The American Church in Paris…vision, mission, and values

Our congregation is an interdenominational and international Christian community whose mission is to bear witness by word and deed to the love of God as revealed in Jesus Christ, to provide a place of English language worship in the American Protestant tradition, and to engage in ministries and services that enrich the lives of residents and visitors in Paris.

What would a community living out these verses look like? Imagine …
Growing together in passionate worship and celebration where all are welcome to participate with the varied backgrounds from which we come.
Promoting the amazing diversity that we have as a community: denominational, ethnic, racial, economic, educational and otherwise. We are called to be a center-set community rather than a bounded set community.
Exercising wholehearted loyalty to Jesus Christ.
Developing grace-based relationships through intentionally deepening relationships so that people are amazed at the love and care that flows through and out from our community. “Cheer up, your situation is far worse than you could ever imagine! But cheer up, God’s love for you if far deeper than you could ever hope!”
Reaching out in love through intentional welcome, proactive hospitality and practical support for newcomers to Paris, including international families, students, as well as our local French neighbors.
Equipping & Sending people for discovery and sharing of their gifts for ministry and mission in the church, the city, and the world.
Cultivating a joyful inner life that is open to spiritual transformation in relationship to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Expanding our knowledge of the scriptures and the traditions of how we interpret and yield ourselves to the Word of God. We welcome world-class scholars but also the novitiate to pursue a “generous orthodoxy.”

Engaging in more prayer as a community and especially in our discernment and decision-making processes. “My house shall be a house of prayer for all people” (Isaiah 56.7).
Opening ourselves more to the gifts of art and music and investing in faithful expression of beauty and truth through the arts and music.
Serving the city through intentional outreach to the poor and marginalized.
Risking more to become generous stewards who optimze our resources for Kingdom impact in the world around us.

MISSION
In response to the second question, “What are we called to do?” We have the current Mission Statement of the ACP.
MISSION STATEMENT:
The mission of the American Church in Paris, an interdenominational and international Christian community, is to bear witness by word and deed to the love of God as revealed in Jesus Christ, to provide a place of English language worship in the American Protestant tradition, and to engage in ministries and services that enrich the lives of residents and visitors in Paris. (excerpted from the 2001 ACP Strategic Plan).

Perhaps another way to think of our mission statement in summary form:
Receiving with grace,
Equipping for service,
Sending in love.
The etymology of the word “mission” points us to the Latin root “missere” which means to send. The future of the ACP involves being captivated again by the fact that we are fundamentally a “sent” people. Jesus told his disciples, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”
We are a “missionary training camp.” We receive people wherever they are on their faith journey. Through their experience with us, we pray that they are more equipped as committed disciples of Jesus and sent into the world with a renewed vision of what the church is called to be and to do.


VALUES
In response to the third question, “What do we stand for?” these are values that are important to us as a community:
Centered In Christ
No matter what our different cultural or denominational experience may be, Jesus Christ is our reason for existence, the way to God the Father, the author of our salvation, the object of our worship as Lord and Savior, head of the church, sovereign over all creation, and our Friend. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life, and guides us through the Scriptures, the creeds and our life together.
Grounded In Grace
The grace that God shows us in giving us the gift of life, loving us, sacrificing for us, forgiving our sins, and calling us to be the body of Christ is the foundation of our life together. As we grow in comprehending God’s grace and appreciating what Christ has done for us that we could not do for ourselves, we seek to express that grace in all our relationships.
Together Being Transformed By Truth
We are transformed as we seek God’s truth to renew our minds, as we speak and hear the truth in love, as we seek first to serve, and as we call one another to a radical standard of what it means to follow Christ – freely living out truth in loving relationships.
Living as a Gospel Community
The first Christians attracted the world with their shared love for one another and selfless service to the poor and the stranger. Our authentic and loving community invites strangers to Paris – or to faith – into an encounter with God’s love and grace.
Seeking the Peace of the City
We are called to bear witness to Christ’s love for this amazing city and the world. As a worshipping community that is “internally strong and externally focused”, the Holy Spirit directs us to recognize and respond to the many needs in our city and in our world. We will humbly live out the gospel in strategic partnerships: “No ego; no logo.” Soli deo gloria!
Ready to Risk in Faith
Jesus Christ lived to do the will and work of God the Father regardless of the risk or the sacrifice. He lived for the sake of others, sure of his calling, and full of faith and love. As we seek to discern Christ’s unique call for us, we are emboldened to go where he leads regardless of the cost, evaluating ourselves by our impact for his Kingdom. We seek to be proactive in our response to the changes in our world and culture, while continuing to hold up the unchanging good news of God’s love and grace.

The American Church today is an important part of life in Paris for many people.

Providing spiritual guidance, education, and a strong sense of community and belonging, the ACP serves a diverse population:

  • Thousands of people use the church facilities as a community center for various classes and meetings.
  • More than 35 Christian denominations are represented in the Church.
  • More than 40 nationalities are represented in the Church membership.
  • The Church is home to two bilingual elementary schools, a variety of “twelve step” recovery groups, athletic and dance classes, Bible Study Fellowship, occasional lecture series, a free weekly concert series, and many more community-based services and events.
  • We desire to grow as a learning and loving community.

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