6. American Baptists take seriously the call to evangelism and missionary work. American Baptist worldwide mission work is a response to Christ’s call to “make disciples of all nations.” Through the efforts of our missionaries in partnership with others, ministries of evangelism, healing, education and development have made Christ’s love known in the U.S. and around the world.
7. American Baptists support religious freedom and respect the expressions of faith of others. As a people whose forebears came together in response to intolerance, American Baptists have cherished freedom and pursued it for millions around the world. Manifestations of that ideal include supporting separation of church and state, advocating for people everywhere to be guaranteed the right to worship free from discrimination, and lifting up respectful dialogue as a healthy means to understanding.
8. American Baptists acknowledge that God's family extends beyond our local churches, and that God calls us to cooperative ministries. Within our American Baptist regions, churches work with each other and with denominational staff, as well as in local and regional ecumenical arenas to increase the vitality and scope of their ministries. That outreach extends worldwide through our relationships with the Baptist World Alliance, the National Council of Churches of Christ, the World Council of Churches and other groups. Locally, the Community Church of Issaquah works together ecumenically with other community churches.
9. American Baptists have been called to be Christ's witnesses for justice and wholeness within a broken society. American Baptists have been led by the gospel mandates to promote holistic change whithin society as witnessed by their post-Civil War advocacy of African-Americans, the Civil Rights Movement (Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist), women in church and societal leadership, ecological responsibility and many other issues. While not all of one mind on how to deal with such challenges, American Baptists do affirm the need to follow Christ's example by being actively involved in changing society. Locally, the Community Church of Issaquah has been involved in hosting Tent City IV for the homeless; supporting Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, supporting The Children's Home of Mazatlan, Mexico; advocating against human trafficking; and supporting American Baptist work in this country and around the world.
10. American Baptist Churches USA celebrates the racial, cultural and theological diversity witnessed within its membership. We are the most racially inclusive Protestant body in the country. The Community Church of Issaquah values diversity and welcomes people to our fellowship regardless of ethnicity, cultural background or sexual orientation. The challenges and opportunities which come from diversity have made us stronger, both as a denomination and as an individual congregation, through fellowship, respect, mutual support and dialogue, all based on a belief that unity in Christ involves growth and understanding.
Food drive for Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. Picture by Greg Farrar, The Issaquah Press (see www.issaquahpress.com)