What We Believe

Presbyterian government is an ingenious system of shared power between pastors and lay people. We elect leaders to guide our congregation, trusting them to listen for God's voice and to work as partners with one another.

Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
    Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What they mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone's job - ministers and lay people alike - to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike.

    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 active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members.