Who We Are
Knox United Church: Who are we?
Knox United Church is a welcoming, inviting, faith community that values and celebrates the Sacred Presence in a diversity of voices, experiences, genders, ages, orientations and ethnicities. We respect other spiritual paths that seek to build up and sustain healthy, compassionate community; and, promote good stewardship of the environment.
We encourage a sharing of gifts and ideas, asking questions, and engagement in all aspects of the life and work of the congregation. We understand that how we live is just as important as what we choose to believe.
Although Knox United Church tends to follow are fairly traditional worship/liturgical pattern on Sunday mornings, its expressed Theology (God-talk) & Christology (Christ-talk) tends to live into a more “progressive” form of Christianity, which means:
- We take the Bible seriously but not literally.
Central and foundational to our faith; a source of wisdom, inspiration, revelation, understanding and guidance for our lives, we understand the Bible as “inspired by God”, and written by humans in the context of ancient communities. It is a record of how ancient peoples of Judaeo-Christian traditions understood and experienced the Sacred in their context. We take a “historic-Critical approach to its study”, and tend towards the metaphorical rather than literal interpretation – much like the Jewish Midrash tradition.
- We follow “The Way” of Jesus
As Christians, we understand Jesus to be our guiding example of what it means and what it looks like to live and love fully connected to The Holy. We look to the story of Jesus, and the way he lived and loved, as a model for our own living and loving. We experience Jesus of Nazareth as a figure of history. We experience Jesus as The Christ as a mysterious presence within and among us. We recognize the life, death and resurrection of Jesus for its courageous, regenerative, grace-filled and transformative power.
- We are not alone. God is with us.
“We are not alone. We live in God’s world.” (excerpt from the New Creed). ‘In Christ, we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28). We call “God” by many names (for example: Source of Life & Love, Creator, Healing Light, Sacred Presence, Father, Mother,…), and we experience the Sacred in a variety of ways. We believe God is revealed to us through scripture, reason, creation, relationships, communities and the experiences of our own lives and faith. We experience God as something larger than ourselves and, yet, an integral part of us. We understand God in human form primarily through Jesus.
- We are called to be Community
We understand and appreciate the discovery of, and communion with, the Sacred in many places and contexts beyond church walls (lake sides, mountaintops, holding a newborn, and at the moment of death, for example). Even Jesus went off on his own to high places and private gardens to pray; to refocus; to find courage.
Yet, we also understand that we are called gather in community in order to be reminded of who we are, whom we are together, and to whom we belong. We gather for mutual support, companionship and connection. We choose to be in relationship to have our rough edges smoothed out; to hold, and be held, accountable; to be challenged to grow beyond our own limited understandings; and to share Christ’s Peace and the abundance of God’s gifts for the lifting up of the church, the local and global community.We share our joys and our sorrows; our richness and our poverty; our broken places and our whole-selves.
It is easy to feel we are loved by God when we are breathing in creation; connected and part of a greater whole. It is another to put into practice the teachings of Jesus: generosity, forgiveness, humility, healing, invitation, inclusion, commitment. These things, we learn best in community. Communal life also provides the opportunity to engage the rituals of the Christian tradition, which connects us with past and future generations.