serve a generous God of abundance. We seek to acknowledge that all we have is from God and is to be stewarded well, and used for the common good of all people. Jesus tells us, "You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth...[and] to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world...Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."
We live with the conviction that God is making all things new! With resurrection hope we are invited to actively participate and bear witness to God’s beauty, shalom, and renewal. We seek to live this hope out in tangible ways, believing that God has equipped each person uniquely to reflect God's love and mercy in the world. We lean on the encouragement of Howard Thurman as we think about being a people of hope, "Ask yourself what makes you come to life and go do that, because the world needs more people who are fully alive."
God promises to be with us always.