Worship: For Christians, worship is an activity of that takes place every minute of every day, and is about living life with Jesus. When the SHPC community comes together for corporate worship, we try to honor and experience the many different ways people seek to give God glory. We value hymns, traditional liturgies, and ancient symbols, while at the same time we embrace contemporary choruses, original compositions, spontaneous and informal prayer, and more current expressions of faith. Because we see God as the Source of all that is right and good, we do not paint bold lines between sacred and secular, and are willing to use anything and everything that points to the Divine nature. Above all, we want whatever we do to assist people to experience the amazing grace and love of the One we call God.
Fellowship: Community is critical to the life of the people at SHPC, and for this reason, we see the church as a screened-in porch, a porous community that is more spiritual and value centered than religion centered. Our goal is not to get people to think the way we think, but rather to see them as children of God with value and purpose, and to partner with them as we together strive to move closer to God’s desire for us. As a community of faith, we strive to be authentic with one another, and are not afraid to be honest, vulnerable, and transparent. We are a congregation that enjoys being together, and that is one of the things that makes us a family.
Discipleship: Jesus did not just come to change our beliefs, but also to alter our behavior. As we seek to model our lives after His, we learn to cultivate hearts that are broken by those things that break the heart of God. Fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ seek to minister to the ‘least of these’ by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting those who are in prison. A gospel that is not social, and that doesn’t impact the way we care for others and our world, is not the Gospel. For this reason, we have two additional images of the church that are important to us. First, it is a garden, in that it is to be a place where people are enabled and encouraged to grow and mature. And second, it is an oasis, or watering hole, where people seeking to actively ‘live out’ their faith, can always return to find a safe place of encouragement, inspiration and renewal.
Outreach: Stone House is bold in its recognition that there is great diversity in the Christian community. We do not press for uniformity in non-essential areas, but rather embrace the paradoxes of our faith, and encourage people to humbly engage those whose beliefs differ from their own. We trust the living Word to offer guidance in our lives, but do not allow alternative understandings to create arrogant or divisive spirits, and always return to the great commandment to love God and one another. For this reason, we are continually seeking to reach out to the world around us, sharing what God has done in our lives through our faith in Jesus, and caring for everyone in His name.