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At our core, GracePointe holds to these principles with open hands and humility:
God is a mystery to be explored, not a doctrine to be espoused.
Life is a gift to be enjoyed.
Love is a responsibility to be shared.
The Good News is that you are inherently united with God.
As a community, GracePointe places an emphasis on these values that define our culture and the way go aboutour lives, both individually and collectively.
We stand for what we believe.
We keep asking questions.
We don't take what we have for granted.
We believe in and express our authentic selves.
We hold gracious space for differences.
We see the Divine in one another.
The GracePointe community is leading the theological development and practice of progressive Christianity. This is at the core of what makes us distinct, and is far from a simple label change for a modern repackaging of traditional beliefs. Although Progressive Christianity defies specific doctrines, here is a helpful explanation from ProgressiveChristianity.org. By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean we are Christians who:
Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life.
Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey.
Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to: Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics, believers and agnostics, women and men, those of all sexual orientations and gender identities, those of all classes and abilities.
Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe.
Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes.
Strive for peace and justice among all people.
Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth.
Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.
If you would like to hear from GracePointe about what we believe and how that looks in practice, Lead Teacher Stan Mitchell crafted a series entitled "GracePointe 101". Whether through the GracePointe podcast or on the website, these messages are instrumental in developing a working understanding of GracePointe's core theological foundation.
GracePointe Church was founded in 2003 by Pastor Stan Mitchell and a group of individuals committed to realizing a unique Christian community in the greater-Nashville region. In its first decade of life, the community was a home for those going through faith transitions and those who didn’t feel comfortable in traditional church settings. GracePointe was always comfortable with asking open questions, forgoing easy answers, and embracing the tension of faith and experience.
In 2015, GracePointe underwent a highly publicized process wherein it stated, publicly and absolutely, that LGBTQ+ people were welcomed, celebrated, and included at all levels of GracePointe's community. National media picked up on this, and GracePointe experienced a seismic movement in its own community as it stepped away from a core belief of mainstream Evangelical Protestantism.
TIME MAGAZINE | NASHVILLE EVANGELICAL CHURCH COMES OUT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Time Magazine reported on GracePointe's public statement of inclusion and included a reference to another Evangelical megachurch, EastLake Church in Seattle, citing them as the two primary examples of a shift taking place in American Evangelicalism's views on LGBTQ+ people.
Since then, GracePointe has assumed an explicitly progressive Christianity, centering the inherent goodness and beloved-ness of every person, rejecting theological constructs of shame, and stepping out into a faith evidenced in action. GracePointe identifies as a progressive Christian community, and you can find more on what that means below.
THE WASHINGTON POST | AS ONE EVANGELICAL CHURCH 'COMES OUT' FOR LGBT RIGHTS, OTHERS CAST A WARY EYE
In early 2017, GracePointe moved on from Franklin as it transitioned into the metro Nashville region. After calling area our home, we moved into West Nashville in October of 2018 for our weekly gatherings. It was around this time that Founding Pastor Stan Mitchell announced the church was entering a new phase of its life. As Stan began the process of transitioning off the GracePointe staff, a search began by the Leadership Council. In April of 2019, after several months of a formal pastoral search, Pastor Josh Scott–former lead pastor for Morgantown Community Church and board member for the Imaginarium–became the new Lead Pastor of GracePointe.
If you would like to learn more about what this means, where GracePointe is now, and how you can be a part of the story, visit our blog, subscribe to our newsletter, and consider giving as part of the community sustaining our important work both in Nashville and around the country.