Purpose, Values & History

QUICKLINKS

Our Purpose  •   Our Values  •   Our History

Our Purpose

The Fish Gate exists to know, love, worship and obey God the Father, through union with Jesus Christ, His Son by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit. This knowledge, love, worship and obedience is to be in accordance with the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. It is not only personal, but is also expressed in our life together as a congregation. And even more, we want to make this known to others, through the Spirit-empowered life, witness, ministry and proclamation of the gospel.

The name Fish Gate was derived from one of the gates in the ancient city of Jerusalem. It was through the Fish Gate that the food supplies for the city arrived, and the city markets were immediately inside this gate. Over time this became a place where the poor would gather and receive help in their need. Accordingly we believe The Fish Gate is a place through which spiritual food is brought into the city and a natural meeting place for those who are hungry.

The Fish Gate is an orthodox Christian church holding to the Apostolic and Nicene Creeds with a Biblical evangelical heritage. We affirm that marriage is the gift of God, in which the union of a man and a woman exclusively for life is given to be a sign of the purpose of God for humanity to be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ, His Son.

The logo of The Fish Gate is derived from an early church symbol of the Trinity. This is the central theological theme of the church: everything is built on this most wonderful and primary truth—God is love, God is community, God is family.

Our Values

Community 

We are a community. Each person has a vital place and role in the whole community. We need each other and our faith is lived out in the context of the network of relationship that exists both within the church community and beyond. True community will be inclusive of all age groups, cultural and racial backgrounds.

Loving God means loving  people (1 John 3:16-20). Love is the key to the authentic community (1 Corinthians 13:1-5). God has made room for us in his family and has gone to extraordinary lengths to make it possible. So, we aim to reflect this in openhearted hospitality that includes being generous in welcoming people into the community of faith. Such things as a listening ear, practical help, openness of hearts and homes, and prayer are all important factors in hospitality.

The wider Church and our common Christian Heritage

We are not alone. The communion table has sat around it people of faith from every denomination, every ethnic group and from every time in history. We are very much in debt to those who have contended for the faith before us and again we have received our heritage by grace from previous generations. We hold to both the Apostolic and Nicene creeds and receive them as gifts to the church. We value fellowship with other church communities and seek the good of all believers in speech and action. (Genesis 12:2-3, Hebrews 12:1)

The Wider Community

We see the church community is only the nucleus of the wider community. God loves all people and we see it as vital to have real relationships beyond the church as well as within—real friendships that are beyond simply “fodder for the gospel.”

The Bible and biblical teaching

Our faith is rooted in the Bible, which we believe is a revelation of God’s Word. We can learn much concerning life and the nature of the universe from other sources. However, the scriptures transcend natural revelation and point us to Christ in a unique way. We believe the Bible is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice.

Consequently we believe in biblical theology and expository preaching. Biblical preaching of the gospel is one of the ways that God has chosen to reveal himself to the church and the world.

Grace

One of the unique aspects of Christian faith is grace. Grace is all the fullness of God made accessible in Christ to humanity as a free gift. It is expressed in total forgiveness, the gift of the Holy Spirit, joy, covenantal love and much, much more. Grace undergirds and permeates all of faith and church life. No one can curry favour with God. All we have is a gift from him and is to be received with thankfulness and humility (Romans 5:1-3, Ephesians 2:8-9).

Prayer

We believe in the practice of prayer, both individually and corporately. Prayer is participation in the conversation between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Prayer is the unfolding of Christ’s high priestly prayer recorded in the scriptures in John 17. Our prayer is a response in word to the Word, which God has spoken in Christ. In prayer the church is humbled and brought to a right dependence upon God as Father, Lord and Creator.

The Poor

Caring for the poor is a vital aspect of service in the Church Community and is a practical demonstration of God’s love. The poor includes anyone who is disadvantaged in any way be it financial, political, physical, emotional or spiritual. Indeed circumstances will inevitably mean that each of us will be counted among the poor for various reasons at various times. Nevertheless how we view and treat those who are in various kinds of poverty is a litmus test of our faith. As James has it, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress” (James 1: 27). The Fish Gate is a church for the broken, not only the well.

Service

Everybody has something to bring to the table of the community. Every person is uniquely gifted to provide for the whole community (1 Corinthians 12). There are no passengers; everybody has access to an oar.

Theology

We value the role of theology, both historically and contextually. Theology aids us to say what the Scriptures reveal more effectively in the face of competing worldviews and helps to shape our faith and practice more accurately. Every believer is a theologian of sorts. We value the work of recognised theologians who have brought richer and fuller expressions of faith to the church.

 

Our History

The Fish Gate was originally a church plant from Coromandel Valley Uniting Church and commenced in February 2003. Since those beginnings, when we met at the Glandore Community Centre, we have met at various locations, in Glengowrie, Warradale, and Hawthorn. Since August 2015, we’ve settled as an early evening congregation meeting at Ascot Park Community Uniting Church.

In January 2019, The Fish Gate concluded its association with the Uniting Church of Australia, and became an independent congregation, in the Crosslink Christian Network.

Thanks for visiting our website, we trust that your time spent with us will be inspirational.