Core Beliefs

If you join us for worship on Sundays, you will likely encounter our mission statement either from the stage or on the wall in our foyer. Eastside's mission is about:

  • Seeking Christ
  • Serving the community together
  • Teaching others
  • Joining in worship

Our vision also has four parts:

  1. We will be radically Christ centered in our theology, preaching and teaching.
  2. We will be service oriented. Just as God told his people before exile to seek the welfare of the city, we, too, will challenge all to discover their call and serve Harrisonburg.
  3. We will be discipleship minded, living and sharing the good news of Christ in our everyday lives, not just on Sunday.
  4. We will embrace the cultural makeup of our city in our life and worship.

Statement of Faith and Practice

Eastside embraces the following Statement of Faith and Practice:

We believe there is a distinction between the kingdoms of this world and the Kingdom of God. We believe the Church serves as witnesses to God’s Kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven. The Church is made up of radical disciples of Jesus Christ who are called out of earthly kingdoms to gather together as a sacred assembly bearing witness to the heavenly Kingdom. In a world of polarities, we believe the Church is called to bear witness to the way of Christ. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we bear witness to our allegiance to Jesus.

We are firmly in the Anabaptist tradition1, but do not find our value or identity within denominationalism. We strive to translate Anabaptist faith to this generation by lowering cultural hurdles, speaking God’s truth to political powers and setting our sights on the Kingdom of God. As such, our statements of faith are adapted from the 1995 Mennonite Confession of Faith.

Statements of Faith

  1. We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near through faith.
  2. We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Lord; and in the Holy Spirit, the giver of life.
  3. We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salva­tion and training in righteousness.
  4. We believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and that God preserves and renews what has been made.
  5. We believe that God has created human beings in the divine image, humans were created good and are made for relationship with God.
  6. We confess that from the beginning, humanity has disobeyed God, given way to the tempter, and chosen to sin.
  7. We believe that, through the incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, God offers salvation from sin and a new way of life to all people.
  8. We believe that the Church is the assembly of those who have accepted God’s offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
  9. We believe that the church is called to proclaim the Kingdom of God, is sent by Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to witness to the world the good news of Jesus.
  10. We believe all of life is worship and our aim as the Church is to worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit eternally.

We joyfully participate in the practices of the Church:

  1. The Church, the body of Christ, is called to become ever more like Jesus, Christ, its head, in its worship, ministry, witness, mutual love and care, and the ordering of its common life.
  2. We are called and empowered to be disciples of Jesus through God’s saving grace, filled with His Spirit, following his teachings and his path through suffering to new life.
  3. As disciples of Christ we regularly gather to worship the triune God who is eternally Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
  4. We believe that to be a disciple of Jesus is to know life in the Spirit. As the life, death, and res­urrection of Jesus Christ takes shape in us, we grow in the image of Christ and in our relationship with God.
  5. We practice believer’s baptism with water as an outward symbol of an inward change.
  6. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sign by which the Church thankfully remembers the new cov­enant which Jesus established by his death. In this communion meal, the Church renews its covenant with God and with each other and participates in the life and death of Jesus Christ, until he comes.
  7. We practice discipline in the Church as a sign of God’s offer of transforming grace. Discipline is intended to liberate erring brothers and sisters from sin, and to restore them to a right relationship with God and to fellowship in the church.
  8. We believe in the mission of preaching, teaching and healing. This ministry is a continuation of the work of Christ and announces the Kingdom has come near.
  1. Anabaptist (from , (from Greek ana, “again”) member of a fringe, or radical, movement of the Protestant Reformation and spiritual ancestor of modern Mennonites, Baptists & Quakers. The movement’s most distinctive tenet was adult baptism. In its first generation, converts submitted to a second baptism, which was a crime punishable by death under the legal codes of the time. Members rejected the label Anabaptist, or Rebaptizer, for they rejected their own baptism as infants. They considered the public confession of sin and faith, sealed by adult baptism, to be the only proper baptism. They held that infants are not punishable for sin until they become aware of good and evil and can exercise their own free will, repent, and accept baptism.

    The Anabaptists also believed that the church, the community of those who have made a public commitment of faith, should be separated from the state. Most Anabaptists were pacifists who opposed war and the use of coercive measures to maintain the social order; they also refused to swear oaths, including those to civil authorities. For their teachings regarding baptism and for the apparent danger they posed to the political order, they were ubiquitously persecuted.

    The Anabaptists, like most Protestant Reformers, were determined to restore the institutions and spirit of the primitive church and often identified their suffering with that of the martyrs of the first three Christian centuries.