What values guide us as a church? These six pairs of words help us capture what is close to the heart of Cedar Ridge.
- Authenticity/Integrity: We want Cedar Ridge to be real, honest, and genuine, in our people and in our programs. We want more than slick productions and nice appearances; we want to encourage people to be authentic with God and one another. This value means we don´t hide our rough edges and struggles. We know that we all stumble every day in many ways — and so we encourage one another to "fall in the light" — to readily admit our mistakes, not to hide or try to cover them up. Sometimes, a sense of humor helps us to avoid taking ourselves and our mistakes so seriously — so we can take the amazing grace of God more seriously. Along with authenticity, we pursue integrity — morally, financially, relationally. We want the genuine quality and integrity of our lives to honor Christ and make a difference in the world.
- Connection/Community: For us, church is not just a disconnected crowd of people who attend public programs together. Our ideal is a dynamic balance that we call "mission through community," believing that mission is essential to community, and community to our mission. This balance takes time, effort and vulnerability. But how can people experience the rich life God intends for them unless they are connected with others: serving and being served, challenging and being challenged, giving and receiving forgiveness, teaching and being taught, giving and receiving, failing and being encouraged and offering encouragement to fellow strugglers? How can people experience the "life to the full" offered by Christ if they never laugh and cry and work and communicate and forgive and experiment and rest and work together, connected to God and one another in a dynamic community of faith?
- Acceptance/Diversity: We want to be a safe and accepting place for people, whatever their background. We believe that without a conscious pursuit of diversity we will tend to fall back into our "looks like me" comfort zone. We reach out to a wide variety of people and encourage them to explore their questions and progress in their spiritual journey at their own pace. We welcome them with their unique blends of experiences, gifts, challenges, and insights, believing that we will be enriched as a community by the contributions of each individual.
- Innovation/Creativity: We serve a creative God! The splendor and span of God´s creativity call us to creative innovation. This quality keeps us moving forward as a community. You may have heard about the seven last words of a church: "We´ve never done it that way before," or "We´ve always done it that way here." You shouldn´t hear (or speak!) those words here at Cedar Ridge, because we´re eager to stay out of those kinds of ruts, to hold traditions lightly, to remain flexible and ready to change. Jesus said only new, flexible wineskins could hold the new wine of the Spirit, so we are committed to remaining flexible, teachable, not change-averse. It´s not enough for us to be contemporary; we need to be anticipatory, leaning forward, riding the crest of the wave, being part of the exciting "new things" that God is doing — things that we are privileged to be part of.
- Balance/Wisdom: We believe that maturity involves growing in the balance, simplicity, humility, and practicality of wisdom, not endless complexity, pride, controversy, and abstraction. As a result, we focus with wholehearted commitment on "core Christianity," those essential truths and practices, made clear in the Bible, which Christians across the ages have held in common, and which most effectively nourish spiritual vibrancy. In addition, wisdom guides us towards integrated, holistic, systems thinking, encouraging synergy instead of competition within our community, so we will consider how any decision impacts the whole community of Cedar Ridge, not just one area or part.
- Spiritual Vibrancy/Mystery: We recognize that this world, life and God are all too profound and complex to be reduced to simplistic formulas or to be neatly packed and cataloged in boxes. We embrace the wonder and mystery of all of creation and of the Creator, and seek to celebrate, enjoy, and experience the goodness of God, that far surpasses our understanding. We value spiritual disciplines to help us grow in spiritual vibrancy, including the study of Scripture, prayer, worship, fasting, feasting, fellowship, journalling, silence, and service. In light of the awesome mysteries of our faith, and strengthened through spiritual disciplines, we seek to live "life to the full" in Christ.