westminster's 5 core values

1.   A grace-centered understanding of the gospel.  The word grace means the completely free gift of God’s loving kindness.  The word gospel, which means “good-news,” refers to Jesus' world changing accomplishment...of finishing all our obligations to God.  As our legal substitute and representative, that accomplishment has secured for us the legal status of a complete and perfect record of behavior before God, though we ourselves didn’t lift a finger to earn it.  This perfect record also gives us a rightful status as fully and permanently adopted children of God.  We believe this breathtaking message needs to be heard by both non-Christians and Christians alike. This one truth not only “saves” us, it is also the only power that matures and grows the “seasoned” Christian as well. “Believing it” means continually turning from our ingrained, self-saving tendency to achieve our own security and happiness, to instead rest and rely on this gospel which secures the better happiness of finding God as our ultimate security and meaning.  As we wrestle to keep believing this, it begins to deeply change us supernaturally.  (Romans 1:16)

2.  The gospel changes people.  It changes us from the inside out by restoring us back into God’s likeness.  We experience this change in a new power to love, a new freedom from selfishness, and a new joy in life as we, together, are united to the resurrected Christ himself.  Getting used to our new self image, moment by moment, as beloved children of our Father produces in us a bold joy, freedom, and others-centeredness.  This new identity and joy liberates us by breaking the bondage of things (even good things) that once drove us.  Over time this new self image begins to replace old patterns of fear, powerlessness, depression, and pride with deep humility and bold love. (2nd Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15)

3.  Authentic relationships are necessary for growth in the gospel.  Like God who is Himself a community of three persons, we cannot be ourselves outside of “community.” Growth in the gospel only works in the rich soil of community, the mutual reassurance, accountability, and strength that comes from sharing our lives together. This reality of community nurtures individuals and reflects God’s diverse kingdom. The security of God's Fatherly affection in us creates both the humility and the courage to love each other powerfully. In a new community as we live out the gospel in front of our neighbors, they will see a new usage of wealth, power, and sexuality being used, instead, as a way to serve others.  (Eph. 4:15-16; Mt.12:48-50)

4.  We will work to renew Enid.  What Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection actually accomplished has not yet been finalized, though it has begun. One day God will finish His mission to re-make this entire planet, not just our souls.  But He wants us to join Him in this work now!  In addition to the spiritual, God is also lord over the social, cultural, and economic realms of life as well. So He wants us to join His mission now, even before he comes back, of working for the total renewal of the city, praying and working for its entire common good (Jer. 29:7). Christians sometimes make a wholesale retreat from culture or create a Christian subculture which mimics mainstream values and trends.  But God wants us neither to separate from the city(the “religious” approach), nor to assimilate into the city(the “irreligious” approach).  He wants us to love our city, by sacrificially getting into it and renewing it. So we will work for cultural renewal by engaging our vocations with extreme compassion and with excellence and also by engaging the arts, education, government, etc. with creativity and compassion.  And, we will work for social healing by doing justice and mercy for the poor and powerless.  We must get involved with and also learn from the poor as we share our power with them.  Our goal is not just a great church, but a great city.  (Jer. 29:7; Zech. 7:9-10; Rev. 21:2)

5.  We will adapt the gospel into our culture.  The British missionary, Lesslie Newbigin, realized upon returning to the west in the 50’s that the church was no longer in a “Christianized” culture, and that merely having an Evangelism committee was not enough.  Like the individual missionary, the church itself must now adapt every aspect to our secularized culture.  The Apostle Paul (1st Cor.14:23-25) instructed corporate worship to be accessible to the “outsider.”  However, unlike a “Seeker” church, we are not trying to make the gospel “cool” or acceptable; we are trying to make it accessible.  The difference is profound.  We aren't compromising content; we're only compromising language, as any good missionary does.  Thus we will resist the temptation to use religious sounding “insider” speech and will seek to use the language of the surrounding culture as much as possible.  For the purpose of evangelism, we will seek to learn from and adapt all we do to the “narrative” of our surrounding culture.  In the incarnation, Jesus, our missionary God, adapted into a specific and imperfect culture.  For the sake of the gospel, we seek to do the same. (1st Cor. 9:19-23 ; 14:23-25; Mt. 28:20)

In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.
— Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) motto