We all know deep down that truth matters. We believe that truth is revealed in the Bible, and most clearly in the person of Jesus. But because we recognize that the truth of Jesus is difficult—for believers and unbelievers alike—we welcome and encourage people who doubt or who disagree with us to travel alongside us toward a fuller understanding of Jesus and a deeper joy in obedience to his commands.
“Gospel” simply means “good news.” It is the message that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross for sinners, rose on the third day, and now reigns over all creation.
This Gospel also tells us that we are more sinful than we want to admit, and yet are more loved by God than we dare to imagine. When we recognize that we are forgiven and accepted and given a new life—not because of anything we have done or because of who we are, but only by God’s free grace—we become humble (we are no better than anyone else) and we live in gratitude. We do so under the lordship of our redeemer, Jesus Christ, who continues by His Spirit to renew us in our thoughts, feelings, relationships, work, and behaviour.
Jesus told us to pray that His Kingdom of peace, justice, and mercy would come and heal this broken world. In praying, we acknowledge our inability to accomplish our great mission of renewing Toronto on our own, and we sympathize with—and participate in—the suffering of the people of this city. Beyond this, though, we claim and depend upon the unceasing and sure prayers of Jesus himself.
We love the city. We enjoy it. We learn from it. We are the direct beneficiaries of all the people who make Toronto wonderful—the city government, doctors, teachers, bankers, workers, artists, everyone. Certainly Toronto has a lot of brokenness as well. But we don’t judge her. And even if we can’t solve all of her problems, we don’t run away from her; instead we become part of her. This is exactly what Jesus did to redeem us: he became one of us. We want to live simply and give sacrificially of our time, our talents, and our money in order to serve the city. We engage ourselves with the culture, renewing it through our various vocations.
Because Jesus, by his grace, reached out to us, we want to reach out to others. In everything we say and do, we want to be welcoming, and to make it safe for people to ask difficult questions. But we are also unapologetic in commending Jesus and what he has done for us. We also rejoice in the fact that God uses many different kinds of churches and organizations to reach and serve the diverse people groups in Toronto. We are therefore committed to starting churches and to partnering with other churches and organizations.
Because Jesus has broken down all the barriers that separated us from God and from each other, we are one covenant community, committed to building strong, trusting friendships in which we we are accountable to each other, and to living together in peace, in love, and in unity, confessing our sins to one another, forgiving one another, speaking the truth in love to one another, pointing one another towards our gracious Lord Jesus, and spurring one another on to live for His glory.