We are members of The Presbyterian Church USA.
Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways. We adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of men and women in both ministers and church members.
We are Protestants.
Protestants believe in justification by faith. We are justified or brought into a right relationship with God through grace.
This does not happen by our own effort, but by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Because of God’s love for us, Jesus Christ took sin upon himself and became the full and final sacrifice for the sins of the world. Protestants also believe in the authority of scripture.
Scripture is the written revelation of God and always points through the Holy Spirit, to the living revelation of God in Christ. The purpose of scripture is to bring persons to salvation and guide them in living a life of faith. Central to this tradition is the affirmation of the majesty, holiness, and providence of God who creates, sustains, rules, and redeems the world in the freedom of sovereign righteousness and love.
Our Presbyterian creeds and confessions found in The Book of Confessions emphasize:
The Sovereignty of God
We know the actions of God are intentional and directed toward the accomplishment of his purposes in his creation. God also uses human means in history to accomplish his purposes, yet such means do not involve coercion. We are still responsible for our decisions and actions. Scripture calls us to both concepts.
God has made a covenant, or promise, with his people. This has always been a covenant of grace. God’s promise is that he will be our God, and we will be his people if we believe and have faith.
Stewardship is an attitude toward all of creation. We are creatures given the responsibility as stewards, or servants, to care for all God has created. Grace motivates us to live in gratitude. Redemption calls us to respond in thankfulness by caring for all that God has given us. As we recognize that all life, faith, love, and every other gift comes from God, so we recognize our responsibility to render back a portion of what has been given us in these areas. This “rendering back” might include time, talent, and treasures. Stewardship is a spiritual matter, not a synonym for raising money.
We are to be obedient to the Word of God, which directs us to work for justice in the transformation of society. All our life is a response to all that God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—has done and is doing.
Some of the most asked questions about what Presbyterians believe are about the following topics:
We believe God exists in the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Christ is the Son of God, the Revealer of God, and the Savior of humanity. Heaven: The souls of the faithful are reunited with God in a warm and loving relationship for eternity.
Hell is separation from God and may exist now as well as in the hereafter.
The Virgin Birth
Presbyterians believe that Jesus’ birth was miraculous.
Mary is honored as the mother of Jesus, the special person chosen to bear the Son of God.
The resurrection of the body refers to the reuniting of the spiritual body and physical body.
This is voluntary and made directly to God, although it may be made in the presence of another believer.
God grants the gift of grace (unmerited favor), which enables us to gain the faith necessary for salvation. We are saved by grace rather than by good deeds, correct beliefs, or human ceremonies. It is not possible to earn salvation — it can only be accepted with thanksgiving and joy.
The empty cross symbolizes the risen Christ who opened the kingdom of heaven.
Presbyterians recognize two sacraments as described in the Bible: baptism and communion.
For more information on the specifics of our polity and form of government you can read The Book of Order.
We have common beliefs with other Christian denominations.
God is creator of the universe:
He “created the heavens and the earth and made human beings in God’s image, charging them to care for all that lives.”
- Christ is the incarnation of God on earth — fully human and fully God.
- The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in the world and in the believer.
- The Trinity is God as three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- The Church is a universal company of Christ’s followers.
- The forgiveness of sin is made possible by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
- Life everlasting and the resurrection of the body is ours because Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.
- The Bible is the inspired word of God.