Sharing the hope and healing of Jesus to help people become His devoted followers and live life to the full.
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We welcome all people into our dynamic Christian community where we connect with God together and share opportunities that impact our world.
God is alive. He has always existed. He is the designer and creator of the universe and cosmos. None equals Him in power, authority, knowledge or wisdom. He is a person, and cares about the people He has made. He is holy and always does what is just and right. He loves each one of us, and rightly expects us to obey Him lovingly. Genesis 1.1; Psalm 90.2, 102.25-27; John 3.16-17
Jesus Christ is God. He has always existed, but became a man by a miraculous birth, and lived on earth to show us what God is like and to reclaim us as His children. He healed the sick and handicapped. He comforted those who were sad, fed the hungry, brought dead people back to life, and spoke out against hypocrisy, evil and greed. Matthew 1.23, 4.23-24; Luke 4.18-19; John 1.1-5,14.10-11; Romans 1.3-4; Colossians 1.15-20
Jesus gave His life for all people. He voluntarily accepted the punishment for sin that we deserve for disobeying God and failing to honor him. Three days after His death, Jesus lived again! Many witnesses saw and talked with Him. Six weeks later, He went back to Heaven where He lives today as King and Savior. Matthew 27.32-28.20; Mark 15.21-16.20; Luke 23.26-24.53; John 19.77-21.23; 1 Corinthians 15.3-4; Philippians 2.6-11; 1 Timothy 6.14-15; Titus 2.13
God is revealed through the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is part of what is historically called the Trinity and is equal with God the Father and God the Son. God is the source of all truth and therefore there are no spiritual insights or principles independent of His revelation in the Bible. At the same time, His Spirit teaches us, convicts and instructs the believer in truth, impresses the conscience of sin, testifies to salvation through Christ, and gives wisdom and power for holy living. The Spirit is present in everyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ and gives us sensitivity to understand the purposes of God through social history and the created world. John 14:25; 16:8-14; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Galatians 5:22-25; Ephesians 4:3-5, 30
The Bible is God’s relevant truth for life today. The scriptures were written thousands of years ago but because they deal with real life issues and have very applicable remedies, we endeavor to use the Bible as our source and guide book in all of life. Whether it is Sunday morning worship, mid-week Bible study, youth outings and events, or ordering coffee at the local coffee café, it is our conviction that God provided ample teaching and instruction for our daily interactions. In addition, the Bible helps us understand who God is, His character, and His deep love for all of us. When we know and understand these truths, we are compelled to honor and worship God and thank him for the redemption he provided through Jesus. Psalm 119.67, 105, 107; Isaiah 1.18, 40.8; Jeremiah 1.9; John 10.35; Hebrews 4.12; 2 Peter 1.16; 1 John 1.1; Revelation 1.1-3
We can be forgiven of all our wrongs. Rather than experiencing eternal punishment, we can live joyfully with Him forever when He comes back to earth for His followers. We must sorrowfully admit that we have sinned and dishonored God, and place our entire confidence in Jesus Christ as the One who paid the price (His death) for our freedom. Psalm 130.3-4; John 1.12-13, 14.6; Acts 10.43; Romans 5.1-3, 6.23; Galatians 3.26; Ephesians 1.7, 2.8-9; Titus 3.4-7
If we commit ourselves to follow Jesus we become members of God’s family. We are then motivated to live gracious, good and honest lives by an appreciation of Jesus’ love for us. The Holy Spirit lives in us and empowers us to live this new kind of life. Acts 1.8; Revelation 3.20
Jesus wants us to love other people and help them to know him. He wants us to exhibit His love for them by first taking care of their physical and emotional needs and then by sharing our faith in Jesus and what He has done for us and what He wants to do for them. Matthew 25.34-40; Mark 16.15
Jesus is coming back for his followers. Ultimately, all people will be raised from death. Depending on their response to Christ in this life, people will experience either a painful eternity away from God in punishment, or a wonderful everlasting life with God experiencing joy forever. Acts 1.9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4.14-17
Sherwood Community Friends Church exists to share the hope and healing of Jesus to help people become His devoted followers and live life to the full. We welcome all people into our dynamic Christian community where we connect with God together and share opportunities that impact our world.
We realize that God uses different kinds of churches to reach and serve different kinds of people, and so we focus our energies to fulfill this mission to which we feel God has called us. Each phrase in our mission statement bears some further consideration.
“…share hope and healing of Christ…”
One of the unfortunate realities of the world we live in is most people have deep wounds that have a despairing effect on many people. One of the most encouraging statements of Christ: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). For the weary, these words are a soothing balm. We at Sherwood Community Friends Church endeavor to live our lives in a way of authentic love for God which conveys a peace that passes all understanding and encourages others to reach for such peace, hope, and healing. We never want to convey a naive attitude that doesn’t recognize the reality of the world in which we live. Yet, our hope is set on the truth, which is believed by faith (Hebrews 11:1).
“…help people become devoted followers of Christ…”
The Great Commission is exactly that—a commission to all followers of Christ to share their story of faith in one fashion or another. Of course, there are some within the church that have special abilities, or gifts, to share the Gospel in a way that people respond in dramatic and resounding fashion. Still, all of us are co-missioned with one another to be available and ready to express our confidence in our decision to become a follower of Christ. The easiest and best way to do this is simply tell your story. Engage other people in a kind dialogue about life’s meaning and purpose. Through your involvement with your church, others can come alongside and engage in the conversation to help your friend, family, or coworker to become a follower of Christ.
“…live life to the full…”
This phrase comes from the teaching of Jesus in one of his own mission statements. He said, “I have come that they might have life, life to the full” (John 10:10). Jesus also said, “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21), so we believe that our mission as a Christian church should be an extension of Jesus’ — helping people learn to live in the fullness God intends, a fullness too many of us miss too often. And when we say helping people, we mean all people, especially people who don’t yet have a relationship with God. Just as Jesus focused his attention on the irreligious, we feel a special calling to reach out to people who aren’t already involved actively in a local church — and to welcome them in with love and acceptance, wherever they are on their spiritual journey. This high value that we place on welcoming in people who aren’t yet committed Christians influences our gathering in ways such as carefully translating “religious jargon” into language anyone can understand as well as creating the kind of nonjudgmental atmosphere where people feel accepted.
“…welcome people into a dynamic Christian community…”
Community is essential to our mission. In fact, you’ll often hear us speak of “doing life together.” Our ability to fulfill our mission directly corresponds to our sense of community. Our desire is to truly welcome all interested people in — wherever they are in their journey toward spiritual commitment. That’s important because one of the ways Jesus said that people would understand who he is and what his message means to them is for people to see how his followers live — how they love one another, serve one another, work out their differences with one another, and work together with one another. By welcoming people into our community, we let them see our faith in action in our daily lives — the good and the not-so-good, the successes and failures. We believe that if people see authentic faith lived out by real people in genuine community, the good news of Jesus Christ will shine through.
“…where they can connect with God…”
There are many ways Christians describe what it means to really connect with God — being converted or “saved” or “born again,” coming to Christ, accepting Christ, receiving Christ, becoming a committed Christian, becoming a believer, etc. Behind these descriptions is a real-life experience of moving into a vital relationship with God in which one is seeking God and seeking to live in a way that pleases God. For some people, the experience is sudden and dramatic; for others it comes gradually and subtly. Either way, this relationship isn’t something we have to earn; the fact is we can’t earn it because God offers it to us as a free gift of grace and love. Jesus came to tell us that God loves and accepts us and to invite us to respond to God in love and commitment and, as a result, experience “life to the full.” Not only that, by sacrificing his life and dying on the cross, Jesus, in some mysterious way, paid for all of our wrongs, faults, and failures, opening the door wide for all of us to come to God and experience a new beginning, whatever we’ve done in the past.
“…where they can connect with others…”
There is no question about it: the Christian life that Jesus exemplified and taught about is not a solo journey. It’s all about connecting with other people. On one level, that means connecting deeply with some friends, people you enjoy and trust, people with whom you can take off your mask and really be yourself. On a deeper level, it means going beyond enjoying and accepting one another as we are to challenging one another to become all we can be. And on an even deeper level, the kind of connection taught in the Gospel invites us to connect with people very different from us — people we might not normally choose to associate with. Jesus demonstrated this kind of radical connection by befriending tax collectors, prostitutes, Samaritans, and other people that were considered outsiders. The early church demonstrated it by living out the radical belief that we all — male or female, slave or free, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, extraverted or introverted — are made one in Christ. We want you to experience this kind of connection (the Biblical word for it is “fellowship”) at the deepest levels possible.
“…where they can connect with opportunities to make a difference…”
To follow Christ always means to be called beyond ourselves, our needs, and our interests to the needs and interests of others. Again and again you’ll hear us remind ourselves that to be a Christian is to be a minister (which simply means a servant — someone who lives for others, not just his or herself). The New Testament teaches us that we each are given special spiritual gifts, which we use to make a difference in a way unique to us individually. One may teach, another comfort and counsel, another lead, another administrate, another help in practical, behind-the-scenes ways, etc. It’s our goal for each person at Sherwood Community Friends Church to discover his or her unique calling and gifts, so each of us can make a difference in our special way. We seek to provide opportunities — from teaching children to working with teens to caring for the elderly, from cutting grass to making coffee to leading Bible studies, from working in inner-city Portland to taking short-term mission trips overseas — and it’s up to each of us to prayerfully choose which opportunities to take advantage of.
“…in our world.”
We also believe that the work of the church is not just “church work.” Church work — the many tasks necessary for a community like Sherwood Community Friends Church to thrive and grow — is important, but the goal of having a vibrant, dynamic church goes beyond us to our impact in our world. We hope that from being with us on Sunday, you’ll be more motivated and equipped to serve God from Monday through Saturday on your job, in your neighborhood, etc. The word “changing” in our mission statement is important, too, because we believe that we live in exciting, dynamic times. That’s why you’ll find us excited about the opportunities presented us in the current transition from the modern to the postmodern world, not frightened or wishing for any “good old days.” For us, these times are the most exciting times possible, and we are eager to live for Christ as we lean into the future.
Sherwood Community Friends Church has been a part of the community for more than 125 years. We’re in our third building and have seen Sherwood transform from a little country hamlet with a population of just a few hundred to the highly sought-after bustling community of more than 18,000 people. It is a wonderful place to live, and we so enjoy being a part of this growing and dynamic community.
Newberg Friends Church opened June 1, 1878. Another meeting (i.e., congregation) was established in Middleton, an area beyond Rex Hill and before the present city of Sherwood, where there was a school and a grange hall. A Friends meeting was also opened in Rex (at the top of Rex Hill as one follows 99W out of present day Newberg). There is no record of when the first meetings were held in Sherwood, but all the historical sketches say “in the late 1880s.” Part of the time Sherwood and Middleton shared pastors. Then, around 1892, a meeting house was built on Washington Street near the corner of 2nd Street.
The original Friends meeting house in Sherwood burned down around 1903. The congregation met for a while in the building then known as the Janeway building at 155 Main Street. Later, services were held in the Congregational Church on Sunday afternoons. In 1912, a new Friends Church was built at 2nd and Pine Street.
The Sherwood and Middleton meetings united as Sherwood Friends Church in 1914. In 1920 the two meeting separated; however, no reason for the separation is given in the records that exist. In 1946, they united again. In 1952, it was decided to build an addition to the church, which was completed and dedicated March 11, 1956. These were growing years for Sherwood Friends Church. When Gordon St. George came as pastor in 1954, attendance averaged 75; it increased to 174 before he left.
In 1964, the church purchased 4.5 acres on South Sherwood Boulevard (now Main Street). Architect Don Lindgren drew a plan, and construction began in April. Seven months later the first services were held in the new (present) church building. It was dedicated in March 1972. The present parsonage was built in 1972. The former church properties were sold.
As the years have gone by, the church ministries have changed but its purpose has remained the same. Revival meetings gave way to seminars and all-church retreats. Vacation Bible School, at one time a summer staple, gave way to Day Camp at Camp Tilikum (in Newberg, Oregon) and resident camping at Twin Rocks Friends Camp & Conference Center (in Rockaway, Oregon).
The church bell, which traveled from Rex to Middleton to Sherwood, was moved to the new church location in 1971, where it occupies the tower designed for it by Terry Baron. The clock, which went from Middleton to Sherwood, now rests on the wall of the present fellowship hall. These two symbols remind us of three past congregations that eventually merged to form our present.