A B O U T U S
T H E N A M E
The Scriptures point us to Zion, the city of God––a heavenly city from where God rules (Hebrews 12:22). It is the place where the weak find beauty, safety, and gladness in the presence of God (Ps. 48). The throne from which God rules his great city is marked by righteousness and justice (Ps. 89:14). When Christ returns, this city shall descend, and all creation will experience the restoration that comes when God makes all things new (Revelation 21). Zion is the city with eternal foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10)
Yet until Zion, the church ought to reflect and proclaim this ultimate, final city in our fallen world today. In the words of JI Packer, “The task of the church is to make the invisible Kingdom visible through faithful Christian living and witness-bearing.” The church is to be a sign, instrument, and foretaste of Zion, the city of God.
T H E V I S I O N
It’s at the intersection of orthodoxy (right beliefs) and orthopraxy (right practice) that we find faithful Gospel ministry. One without the other proves itself insufficient and ultimately not Good News. While many Christian traditions faithfully held together orthodoxy with orthopraxy, we seek to draw on the richness of the reformed tradition. The goal is to provide insight and clarity for where the teachings of the reformed tradition on worship, justice, ethics, civic engagement, the Kingdom of God, and more, intersect with the practical and tangible expression of ministry, especially ministry in communities on the margins of the dominant culture.
How does the sovereignty of God over all of life and the Reformed doctrines of grace result in expressions of mercy and justice? In particular, how are the theological truths shaping the work of local congregations in communities like East Harlem? Much of our reflection will emerge out of our immediate ministry context in East Harlem.
T H E V A L U E S
Centering of the Margins: The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of grace to the weak not a reward for the strong. Zion is where the weak find strength, the powerless find safety, and the broken are restored. Centering, not those with power, but those on the margins, reveals much about the restorative power, justice, and healing in Zion.
Theology of the Reformation: Zion is what God’s material creation will look like when he makes all things new––His restoration. The story of arc the Scriptures––creation, fall, redemption, restoration––provides the necessary framework to engage a world longing for Zion
Patience of the Kingdom: Zion is a city that comes down to us from heaven at the end of history as a pure gift of grace. It is not a city built up from the earth by human effort. Yet, as we wait for that coming day, we joyfully work to reflect the beauty of that coming city––for the Kingdom of God moves forward like the mustard seed.