Our mission

Our mission is to extend the table of God’s grace spiritually, relationally, and missionally.

Here at Ridgewood Park we come to the altar table in worship to celebrate God’s gift of grace; we gather around tables throughout the week to ask questions about God, eat great food, and build lifelong relationships; and finally we work to extend the table through our Feed5000 program where we aim to feed at least 5,000 people every year.

Tradition runs deep here, but we also know tradition and doctrine don't mean much if they aren't relevant to our daily lives or move beyond the walls of the church. We're a theologically and politically diverse group of people who believe that it's possible to rise above our divisions and find unity around something that is bigger than ourselves. We encourage you to ask questions and add your voice to our understanding of God and humanity. Mostly, we hope that you will show up and join the family. We're better together.

What we believe

We know that many people have been harmed by toxic theology or churches that demand blind allegiance. We work to welcome in all people by honoring each person's identity and worth, valuing unity over uniformity. We strive to learn who God is by integrating Scripture, tradition, experience, and our reason. We're a thinking church for thinking people who aren't afraid to ask questions. Below you will find a few ways we understand who God is and what that means for us.

  • Faith is the basic orientation and commitment of our whole being—a matter of heart and soul. Christian faith is grounding our lives in the living God as revealed especially in Jesus Christ. It’s both a gift we receive within the Christian community and a choice we make. It’s trusting in God and relying on God as the source and destiny of our lives. Faith is believing in God, giving God our devoted loyalty and allegiance. Faith is following Jesus, answering the call to be his disciples in the world. Faith is hoping for God’s future, leaning into the coming kingdom that God has promised. Faith-as-belief is active; it involves trusting, believing, following, hoping.

  • Theology is thinking together about our faith and discipleship. It’s reflecting with others in the Christian community about the good news of God’s love in Christ. Both laypeople and clergy are needed in our theological task. The laypeople bring understandings from their ongoing effort to live as Christians in the complexities of a secular world; clergy bring special tools and experience acquired through intensive biblical and theological study. We need one another.


    But how shall we go about our theological task so that our beliefs are true to the gospel and helpful in our lives? In John Wesley’s balanced and rigorous ways for thinking through Christian doctrine, we find four major sources or criteria, each interrelated. These we often call our “theological guidelines”: Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason. Each of those are explored below.

  • Everyone needs a spiritual home, a place where we can ask huge, metaphysical questions and wonder together about the meaning of life. We all need a place where we can find comfort and hope in something bigger than ourselves and bigger than the differences that our world uses to divide us. The church is our spiritual home not simply because it's a place of attendance and events, but because it's a place of belonging and engagement. It's easy to feel untethered in our chaotic world, and that's why a spiritual home is so vital because it provides an anchor to keep us grounded and encouraged during the storms of life, and remind us to chase our passion in life.

  • Everyone deserves an emotional home, a place where we can be loved for who we are and find a community of people who will be there for us when times are tough. Our lives get torn apart by of loneliness and fear. When we are not emotionally safe we lash out and attack without provocation, or we withdraw into states of despair and depression. As the old says goes, "hurt people hurt people." What Scripture tells us is that, "as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17) 

    As christians, we stand in solidarity with those who have been neglected, abused, bullied, and oppressed. We protect and advocate for those in our society who are most vulnerable. We seek to share love, kindness, and mutual respect with everyone including those who are different than us. We were never meant to any of this alone. The first thing that Christ did was to gather 12 disciples to walk with him through life. We desire to follow that example and strengthen one another along the journey. 

  • We believe in serving others as Jesus taught us to do. We focus our mission and service towards those in our community who are vulnerable, poor, or in need. We believe in being the hands, feet, voice, and love of Christ. Some of the local organizations we partner with include: Dan D. Rogers Elementary School, The Wilkinson Center, and Austin Street Center. Our youth take annual mission trips and we seek to respond to crises that arise in our community. 

  • In thinking about our faith, we put primary reliance on the Bible. It’s the unique testimony to God’s self-disclosure in the life of Israel; in the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ; and in the Spirit’s work in the early church. It’s our sacred canon and, thus, the decisive source of our Christian witness and the authoritative measure of the truth in our beliefs.


    In our theological journey, we study the Bible within the believing community. Even when we study it alone, we’re guided and corrected through dialogue with other Christians. We interpret individual texts in light of their place in the Bible as a whole. We use concordances, commentaries, and other aids prepared by the scholars. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we try to discern both the original intention of the text and its meaning for our own faith and life.

  • Between the New Testament age and our own era stand countless witnesses on whom we rely in our theological journey. Through their words in creed, hymn, discourse, and prayer, through their music and art, through their courageous deeds, we discover Christian insight by which our study of the Bible is illuminated. This living tradition comes from many ages and many cultures. Even today Christians living in far different circumstances from our own—in Africa, in Latin America, in Asia—are helping us discover fresh understanding of the Gospel’s power.

  • A third source and criterion of our theology is our experience. By experience we mean especially the “new life in Christ,” which is ours as a gift of God’s grace; such rebirth and personal assurance gives us new eyes to see the living truth in Scripture. But we mean also the broader experience of all the life we live, its joys, its hurts, its yearnings. So, we interpret the Bible in light of our cumulative experiences. We interpret our life’s experience in light of the biblical message. We do so not only for our experience individually but also for the experience of the whole human family.

  • Finally, our own careful use of reason, though not exactly a direct source of Christian belief, is a necessary tool. We use our reason in reading and interpreting the Scripture. We use it in relating the Scripture and tradition to our experience and in organizing our theological witness in a way that’s internally coherent. We use our reason in relating our beliefs to the full range of human knowledge and in expressing our faith to others in clear and appealing ways.