Beliefs

What Presbyterians Believe…

Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: they adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the shared leadership of both ministers and members. We have a vision of ministry that is vibrant and inviting and reflects the love and justice of Jesus Christ.

Evangelism and Witness – We are called to invite all people to faith, repentance and the abundant life of God in Jesus Christ, to encourage congregations in joyfully sharing the gospel, and through the power of the Holy Spirit to grow in membership and discipleship.

Justice and Compassion – We are called to address wrongs in every aspect of life and the whole of creation, intentionally working with and on behalf of poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people as did Jesus Christ, even at risk to our corporate and personal lives.

Spirituality and Discipleship– We are called to deeper discipleship through Scripture, worship, prayer, study, stewardship and service and to rely on the Holy Spirit to mold our lives more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Leadership and Vocation – We are called to lead by Jesus Christ’s example, to identify spiritual gifts and to equip and support Christians of all ages for faithful and effective servant leadership. With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or death can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ!

To explore the web site of PCUSA, go to www.pcusa.org.

  • Lent is Upon Us

    Lent is also quickly approaching. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, on March 6th. Pastor Meg and I will be participating in an ecumenical worship service at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (along with St John’s Episcopal Church). I find it very refreshing to participate in these joint-worship services at various times throughout the year. It reminds us how we are all God’s children, and models the love and care of Jesus Christ.

    Ash Wednesday is where the Lenten journey begins. The scripture passages remind us about fasting and ashes, and we have an opportunity ‘receive’ ashes, as the sign of the cross is marked on our foreheads with ashes made from burned palm fronds from previous years. That mark of ashes reminds us that Lent isn’t just a 40-day exercise of giving up some joy in our life, but making time to ponder repentance. Lent is a time of journeying: on Ash Wednesday we read warnings about storing up false treasures, showing off our piety, doing harm to the marginalized in our world, and not living properly in community. The journey of repentance, however, reminds us that we travel toward the fullness of the Kingdom of God. It is in Jesus Christ that we find new life. I hope that you will join us for our Ash Wednesday service at Prince of Peace on March 6th.

    ************************************

    Our congregation is about to undertake a large project together. Inside this edition of the Pulse you will find an article about our upcoming pledge campaign to see if we can purchase a new roof for Bruner Hall and solar panels for our electricity usage. I hope that you will understand, appreciate, and prayerfully support this project.

    At the same time, it is important for us to remember our general tithing to support the regular mission and ministry of our church. Yes, that s-word that some of you might embrace, and other might dread: stewardship! I recently read this from Walter Brueggemann, a renowned Old Testament scholar. “We live in a society that would like to bracket out money and possessions from ultimate questions. The Bible insists otherwise. It insists that the issues of ultimacy are questions about money and possessions. Biblical testimony invites a serious reconsideration of the ways in which our society engages or does not engage questions of money and possessions as carriers of social possibility.”

    What is Brueggemann saying here? It seems that if we only ask for our offerings to maintain the structure of our church, we are missing an opportunity for discipleship that allows us view money and possessions as a force for change in ourselves, our community, and the world. One idea that strikes me in particular is the misconception that stewardship and offerings are mainly about maintaining or sustaining ministry. A church budget, however, should not define the life of the church. A church budget ideally reflects what we value as children of God and where we place our trust. It is important that we don’t give to the church only from the leftovers after our needs are met first. Giving of our ‘first fruits’ honors our commitment to God, to one another, and to our community.

    We have a tendency in our culture to collect what we earn or what we possess, to take care of ourselves and family first, and celebrate the image of being self-made or self-sufficient. What might our lives, and our world, look like if we used our money and possessions as disruptive forces in the world, used to bend the arc of society toward one of justice and love for everyone in God’s kingdom?

    Have a wonderful and blessed month of March. Spring will soon be here—let us rejoice in the idea of new life!

    Pastor Derek

  • Pages