Welcome to the official blog of Southeast Church of the Nazarene in Tallmadge, Ohio! We're excited to be launching this new platform to stay connected, engage with our community, and share some insights on Christian living and faith. Our hope is to provide a space where you can find encouragement, inspiration, and guidance on your spiritual journey.
Southeast Church of the Nazarene has been serving the Tallmadge community for decades, and we're proud to be a multicultural, caring, and inclusive Christian community that welcomes all. Our mission is to live by faith, be a voice of hope, and be known by love. We strive to create a place called home for those who don't have one, and our blog is an extension of that commitment.
Every week, Pastor Steve and I will be diving into the heart of scripture, wrestling with the complexities of holiness, and shedding light on the profound beauty of missions right here on the Southeast blog. Our shared goal is to guide you on a spiritual journey that deepens your understanding of Christianity and inspires you to live a missional life. While this current post is penned by me alone, you can look forward to hearing from both of us as we contributed weekly. So, we warmly invite you to join us in this exploration of faith, where our collective insights and experiences will illuminate the path towards becoming more Christ-like, holy, and mission-driven individuals.
Being a Christian People
At Southeast Church of the Nazarene, our faith is anchored in the transformative power of Jesus Christ. As stated in Romans 10:9 (NIV), "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." This faith extends beyond mere belief; it's an active pursuit of a life reflecting Christ's teachings of love, forgiveness, and service. We're inspired by the diverse congregation in Antioch, where followers of Jesus were first called "Christians" (Acts 11:26). We strive to emulate their example, living out Christ's teachings with honesty, kindness, and compassion, and welcoming all into our community.
At Southeast Church, we believe the Christian journey requires one to trust in God's divine plan, as Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) instructs, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." We find guidance through prayer and solace in the promise of eternal life (John 3:16). Our daily lives are a testament to our values, acting as a beacon of light in the world (Matthew 5:14), and sharing the gospel's joyous news. Being a Christian is more than a title, it's a call to transform ourselves and the world around us through Christ's love.
Being Holiness People
At Southeast Church, we are on a mission to live as 'holiness people,' embodying moral purity, justice, and righteousness in all aspects of our existence. This idea is beautifully encapsulated in 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV), "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'" For us, holiness isn't a destination but a never-ending journey driven by our love for God and the desire to manifest His will. It's not about earning salvation, but expressing our unwavering devotion to Him.
In our pursuit of holiness, we strive to emulate Christ in every possible way. As Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV) reminds us, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us." We uphold personal accountability, integrity, and self-discipline, understanding our duty to reflect our values and morals, even when faced with adversities.
We wholeheartedly embrace sanctification, God's divine process that refines us into the likeness of Christ. Often referred to as 'entire sanctification,' this transformation signifies a state of total devotion to God, realized through faith. As 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) states, "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
This spiritual metamorphosis leads us to an instantaneous attainment of a pure heart (Psalm 51:10 (NIV), "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.") and fosters a mature character through continued growth in grace. As believers, we're called to nurture this divine impulse and fulfill the prerequisites for spiritual development.
Participation in means of grace such as works of piety (the individual practices: prayer, fasting, searching the Scriptures, healthy living and the communal practices: worship, holy communion, baptism, christian community) and works of mercy (the individual practices: doing Good, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, feeding and clothing those in need, earning, saving, and giving and the communal practices: the seeking of Justice) aids us in expanding our love for God and our neighbors, embodying the commandment in Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV), "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind... Love your neighbor as yourself." Thus, we continually strive to deepen our relationship with God and extend His love to those around us.
Being Missional People
At Southeast Church of the Nazarene, we are fervently committed to the power of missions and spreading the love of Christ beyond our church boundaries. We firmly believe, as stated in Mark 16:15 (NIV), "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation," that everyone deserves to hear the gospel's good news. It's our divine obligation to share this message worldwide. Being missional embodies an intentional love for our neighbors, active service to our community, and a proclamation of the hope we harbor in Christ. To reach souls for Christ, Southeast engages in several intentional ministries. We collaborate with Haven of Rest in Akron, Ohio, to provide food and clothing, support Students With A Goal (SWAG) in Summit Lake, founded Encouragement Youth in Ellet area of Akron, support and participate in local, regional, and global missions, host deputation offerings from missionaries, and hold worship services in the community to bring the gospel to the forefront.
As followers of Christ, we strive to make a transformative impact on those around us, living out Matthew 5:16 (NIV), "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." This mission is fulfilled through various outreach programs, missions trips, and local service initiatives. Being missional means recognizing the unique talents and gifts God has bestowed upon us, as mentioned in 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV), "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms," and using them to expand His kingdom on earth.
Remembering Our Mission
Our mission at Southeast Church of the Nazarene is to embody the principles of faith, hope, and love, as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV), "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." We aspire to create a welcoming home for those seeking a sense of belonging and serve as a beacon of light in our community, reflecting Matthew 5:14 (NIV), "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." Our mission, a journey of lifelong spiritual growth, is an open invitation to you. We encourage you to join us in living out these Christian virtues, pursuing holiness, and embracing a missional lifestyle.
As we persist in sharing our insights, inspirations, and encouragements through weekly blogs, our hope is that you discover a deeper connection with God, experience personal growth, and find continual learning. Grounded in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," we believe that God has a unique plan for each of us, desiring us to live lives brimming with purpose and meaning. So, let's embark on this transformative journey together, becoming the people God calls us to be: Christian people, holiness people, and missional people. Your spiritual journey starts here, and now. Let's make it count!
Thank you for taking the time to read our first official blog post. We hope that you've gained some insights into our mission and our values as a church community. We invite you to join us on this journey of faith, holiness, and missions, and to stay tuned for more inspiring and thought-provoking content. May God bless you and guide you on your journey.