Why the "Rocking Bride"?
The name the Rocking Bride sums up what we are as a church; that we belong to God as a bride belongs to her bridegroom.
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready."
We want to build a church with the gifts and abilities each person has been given by God. We are creative beings and believe that art and creativity show, that we are made in God's image.
We have the goal, both personally and communally, of being aware of the needs of others. Although our achievements do not qualify us to be Christians, we beliebe that, as God has embraced us as we are, we are able to embrace others. We believe that we are one - brothers and sisters, one body, his bride. Therefore we are able to accept others instead of being indifferent.
We don't go to the rocking bride, but we are the rocking bride.
We embrace participation in community, prayer, celebration, sharing excitement, laughing, weeping and fair-mindedness. This is also a part of "how we are". This is church for us: to grow and mature together. We want to add to the existing church scene and be there for our friends and acquaintances, for people distant or frustrated by churches. We want to, in practice, be there, where people are. We are in the process of learning how to value others higher then ourselves.
We are part of the worldwide Christian church and as such a diverse body. Sometimes we are loud and colorful and other times minimalistic and quiet. When we differ on theological questions from other Christians, we are happy to have a discussion - but only with the awareness that there is more that unites us than separates us, as many topics are important but perhaps not essential to faith.
Where from? Why? Where to?
In the beginning this earth and everything on it were created perfectly. In the book of Genesis it says "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." Humans are made in the image of God. Sin, suffering and all the other shit did not exist. With the fall everything changed. Humanity is separated from God, but that's not all, we are not living anymore as God created us to live. The world in its current shape is not our home. The whole of creation is not as it should be.
Because of that God sent his son: Jesus. He let himself be crucified to reconcile everything to himself. His resurrection shows that he truly is God's son and not a crazy man, as some took him to be. He will return and everything evil will be judged with his righteous judgement. The ones who align with him will live forever with him.
Who is God?
There is only one God. This God is not in everything, but he is the creator of everything that is. He is personal - like us - only better, more beautiful, infinite. He did not make the universe and withdraw from mankind, but he is still actively involved in the affairs of this world. He is one God in three persons (something we will never really understand):
The FatherHe is the father, who loves us. The one who loves the world soooooo much, that he gave his son. In the parable of the lost son, he is the father who is waiting for the lost son. At the same time he says to his son that remained home: "Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours". Paul and Jesus say, we can call him Daddy.
The SonJesus. Jesus existed before his human life with the father. He is his son. He is the messiah who was anticipated in the Old Testament. He is truly human, only he never sinned. He let himself be crucified voluntarily. He is risen. He is the great lover, our bridegroom. He is the one, who did everything for us.
The Holy SpiritThe spirit has remained with us, since Jesus returned to heaven. He lives in us and changes us. He is our comforter, helper, our trainer. He exhorts us, teaches us and reminds us of everything Jesus did! He testifies that we are God's children. The character of the Holy Spirit is not different from Jesus'. And Jesus says: "If you really know me, you will know my Father as well." They are one.
What is faith?
Faith consists of three things. It is a mental consent to a truth: God exists. He is a person - not an energy or something similar. It is also trusting in a relationship - I can give myself completely over to God, because he is my creator. Faith has implications for our actions. This is not about legalism, but we believe that God's commandments show how to live in peace with each other. Faith is not separated from the rest of life: the seen and the unseen world are both Gods and they belong together.
"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
This implies that everything we do in accordance with God is spiritual. There are times when cleaning dishes is much more important than preaching, or repairing a car than healing. And there are other moments. But everything is spiritual if the motivation behind it is really love.
How does this faith now change our life? We can become right with God again through belief. We are dependent on his mercy and we can only accept this in faith. In the same way we are changed, through faith in every moment. We don't have to change ourselves before God expresses this grace to us, but his love changes us. Every Christian, whether employed by a church or working in a takeout, whether as a teacher or is researching other galaxies, is a full-time worker in God's kingdom - in their current location, in their current situation.
How to achieve a beautiful Hanover?
God is busy recapturing his world. He wants the reconstruction of whole persons: he wants our consciences aware, he wants our psychological oddities healed, he wants to free us from anxieties, he wants to kick out our wrong pride, he wants to change our sense of inferiority and our incapability to maintain relationships into strength, and he wants to create a non-sick thought world in us. We are wrongdoers and victims. We have to acknowledge that we have sinned and need forgiveness and that we have things inside we need to deal with. We suffer from our own wrongdoing and from the wrongdoing of others and need healing. Humans are not the center of the world. God is!
This reconciliation takes place today, although in an imperfect form. It will be completed when Christ returns. We are only preparing the way. We live in Hanover and of course this city is our first focus, but the whole world is interconnected nowadays, so wherever possible we want to impact people with our actions. We want to be peacemakers.
What do we confess?
I believe in God, the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
In our understanding baptism is the visible step to give up the old life and receive the new one which God is giving.
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
We believe that baptism is a conscious choice, therefore we don't baptize young children but we bless them in a service. However we do take adults as members who see their infant baptism as valid for themselves.
"When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?' Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
We believe that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, but that being a real Christian does not start with what some call the second baptism in the spirit.
"For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free-- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink."
Why the Lord's Supper?
We celebrate the Lord's Supper in memory of Jesus Christ dying for our errors, our sins. It shows us very tangibly that we, through Jesus, now live in a new covenant. He calls us friends. We are now Children of God. According to 1Cor 11:23-34 everyone is welcome to take part who believes in Jesus and who sees Jesus as God's son.
"For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."