Also, it was to be a 'frontier' project, able to reach those not normally coming into contact with traditional church life.
FACT people never had a strong desire to produce a formal statement of faith. Firstly, their close relationship with home churches made it seem unnecessary. At the same time, many felt that compiling such documents can easily become dreary exercises in theological pedantry. This, it was felt, would be a fruitless and time-wasting activity for a bunch of people who just wanted to do some sailing, share the experience with other people, and do it in the context of Christian community.
Since those days, however, the theological landscape has shifted; church and society are much changed, and we now feel it could be helpful to set out some brief thoughts on what motivates the continuing work.
The trust locates itself fairly and squarely in the Trinitarian (naturally!) understanding of the Christian faith, and takes Jesus Christ as its reference point. We share his Gospel of eternal life, but are very aware that the 'Kingdom of God', as Jesus explained it, is crucially about how life on earth, from day to day, should look and feel. This informs FACT's desire to encourage and affirm people of all ages, but particularly the young and those with special needs.
The concept of God's shalom – peace and wholeness of body and spirit – is at the heart of Fellowship Afloat. For us it means peace with the Father through the love, life, work, death and resurrection of Jesus. And it also means a here-and-now expectation that life must have Kingdom-motivated agendas – and that God's Spirit will work in lives and events.
Christians can often find themselves polarised into camps that emphasise either personal salvation and experience on the one hand, or radical social agendas on the other. FACT, however, wants its cake – and it wants to eat it too (we do cakes rather well, as it happens). We embrace the radical agenda of the Kingdom, but we know it must be motivated by a living personal faith in Jesus, nurtured in community, and empowered daily by God's Spirit.
While we keep to this core principle, we very much welcome and value the work and support of those who are in sympathy with our mission, but who may not share our faith viewpoint.
Please note that this is not intended to be in any way a theologically exhaustive basis of faith statement. If you'd like to discuss with us any issue raised by this article, do contact us.