The Need for the Gospel in Loving the City
The vision of Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church is to see the city of Greeley become more and more like the city of God. That vision can be distilled to three words: gospel, community and city. The gospel is the “good news” that the historical Jesus of Nazareth is our creator and savior and that he is reconciling all things to himself through his life, death and resurrection. This good news not only reconciles us to God but also to one another. It creates a unique community based not on shared moral virtues or common interests, but rather friendships established by a common confession: “we are not what we are supposed to be.” In using the term city we hope to understand that this unique community the gospel creates has a job to do - that St Pats has a mission that must be lived out in our particular place.
It is always the gospel that empowers this mission because the gospel not only creates this unique community but enables it 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 our city in the arts, the business world, government, and education.