6. Wetake seriously the call to evangelism and missionary work as 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. Wesupport 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. We believe that God's family extends beyond our local churches, and that God calls us to cooperative ministries. American Baptist churches work with each other and with denominational staff, as well as ecumenically, with other local churches and organizations. We support our relationships with the Baptist World Alliance, the National Council of Churches of Christ, the World Council of Churches and other groups.
9. We believe wehave been called to be Christ's witnesses for justice and wholeness within a broken society. American Baptists have historically been led by the gospel mandates to promote holistic change within 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.
10. We celebrate the racial, cultural and theological diversity witnessed within American Baptist Churches USA. 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.
(modified from the ABCUSA website at www.abc-usa.org)
Food drive for Seattle's Union Gospel Mission. Picture by Greg Farrar, The Issaquah Press (see www.issaquahpress.com)