STATEMENT OF FAITH
In FaithBethesda began its vision of serving people with disabilities and their families in January 1971 when parents, people with disabilities and interested others gathered for the 1st Annual General Meeting. ON MAY 13, 1971, BETHESDA WAS OFFICIALLY FORMED. Founding parents wanted support for their sons and daughters with disabilities rooted in the Christian faith. They embraced Jesus’ example of how to love and serve others in serving people with disabilities and their families.
THE GOSPEL IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD. As we read the Scriptures, we see the overarching themes of God’s providence, power and provision to reconcile mankind and the created world to Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Scripture reveals God’s love, desire and purposes toward all humanity. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-38). Jesus goes on to say, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) In light of this, we aim to be explicitly gospel-centered in our service to people with disabilities, each other and the larger community.
THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUE GOD. God is the loving Creator of all that exists, both seen and unseen. God is eternal and completely good, knowing all things, having all power and majesty. God exists as Trinity – in three persons, yet one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God passionately desires relationship with us, and toward this end he continually invites us into a relationship of faith, friendship, learning, and service. (Genesis 1:1, Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 45:5-6, John 14, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Matthew 28:19, John 10, John 16:7-15, 1 John 4:9-10)
THE BIBLE IS THE INSPIRED AND AUTHORITATIVE WORD OF GOD. God speaks to us in the Bible, and it is our privilege to seek to understand God’s message and apply it responsibly and faithfully to our lives. The Bible is our standard in all we say and do. We believe the Bible addresses real life, and that God’s unchangeable message ought to be presented in fresh, relevant, and timely ways. We believe it as a trustworthy witness to God’s character and God’s purposes through Jesus Christ. (Psalm 19:7-11, Psalm 119:9-16, Joshua 1:7-8, Hebrews 4:12, Acts 17:11, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, 2 Peter 1:16-21, 2 Peter 3:14-18)
ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED WITH DIGNITY AND VALUE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, TO LIVE IN A VITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. However, through our sin, we break our intended relationship with God and experience the destructive consequences of that broken relationship, spiritually and socially, in this life and beyond. However, God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from those consequences and to restore our broken relationship with God and others, through Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection, which is a perfect act of redemption for each of us. SALVATION COMES TO PEOPLE ON THE BASIS OF GOD’S GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS ALONE. They receive the free gift of forgiveness and are spiritually reborn through believing in Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:24, John 3:16, 1 Peter 3:18, John 5:24, Romans 3:9-28, Romans 5:6-8, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 3:3-8, James 2:14-26, Mathew 28:1-20)
ALL HUMAN LIFE BELONGS TO GOD. Each person is created in the image of God and ought to be celebrated and nurtured. Because God is Creator and the Author and Giver of life, we oppose all actions and attitudes that devalue human life. People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to such injustices. Christ calls the people of all nations to care for the defenceless. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:6, Job 31:15, Psalm 139:13-16, Matthew 6:25-27, Matthew 22, 1 John 3: 11-24, James 2:1-12)
GOD CALLS US TO SERVE and advocate for others, consider the interest of others above ours, and to honour each person as created in God’s image with a God-designed purpose to contribute to the whole of the body. (Matthew 20:28, Matthew 25: 31-46, Mark 10:45, Philippians 2:1-11, Romans 12: 3-9, 2 Corinthians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 12 & 13, Mark 9:35, Galatians 5:13, Colossians 3:23-24, 1 Peter 4:10, Acts 20:35, 1 Peter 5:2-4, Proverbs 31:8-9)
The Christian faith foundation is paramount to the work of Bethesda under the leadership and direction of our membership, Board of Directors and Executive Director.
COMMUNITY GOOD NEIGHBOURS COMMITMENT
As Community Good Neighbours We Will:
1. Assist people with disabilities and families who are in need of services to access and enter the service delivery system.
2. Recognize the importance of the involvement of the person and/or his/her family and significant others in service planning and implementation.
3. Provide community-based services to people with disabilities receiving support from across the province that will assist them along the continuum toward independence in community living.
4. Provide long-term services to people with disabilities referred from supporting churches, from the funding body and from others on a space available basis when finances can be arranged and as we have the ability to provide such support.
5. Utilize a “circle of support” approach in the provision of diagnostic, evaluation, planning services and in the implementation of services to people receiving support.
6. Address the entire spectrum of individual needs that include developmental, social, medical, emotional, spiritual, legal and recreational/leisure.
7. Assist people with disabilities to receive support in achieving and exercising their human and civil rights.
8. Ensure a person-centred approach, committed to the values of community and inclusion, in planning and providing services in the least restrictive setting possible.
9. Utilize generic services to the greatest extent possible and ensure that such services meet high standards of quality.
10. Continue increasing the quality of agency services through a formal evaluation process and through an active staff-training program, both within and without the agency.
11. Ensure community responsiveness and effective management through the election of a Board of Directors who possess various qualifications and competencies and who are committed to serving the community’s health and welfare needs.
12. Alert the public and government officials to the needs of people with disabilities through advocacy and public education.
...as we have opportunity,
let us do good to all people”