Purpose and Core Values
Our purpose is to be a welcoming church home for partnering with the Lord and each other in the practice of cultivating spiritual growth and choosing heavenly joy.
Sunrise Chapel is more than a beautiful venue, more than the shared perspective of its members, more than a loving community of people. It’s the church with the heavenly view of the Lord Jesus Christ, His amazing and inspiring Word, spiritual maturity, service, and the joys that come with people collaborating in shared faith and life.
Our CORE VALUES help us carry out this lofty purpose:
Honor the Lord’s presence in all people and all aspects of life
- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37
- “Lead my soul out of prison to acknowledge Your name.” Psalm 142:7
- Jesus: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
- “The essence of all love is to be found in union, in the life of love that we call joy, delight, pleasure, sweetness, blessedness, contentment, and happiness. The essence of love is that what is ours should belong to someone else. Feeling the joy of someone else as joy within ourselves–that is loving.” Divine Love and Wisdom 47
Seek and accept the Lord’s guidance in the Bible and its inexhaustible spiritual meaning
- “The Word was with God, and the Word was God… All things were made by Him…. And the Word was made flesh.” John 1: 1, 3, 14
- “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
- “Read the Word and believe in the Lord, and you will see the truths that are to be part of your faith and your life.” True Christianity 621
Inspire all to live and grow spiritually
- “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart — These, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 57:17
- “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
- “Stay awake and keep praying so that you won’t come into a crisis. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is sick.” Matthew 26:41
- “First get the beam out of your eye, and then you will see clearly enough to get the sliver out of your sibling’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5
- “Natural life in and of itself, apart from spiritual life, is nothing but being asleep. But having a natural life with a spiritual life inside it is being awake.” Apocalypse Revealed 158
Accept all into spiritual community
- “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:9
- “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39
- “Everything you want people to do for you, keep doing likewise for them. For this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
- “God makes his sun rise on good people and evil people, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45
- “I pray for those who believe in Me, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us.” John 17:20,21
- “The essence of love is loving others, wanting to be one with them, and blessing them from oneself.” True Christianity 43
- “Those who have kindness hardly see any evil in others. They notice everything good and true in them; and they put a good interpretation on anything evil or false. All angels are this way, a trait they have from the Lord, who bends everything evil into good.” Secrets of Heaven 1079
Provide useful service to the community
- “Without usefulness, love and wisdom are only fleeting abstract entities, and they do indeed fly away if they do not move in the direction of usefulness. True Christianity 67
- “Angels in heaven get nothing but happiness out of being useful; and they receive it in proportion to their usefulness. So true is this that to them usefulness is what makes heaven.” Secrets of Heaven 7038
- “Charity consists in doing—in being useful, in other words. If we love our neighbor as ourselves, we do not feel any delight in charity unless we are being active or useful. As a consequence, the life of charity is a life of usefulness. This is the life found throughout heaven, because the Lord’s kingdom, since it is a realm of mutual love, is a realm of useful activity.” Secrets of Heaven 997
- “Usefulness is the source from which, the means by which, and the measure according to which the Lord gives us life.” Secrets of Heaven 503
Being “born again,” or saved, does not take place in a single moment. Having faith and living it are two parts of a journey of change and growth. The New Church teaches that every person is saved (chooses heaven) who acknowledges God and lives according to the Ten Commandments. The Lord works through many churches in many nations to make sure that all people have the opportunity to learn these two most basic principles of religion. Read more about faith and salvation.
A marriage is truly a spiritual covenant between a man and a woman, and the love that is shared by a couple who are united this way is a beautiful gift from the Lord. When spiritual principles are applied not only to one’s spiritual growth, but also to the marriage relationship, troubled times can be overcome, and that marriage will grow in friendship, mutual support, and happiness. Genuine marriage does not end with death, but continues to eternity. Read more about marriage, and love in marriage.
When Jesus was born on earth the human race was in danger of being consumed by selfishness and materialism. Jesus came to restore spiritual light to His people, and He did this by teaching the truth about His love for us and our need to love one another. At first Christians obeyed the Lord’s command to love one another, but through the ages the Christian world became more concerned with political power, condemnation of unbelievers, and faith without love. To restore light to the world, the Lord came again, this time as the “Spirit of Truth.” He restored our ability to understand the things taught in His Word, and He opened up the Bible’s inner meaning.
This renewal of the Lord’s teachings is called the Second Coming because, on the deepest level, the Bible is all about Jesus Christ. By opening up that deeper meaning Jesus makes it possible for us to know Him, understand Him and love Him more meaningfully than ever before. So the Second Coming is an advent to our minds and hearts — not before our physical eyes, but before the eyes of our spirit, that is, in our understanding of Him. Read more about the Second Coming and the new christianity.
We open ourselves to the love of God by turning away from evil and learning to do what is good. When we act from that love by living a useful and productive life for the sake of others, the Lord opens heaven within us and prepares us for an eternal life of ever-growing love and happiness in heaven. Read more about happiness and fulfillment.
The Lord ensures that each of us has the freedom to choose what we want to believe and how we want to live. He gives us this ability, knowing full well that we can use it to reject Him and serve ourselves. Yet by means of it we can turn to Him and see the wisdom in freely choosing to serve others as He asks. Freedom is the cornerstone of individual spiritual growth.