Disciples of Christ
We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for
wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the
one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord's
Table as God has welcome us.
-- Disciples Identity Statement
What Does the Identity Statement Mean?
We practice unity and inclusion at the Lord's Table for the sake of mission and for the sake of the world as the one family of God. Most congregations do this by celebrating communion every Sunday. That's why we use a chalice as our logo.
We practice believer baptism -- that a person makes the choice to follow God's call rather than the choice being made for them as an infant. Baptism is the basis of membership in the Church and also a mark that every person is called to ser God -- the idea of the "priesthood of all believers.
We honor our heritage as a movement for Christian unity by cooperating and partnering with other faith communities to work for bringing about wholeness -- healing in the world. This is what it means to be "ecumenical." One example is our cooperative work with the United Church of Christ in Global Ministries for the past 25 years and our newer effort to share staff in the area of family ministries.
We are called to study and read scripture for ourselves. Rather than having tests of faith and creedal statements, we critically and thoughtfull study scripture, taking into account the history and bakground -- the contest -- in which it was written.
We also honor the heritage of Christian unity by staying together in covenant as a witness to the world that even when we disagree we can still make room, welcoming all to the table as Christ has welcomed us. Our spiritual ancestors were fond of saying, "unity, not uniformity."
We move to answer God's call for justice particularly in the areas of care for the earth, the challenges for women and children, poverty and hunger and immigration. We seek to do this work in cooperation with other people of faith. Some say we "get dirty for Jesus" as a way of conveying the hands-on mission orientation of many of our faith communities.
Tropical Sands Christian Church is a member congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Our denomination is a commnity of about 850,000 Christians in 3,800 congregations in the United States and Canada. We are a part of the Florida Disciples Regional Church, headquartered in Orlando.
Two groups of frontier Christians came together in 1832 to form the foundation of today's Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). They shared the view that people should not be excluded from fellowship in the church because they didn't adhere to a particular human-made creed. They used to say there is "no creed but Christ."
Today's Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) still thinks that way. We study the Bible to deepen our connection to God through Jesus Christ, and to discover what God wants us to do.
Disciples congregations emphasize communion and baptism by immersion, but we accept into membership person baptized by other means and recognize their existing baptism as valid. We celebrate communion, or the Lord's Supper, each time we get together. Our communion is open to all believers.
THE SYMBOL OF THE CHALICE
The red chalice, bearing the "X-shaped" cross of St. Andrew was adopted as the symbol of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) by the denomination's General Assembly in 1971.
The chalice symbolizes the centrality of the Lord's Supper to Disciples life. The St. Andrew's Cross, the national cross of Scotland, focuses attention on the Scottis Presbyterian roots of the church. Thomas and Alexander Campbell both studied in Scotland and were Presbyterians. St. Andrew has been identified with the laity and evangelism, prominent emphases of the Disciples over the years.
The red color of the chalice signifies vitality, spirit and sacrifice.