What’s In A Name?
Sometimes people ask us, “Why the name ‘Circle of Peace Church?’”
We say, “All the good names were already taken!” (Just kidding!)
Church = Trinity
At the core of Christianity is the understanding that God is Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – one God.
The Bible describes a God that is both personal and mysterious, and Christianity is the only faith in the world where 1+1+1=1.
We do pay special attention to Jesus. We are a Christian church because we trust his grace and love.
We aren’t perfect and we don’t claim to be. But that’s why we need Jesus.
Circle = community
We make relationships a priority.
Following Jesus is a team sport and a group project; we don’t do it alone. And the priorities Jesus gives us are clear: we love God with everything we have and we love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
So we don’t want to treat people like dirt, we want to treat people like Jesus.
There are a lot of implications, but in practical terms it looks like this:
- You don’t have to be like us in order for us to care about you
- If your life is complicated we won’t judge you
- If you’re not sure what you believe, that’s okay, because we’re not going to cram anything down anybody’s throat
- Everybody – not just the pastor – is responsible for the ministry of the church
- Other churches, especially our neighbors in the West Valley, are our friends and partners, not our competitors
- If you just want to get coffee or go hiking or have a playdate with other kids and parents, you can find people at Circle who will do that with you
Peace = Shalom
Like the Trinity, Shalom is also a really big concept.
The Hebrew word “Shalom” is translated into English as “peace.” But that can be a little unclear, because when some of us hear the word “peace” we think of Miss America. Or hippies. Or the absence of war. We don’t have anything against hippies, Miss America, or the absence of war, but Shalom is more than that. Think about it: Just because no one’s getting murdered doesn’t mean we have peace.
Shalom is peace with God, but it doesn’t stop there. Shalom is peace with our families, but it doesn’t stop there. Shalom is peace with ourselves, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s peace with our enemies, our environment, and our mortality. It’s about not using violence to solve problems. It’s when the power of God is present in every aspect of our life. It’s the presence of holy wholeness and completeness, like a foretaste of heaven. It’s such a big spiritual vision that it almost hurts to hope that much. I can’t even get along with my pets, so how am I supposed to love my enemies? But Shalom is a big idea because Shalom is God’s idea. And we want to be part of making God’s idea happen right now, even if it is only in small, humble, modest ways.