1    (1) God created and rules in love.
2          God created all the worlds that are
3              and upholds and rules everything.
4          We affirm that the universe exists
5              by the power of God's Word and Spirit.
6          God has chosen to give it reality
7              out of the love we have come to know in Christ.
8          God still works
9              through the processes that shape and change the earth
10            and the living things upon it.
11        We acknowledge God's care and control
12            in the regularity of the universe
13            as well as in apparently random happenings.
14        There is no event from which God is absent
15            and his ultimate purpose in all events is just and loving.
16        That purpose embraces our choices
17            and will surely be accomplished.
18        The Creator works in all things
19            toward the new creation that is promised in Christ.

20    (2) God sustains the goodness of creation.
21        God called all he had made good.
22        We declare that the universe of matter, energy, and life
23            is God's good creation in all its parts.
24        Even though evil has emerged within God's creation,
25            we may work and play in it
26            and explore it with wonder and joy.

27        Evil is whatever works against the loving purpose of God
28            for human beings and all creation.
29        Natural forces may have evil effects.
30        Sinful human choices produce evil results.
31        Evil may become institutionalized in our social structures.
32        The power of evil to hurt and destroy,
33            to cut off the possibilities of full human life,
34            calls into question the power and goodness of God.
35        Whether we understand evil personally or impersonally,
36            we cannot explain how it originated in a world made good.
37        But we can affirm that evil is God's enemy as well as ours.

38        In Christ, God shared our agony over evil
39            and broke the back of its power
40            by bearing the worst it could do.
41        God works continually to overcome evil.
42        In the end it will be utterly defeated.
43        Therefore we have courage to endure evil,
44            to learn from it, and combat it.

45    (3) God made us to care for other created things.
46        God made human beings along with all the other creatures
47            and charged them to care for the earth
48            and all that lives on it.

49        We acknowledge we share in the interdependence
50            that binds together all God's creation.
51        Yet God gives us power to rule and tame,
52            to order and reshape the world.
53        We hold the earth in trust
54            for future generations of living things.
55        The Lord forbids us to plunder, foul, and destroy the earth.
56        The Lord expects us to produce, to consume, to reproduce
57            in ways that make earth's goodness available to all people
58            and reflect God's love for all creatures.
59        The Lord bids us use our technical skills
60            for beauty, order, health, and peace.

61    (4) God made us for life in community.
62        God created human beings with a need for community
63            and with freedom to enter into it
64            by responding to their Maker with grateful obedience
65            and to one another with love and helpfulness.

66        We believe that we have been created
67            to relate to God and each other
68            in freedom and responsibility.
69        We may misuse our freedom and deny our responsibility
70            by trying to live without God and other people
71            or against God and other people.
72        Yet we are still bound to them for our life and well-being,
73            and intended for free and responsible fellowship with them.
74        Since every human being is made
75            for communion with God and others,
76            we must treat no one with contempt.
77        We are to respect and love all other people
78            and ourselves as well.

79    (5) God made us male and female.
80        God made human beings male and female
81            for their mutual help and comfort and joy.
82        We recognize that our creation as sexual beings
83            is part of God's loving purpose for us.
84        God intends all people--
85            whether children, youth or adults,
86            single, divorced, married, or widowed--
87            to affirm each other as males and females
88            with joy, freedom, and responsibility.
89        We confess the value of love and faithfulness
90            and the disaster of lust and faithlessness
91            in all our associations as women and men.
92        Our creation as males and females must not serve as a pretext
93            for dominating, hurting, betraying, or using each other,
94            for denying anyone's rights or rewards
95            or opportunities to develop potential to the full.

96         We believe that marriage is a good gift of God.
97         The covenant of wife and husband
98             to love and serve one another faithfully
99             is intended to reflect the faithfulness of God.
100        God gives us the gift of sexual union
101            to be the sign of that mutual and lasting covenant
102            and a means whereby we may share in creating new life.
103        If married partners become parents,
104            their care for their children
105            is intended to reflect God's love and discipline.
106        When we fail each other as parents or partners,
107            we are called to forgive each other as God forgives us
108            and to accept the possibilities for renewal
109            that God offers us in his grace.

110    (6) The human race has rejected its Maker.
111        Though they were made to be like God,
112            man and woman broke community with God,
113            refusing to trust and obey him.
114        Their community with each other was broken
115            by shame and murder, lust and pride.

116        We confess that in all generations
117            men and women have rejected God again and again.
118        At times we seek in pride to become gods,
119            denying the good limits that define us as creatures.
120        At other times we draw back in apathy,
121            refusing to fulfill our human responsibilities.
122        The antagonisms between races, nations, and neighbors,
123            between men and women, children and parents,
124            between human beings and the natural order,
125            are manifestations of our sin against God.

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