What We Believe and Do
First Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA). We are a Reformed denomination, patterned after the teachings of John Calvin and John Knox, two early leaders in the Reformation movement of the 16th Century.
We are a connectional church, which means we are intentionally in relationship with other PC(USA) churches: in Presbyteries (regional collections of churches), Synods (multiple states' Presbyteries), and the General Assembly, a body of representatives from all the Presbyteries in the PC(USA).
Our local church is governed by a board of Elders, called the session, which is moderated by the Pastor. The session's meetings are recorded by an elected Clerk, and are run according to Roberts Rules of Order (with space given for spiritual discernment and informal discussion), while the Moderator and the Clerk have no vote. The session is responsible for nearly all the church's ministries, while the Pastor is responsible for preaching the word, choosing the hymns, administering the sacraments (Communion and Baptism), offering executive administration of the office, and ministering to those experiencing grief and changes in life circumstances, including weddings and funerals.
Our Constitution consists of two documents, 1) the Book of Confessions, a collection of Statements of Belief written throughout the years in many countries during times of church turmoil, and 2) the Book of Order, which outlines our polity and systems of governance. These two books are subordinate standards to Scripture, but they do offer a reliable guide to what the church believes and has believed throughout the years.
The motto of the PC(USA) is Ecclesia Reformata, semper Refomanda (the Church, Reformed, always being reformed), which indicates that we are not perfect, but are constantly being made perfect by the Word and Spirit of God. To this end, we are constantly examining our own faith and worship practices. We try to strike a balance between liturgical worship and contemporary culture, and while that tension may never be satisfactorily resolved, we are determined to honor our traditions while exploring new ways of communicating an ancient message.
For more specific information about the ministries of First Presbyterian Church, please select the specific ministry in the navigation menu above.