We desire to see the city of Greeley become more like the city of God. The mission of Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church stems from a belief that we are part of a story – an ancient story of a God who refuses to give up on his fallen and broken creation. Our mission, therefore, must originate from God’s mission in his world and the part he has given his people to play in that mission. Far from being a fleeting interest of our particular church, we believe that this is and always has been the mission of God’s church – to be a blessing to the rest of the world. Therefore, we desire to be a church for Greeley. Our goal is to love and serve our city well so that it flourishes, prospers and increasingly becomes a city more like the city of God. Our mission as a church is only understandable in light of our beliefs about who God is and what he has accomplished in sending his son, Jesus. We believe that God cares not only for individual souls but that through the historical person of Jesus, God is redeeming and restoring the whole earth. In short he cares about cities and neighborhoods as well as the people who populate them. We hope to demonstrate that the good news of Jesus can transform neighborhoods as it lifts up the poor, heals the broken, reconciles the races, and establishes justice for the oppressed. The success of our mission depends greatly upon our ability to acknowledge our own vulnerability and need of Jesus. At the root of every one of our problems is the problem of looking to someone or something other than Jesus for our significance, strength, satisfaction and security. As we more clearly see Jesus as the true fulfillment of our every need, the true satisfaction of our every desire, and the final reality behind our every story, he makes us more like himself and restores our humanity. Our hope is that in seeing how Jesus alone meets our needs, that we can help others do the same and that together we see the kingdom of God established in this city of Greeley.
The accomplishment of our mission rests on 3 words that communicate our most essential values: Gospel, Community, and City.
At Saint Patrick we seek to unearth the gospel of grace and continually apply its transformational power. G. K. Chesterson once said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” Authentic yet often untried Christianity centers on the gospel – the “good news” that the historical person, Jesus, is the creator and Lord of this world and that he is reconciling all things to himself through his life, death and resurrection. The reason this gospel is often untried is because it is counter-intuitive. It says that in order to win, we must lose. In order to live we must die. So this gospel often has been and continues to be painted over by a cultural Christianity that promotes self-improvement, strength and ability rather than the confession of weakness, inability and the need of the a Savior. This is not surprising because as humans, we possess an innate tendency to base the acceptance of ourselves and of others on some standard of human works rather than the work of Christ. Our hope at Saint Patrick is that by our actions, our speech and our very lives we will begin to unearth the gospel of grace for the world. In order to do this, however, we must continually unearth the gospel for ourselves. The gospel not only saves us but also grows us. The gospel is not merely the way we become believers, it is also the way we mature as believers. The gospel is not the ABC’s but the A to Z of the Christian life and thus the solution to all our problems. At the root of all of our problems is sin, specifically the sin of looking to someone or something other than Jesus for our significance, strength, and satisfaction. This root sin (which often has a religious face) manifests itself in all our various problems. God intends that my problems drive me to see ever more vividly that "I am a sinner" and "Jesus is my Savior". And so change continues, just as it began, through the power of the gospel.
Just as the gospel reconciles us to God, it also reconciles us to one another. It produces something that is unique – real community. The reason the gospel creates "real" community because it creates a community based not on shared moral virtues, be those conservative or liberal virtues, or on common interests, be those interests some vice or hobby. Rather it creates friendships that start with a common confession that “We are not what we are supposed to be. We fail to live the very virtues we profess. And we are all in need of the grace of Christ.” Only the security of the gospel enables this confession and therefore only the gospel provides the foundation for real community. Ultimately it says I don't have to "produce" to get love and acceptance but that I am loved and accepted completely by the one who "produced" for me. It provides the basis for real community because it is "realistic" in its assessment of our lives. It says both, "You're worse than you are willing to admit, but you are more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope." Relationships based upon "externals" must by necessity either be overly optimistic or pessimistic. Would they love me if they really knew me? The Gospel is the only thing that answers this unequivocally in the affirmative.
In using the term city we hope to understand that the community the gospel creates has a job to do. We have a mission that must be lived out in our city. The gospel not only creates a unique community but enables that community to love and serve the wider community in a unique way. Apart from the gospel we either avoid serving out of fear of failure, rejection, or inconvenience, or we are driven to serve in order to ease our guilty conscience and gain approval from God and people. But when "I am a sinner" and "Jesus is my Savior" come together, our prior motivational structure is demolished and a completely new motivational structure is established. We are no longer driven by fear, guilt, or the need for affirmation but are freed to love the people of our city and work for the cultural and social renewal of our city. The gospel, therefore, has a unique power to reconcile races, classes and people of all economic backgrounds. And because the gospel produces personal healing and transformation, it necessarily produces social healing and cultural transformation as well. As the gospel produces beauty in the lives of individuals it calls and enables those individuals to work for beauty in their families, their neighborhoods, their professional fields, Our hope is to demonstrate alternative ways of being human as we serve through the arts, business world, government, and education in our community.