Hospitality – We welcome all sorts and conditions of people to our worship and ministry programs. We are receptive to the gifts that those others bring to us.
Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, once said, “The Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members.” Christ Church has taken that to heart. Over the years this has been a gathering place for the whole community to come together to observe occasions of grief and celebration. The church has been an incubator for numerous programs including Planned Parenthood, the Suicide Prevention Center, the Pastoral Counseling Center, The Other Place (daytime homeless shelter), Center City School, New Choices program and school for troubled youth, and community organizing groups. We are also home to numerous AA and other 12-step programs, Dayton Dignity (Roman Catholic GLBT’s and other former Roman Catholics who are otherwise known as The Living Beatitudes Community), and Youth First (a support group for teens struggling with issues surrounding gender and sexual identity).
Reconciliation – We sponsor efforts to bring people together who are otherwise divided over politics and various social issues.
One of our ministries in the 1970’s was based at Nuttal House, which worked at reconciling African students studying at various Dayton-area colleges whose homelands were often in conflict. For this work the International Centre of Reconciliation based at Coventry Cathedral in England recognized Christ Church, and we became a member of the Community of the Cross of Nails. Our Processional cross is a cross of nails and our Chapel was named the Chapel of Reconciliation. In subsequent years, Christ Church has worked on racial reconciliation in the Greater Dayton area. Last November we hosted a community-wide Election Day evening service to affirm that “We are one in Christ.”
Diversity – We value the diversity of our church community.
Rich and poor, male and female, gay and straight, hearing and Deaf, housed and homeless, differently abled, old and young, various colors and nationalities, liberal and conservative, are all to be found at Christ Church. Some are traditional believers while others are uncertain about what they believe. When the current rector first came to the parish he asked what it was that drew people from the suburbs to worship downtown. The most frequent response had to do with the diversity that they experienced here. That continues today.
Inclusiveness – We strive to be inclusive as broadly as we are able.
Closely related to diversity is inclusivity. At Christ Church we are not simply diverse but strive to include that diversity.
Community – We value the weekly community experienced in hearing the Word and in the breaking of bread in the company of Jesus.
Since we are a destination (as contrasted with a neighborhood) church we have to work harder at developing community. We draw folk from Greenville to Cincinnati, from Germantown to Springfield and many points in between. Because we do not live in the same areas, and often do not work, shop, or play together, we highly value the times that we can gather and be a community that wrestles with questions of faith and engages in mission. Foyer groups, coffee hours, and adult forums are occasions to develop community. Mission trips to Russia, New Orleans, Nashville, and Good Earth Farm are treasured. Journeys to Coventry Cathedral, the March on Washington (1963), to the National Cathedral and to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center (April, 2013) live fondly in our memory and are looked forward to as new opportunities arise.
Authenticity – We foster a deep commitment to walk in the footsteps of Jesus by encouraging one another to give ourselves for and to others.
A common criticism of the church is that we are hypocritical. That is, we say one thing and do another. We go out of our way at Christ Church to avoid preaching and teaching the kind of moralism that leads to such critiques. Our people dedicate themselves to causes, principles, and activities that lead to bringing our proclamation of Christ’s realm into coherence with our behavior.
Stability – Our values persist over time.
In most of our values stability sometimes appears. It comes out of a sense that the values listed above are part of our parish DNA that inspire both longevity and our commitment to the future based on living out the core values listed.