Only one belief is required for membership in the Presbyterian Church (USA): “faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and acceptance of His Lordship in all of life.” (Book of Order, G - 5.0101a) .
Church officers (pastors, elders and deacons) are required to affirm “the essential tenets of the Reformed faith”. We affirm both women and men can serve as church officers.
God is Sovereign. By his sovereign will God created and continuously sustains the universe. By his sovereign will God also defines all truth. He is perfectly free to do as he pleases. In his freedom he elects to love us; in his freedom he also righteously judges us.
God is Triune. God is one God who is manifested in three personalities: God the Father (Creator) , God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit . Each person of the Trinity is equally God, but also distinct and different. Each is glorious, eternal, and transcendent.
Human Sinfulness. In contrast to God’s perfection and holiness, mankind is sinful in both nature and conscious action. We are made in God’ s image, and this prompts us to seek a relationship with Him. However, we have inherited a broken nature from the spiritual fall of Adam and Eve . This nature infects our thoughts and motives and causes us to act contrary to God’s perfect will . Sin breaks the relationship between God and mankind and places us in a state of alienation from God, His love, and His laws. The result of sin is misery, injustice, and chaos in this world. If unchanged, we are destined for permanent exclusion from God and all his good gifts after death.
Jesus Christ: The Only Way to Salvation. Out of God’s love and desire to be reconciled to mankind, God provided in Jesus the only means of salvation from the result of sin. As God in human form, Jesus is the fullest revelation of God’s nature and ways. His sacrificial death on the cross atoned for the sinfulness of mankind. He loved us despite our worst sins and, through his resurrection, opened the way to true life and happiness in God’s kingdom.
Salvation by Grace through Faith. We cannot achieve salvation for ourselves by any effort or virtue. It is a gift, achieved for us by Jesus Christ. Our role is to accept God’s gift, which is Christ’s sacrifice for our sin. To truly accept the life Jesus makes possible, we must turn away from our sin and hunger for a new life with him. This is called repentance. Through personal faith, which is a life changing trust in God’s grace toward us, we are saved from the consequence of sin and empowered to begin a new life.
The Transformed Life. When we are “born again” through faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit enters our lives and begins to change our attitudes, habits, and desires. True love becomes possible. We begin to obey God’s will not out of guilt but out of trust and gratitude. We do not gain complete freedom from our sin nature in this life and continually struggle against it; but we are increasingly enabled to participate n God’s kingdom here on earth, which in part means that our perspectives on a wide range of cultural norms become transformed through Christ in life changing and meaningful ways. When we fall short of God’s design for our lives, we return to Him in repentance, knowing that He is eager to forgive and restore us to Himself. We also discover our unique gifts for serving others.
The Church. The Church consists of all true followers of Jesus Christ past, present, and future. The early Church is charged with the mission of advancing God’s kingdom on earth. It does this by preaching salvation, nurturing Christ-like character, modeling Christian community, worshiping God, preserving the truth, caring for the needy, and promoting social justice and peace. The Church on earth can become unfaithful; but because Jesus himself gave his life to found it, we do not forsake its fellowship but rather commit to its life and mission.
Hospitality. We believe that we are called by God to biblically love all humanity, made in God’s precious image. We therefore want to be a community categorized by hospitality, kindness, service, and forgiveness, and we hope to be a place where everyone feels welcome and comfortable discussing beliefs, questions and doubts in all areas of life. We look forward to having meaningful conversations with our guests about how the Bible and the Good News of Jesus shapes what we believe and how we live.
The Bible: The Rule of Faith and Life. The 66 books of the Bible are authoritative and infallible in all they seek to teach. Inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by humans, the Bible is the ultimate guidebook for Christians. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to live under its authority. The Bible is living and active, as true today as it was when it was written. We seek to apply biblical principles to all areas of our lives and to approach current social issues from a biblical perspective.
The Sacraments. Presbyterians recognize two sacraments instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In baptism we affirm God’s covenant with humanity and profess our faith as believers. In the Lord’s supper we remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and enjoy his special presence .
The Second Coming of Christ. We affirm Christ’s return as promised in the Scriptures. At his coming, Christ will win victory over all sources of evil. He will judge all people. Those who have chosen to live separate from God’s authority and rule will be excluded from his realm, but the faithful will be joyously welcomed, healed , and rewarded. No one knows the time of the Lord’s return.
The Eternal Hope. Our greatest hope is that we will spend eternity with God in the perfect happiness of his fully-established kingdom . We will enjoy fullness of life and love not only with God but also with each other and the rest of creation.