We are a church seeking the renewal of our city through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that Northern Virginia will reflect the reign of Jesus Christ as we, and other faithful Christians, experience his grace and follow him, leading our city to new heights of flourishing and wholeness.
We invite you to participate in our mission by joining us for reverent and joyful worship, cultivating your spiritual life, connecting with others in community, and serving God’s kingdom both here and around the world.
As a community, our core values include:
Though evil pollutes his good creation, and divides our hearts as well, God did not give up on his design for the world. Rather, he sent Jesus Christ to proclaim the gospel. The gospel, literally ‘good news’, announces the restoration of God’s reign to the earth through His rightful King, Jesus Christ. In dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus defeated the powers of sin and evil, paying the ransom for sin. God’s kingdom returns, dwelling with us, as heaven and earth are reconciled through Jesus’ blood. And, now, all authority in heaven and on earth is entrusted to Jesus, the Lord of lords and King of kings.
Through this good news, God forgives our sins, ending our alienation from him, and gives us a new heart. When we profess, “Jesus Christ is Lord”, we enter a new family, the Church, where we walk with others seeking to be Christ’s ambassadors. In this community, we learn to follow Jesus on the way of the cross – the way of self-giving, sacrificial love. And, we do so, in hope, believing that the gospel is God’s means for the renewal of human life, and ultimately, all creation.
At Ascension, we differentiate between essentials and distinctives, giving priority to the beliefs and practices that unite all Christians. With churches everywhere, each week we confess together, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!” We find that the most beneficial aspects of our Anglican tradition are the intrinsic ones, like our connection with the historic and global church, our commitment to the authority of Scripture, and our regular participation in the sacraments. Additionally, we work to streamline our activity as a congregation, emphasizing avenues to commune with God and serve our neighbors. We try to keep things simple, because simplicity is missional.
Our congregation exudes a sense of family warmth in the midst of urban loneliness and isolation. We welcome people into our church, not through big programs, but by sitting around the dinner table together. Likewise, our approach to discipleship assumes communal investment and involvement. We have found that a healthy church is inherently inefficient, because relationships are inefficient.
Our church is like a small craft brewery, working with locally grown ingredients. The process is labor intensive, requiring everyone’s involvement. But, we love what we do and believe in the integrity of our product. Our approach forecloses on the idea of mass production and consumption. But, we think mass production betrays something of what God calls us to be anyways, and are content with creating a community that bears a distinctive, quality fruit.
We are a liturgical church. Our services follow the same basic outline of worship gatherings since the days of the earliest Christians. At the same time, we fill in the details of the service with the music and language of the present. Each Sunday, the Lord Jesus gathers with us to forgive our sins, speak to us through his Word, listen to our prayers, and feed us at his table before sending us out once more to serve him in the world. As we inhabit the gospel together, our services are marked by joyful reverence, and warm transcendence.
Jesus is risen, and so someday our city will no longer be known for its corruption and brokenness, but as the place where Jesus reigns. Our church prays and works with others for the transformation of metro Washington through the love of Christ. We believe in the transforming power of the gospel for this particular place, through Christians loving their neighbors and proclaiming God’s Word. We long to see healthy, gospel-centered churches in every neighborhood in Northern Virginia, and so are committed to being church plants that plant churches that plant churches.
Seeking the city to come, we actively partner with other gospel-centered churches and various organizations to build a spiritual eco-system for the transformation of the city. We are keenly aware that the renewal of our city requires a movement much larger than any single church, and so gladly seek to work with others.