As Christians and as a Church God calls us both 'to be' and 'to do'.
What we are called to be is summed up by what we call our five identities and what we are called to do by our purpose statement.
Underlying all that we do is our belief that we should serve God in five key ways. We call these our “Five Identities” and they act as a checklist to ensure we are keeping a Biblical balance in the whole of church life.
Having been forgiven by God and adopted into his family, we want to show our love for Him through our worship. Part of that is expressed as we come together and bring our praise and adoration in words and music. However, worship is not just what we do on a Sunday. We want every part of our lives to be an act of worship to God.
Becoming a Christian is not an event but a process: a disciple is literally a 'learner' - someone who, having turned to Christ, continues to grow and mature in their faith. Through a balanced programme of Bible teaching, service, nurture and prayer, we aim to help each other in the process of Christian growth.
We believe God has created us for relationship: indeed we reflect the image of God who in His Triune nature has relationship at the heart of His being. Small groups, pastoral care, and a variety of other activities are ways of growing together as members of the body of Christ. Above all we want to be an inclusive community in which everyone is loved and valued.
If our church's vision stopped at worship, discipleship and community, we would be little more than a spiritual 'club'. But God calls Christians not to be inward-looking but to take the good news of Jesus Christ out to those around us; to be involved in outreach and social care both in our local area and further afield in world mission.
At Upton Vale everyone is encouraged to contribute to the life of the church. Whatever gift or ability we have, the Bible says we are not to neglect it - but to use it! We are to use our gift to build-up the church and to show God’s grace in the world.
We believe our purpose is 'to build a community of Christ-followers who step outside the walls of the Church to show God’s love'. Our purpose has three important parts:-
1. Building a Community
Upton Vale is a large and diverse community drawn from all age groups, backgrounds and walks of life. We seek to be a loving community where everyone is welcome and everyone feels involved, a community where everyone...
* Knows and is known
* Loves and is loved
* Serves and is served
* Celebrates and is celebrated
2. Following Christ
Upton Vale is a community of people who are seeking to follow Christ. This means obeying his teaching and copying his way of life but it also means allowing God through his Holy Spirit to take control of our lives. Some of us are just at the start of the journey and some have been going a while but we all have a long way to go. Our aim is to help everyone at UV wherever they are on their journey take the next step and then the next, and then the next …
3. Going Outside the Walls
We believe that as Christians we are meant not only to serve one another but to go ‘outside the walls’ and try to make our world a better place; to make it more like God intended it to be. So we seek to encourage, equip and enable everyone to serve our community and the wider world. This may be by being a Street Pastor; caring for those in physical, social or emotional need; serving as a School Governor or a local Councillor; helping people to manage their money or tidying up a messy part of the town. It may also be by being a great parent, a just employer, a conscientious employee or a good neighbour.