We are a Christian church, which is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). As Presbyterians, here are some of the things that are important to us:
+ We believe that Christ alone is Lord of our consciences. This means that we try to be thinking Christians, studying the Bible for ourselves, asking questions, expressing doubts, and weighing different sides of each issue. We believe that good people can hold different opinions about the same issues, and still both be faithful Christians. Rather than avoiding our potential places of conflict, however, we are encouraged to share our views with one another and learn from each other. Sometimes this leads to heady debates in our theology, or in our church national, regional, or local leadership. However, we believe this exercise of our consciences is vital and healthy to our spiritual growth, church leadership, and our ability to serve as disciples of Jesus Christ.
+ We believe in God's overwhelming grace and love for us. God has created us in God's image, and has created us as good creatures for good purposes. However, as human beings, we do still sin and let our thoughts and actions get in the way of loving relationships with God and neighbor. We confess our sins and shortcomings, and find forgiveness and a fresh start in God's love. In return, we seek to live out even greater lives of love and justice, not to earn our forgiveness, but out of the joy of knowing we are forgiven and loved.
+ We believe that the Church, although reformed in the past, is always and ever in need of reform. Let's face it, we humans aren't perfect, and while we try to lead our churches in wise ways, sometimes we're in need of greater wisdom. We have a process for raising concerns, debating pros and cons, and changing course when necessary. Sometimes this happens at our national legislative conference, the General Assembly, which meets every other year. At the regional level, we make decisions as a Presbytery (an ancient Greek word meaning "council of elders"), or in our local churches within the Session (our local council of elders, which holds monthly "sessions" to discuss our needs).
+ We believe in shared leadership of our churches. In the PCUSA we have Teaching Elders (aka, Pastors), and Ruling Elders (aka, Session, Council, or a Board of Directors). We also have Deacons, who provide additional ministries of care to persons in our church and community. All three roles are ordained, which means that we recognize the God-given gifts for leadership in individuals and prepare and elect them to these particular roles of service. While ordination lasts a lifetime for those who lead well, we also give times of rest and self-reflection for people in each of these roles.
+ We believe in ongoing dialogue and peacemaking efforts with other church denominations as well as other world religions. We are all God's children, and as Christians we should seek to live peaceably and with justice in our relationships to one another. Presbyterians at national and local levels are active in interfaith and ecumenical causes and concerns.
Links to further reading and resources coming soon!