Visual Vision Statement
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We motivate the Deaf community to experience new life with Jesus by providing a safe, honest, and open environment where Deaf churches and Deaf ministries from denominational and non-denominational backgrounds can work together in our common goal to bring Jesus to our community.
To motivate the Deaf community to experience new life with Jesus through clear ASL Biblical resources, transformational special events, meaningful Bible study opportunities, and a network of healthy Deaf churches and ministries.
Deaf Harbor is an association of Deaf churches and ministries who want to work together to accomplish shared goals. Deaf Harbor looks for needs that no individual church can meet alone and find ways that Deaf Harbor and its members can meet those needs together.
Deaf Harbor came about in 2012 when leaders from Signs of Grace Deaf Church (SGDC) felt God was calling them to something different. They contacted other Deaf Christians in the community and began the process of forming Deaf Harbor. SGDC closed and gave all its assets to Deaf Harbor to pursue the ministry that God gave Deaf Harbor.
In John 17:20-23 (NLT), Jesus says this:
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
The unity of believers is something that is very important to Jesus. Deaf Harbor is one tool that we believe can help us show our Christian unity to the non-Christian Deaf community around us. We want Deaf Harbor to represent a safe place where Christians can come together to work together even if we are from different church backgrounds. It is a place where we are free to pursue our church’s goals for our local community, but also work in strategic ways with other churches on ideas to impact the larger Deaf community for Jesus Christ. In the end, we want people to become excited about Jesus Christ.
- Purposeful impact
- Your Deaf church or ministry can have impact beyond just your local ministry. By participating in Deaf Harbor, you can be part of an association or coalition of Deaf churches and ministries who want to plan and think bigger than just their own local community. Through Bible Conference, DEC, Men’s Retreat, the ASL-CBS translation project, and any other ideas developed by our members, we can plan purposeful ways to impact both Christians and non-Christians in the Deaf Community. We hope this impact on them will lead Christians and non-Christians to find a local church that will help them grow.
- Larger Christian fellowship
- Your Deaf church or ministry can feel connected to a larger Christian fellowship. For denominational churches or ministries, this gives you a way to experience Christian fellowship with local churches outside of your denomination. For non-denominational churches or ministries, this gives you a way to experience larger Christian fellowship while still maintaining your non-denominational stance.
- Broader impact
- Often, Deaf churches and ministries are limited by number of people or by finances. We may have great ideas, but we don’t have the resources to make them happen. Being a part of an association or coalition of Deaf churches and ministries makes it possible to work on ideas together. We can impact more people in more areas together than we can impact alone. That is part of what it means to be the body of Christ.
- Mutual Deaf Christian support
- During times of struggle, we need our Christian brothers and sisters. But when a Deaf church or ministry struggles, who comes to help? When our church or ministry feels like we are standing alone, who encourages us? When our church or ministry is making bad choices, who is there to lovingly advise us toward better decisions? Being a part of an association or coalition allows us to practice the “one anothers” at the church level. We can be there for one another during those times when we need that outside support.
- Flexible levels of involvement
- An association is different than a denomination. A denomination has rules for how its member churches must do ministry and what doctrinal beliefs they must follow. A denomination has more control over the activities of its member churches. An association is simply a group of churches who voluntarily decide to work together. We have a very basic doctrinal statement that we ask members to sign. That doctrinal statement makes sure that our members agree with core Christian doctrine. We leave it up to the individual member churches or ministries to decide how much or how little they want to be involved in Deaf Harbor activities. We hope your church will benefit enough from Deaf Harbor that you will want to participate in Deaf Harbor activities.