Get to know us

Presbyterianism at its core is simple:  a belief that Jesus Christ is Lord is the only requirement.  It is a people of community, who believe that meeting together gives us support and helps us discern the direction and guidance of God.   Our form of governance reminds us that individually we are fallible creatures of God.   So together we are always learning:  reformed and always reforming.

Key Beliefs of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

Below are a few key beliefs of the Presbyterian church, organized according to our history and connection to the overall Christian religion.  Visit https://pma.pcusa.org/ministries/101/ for a more in depth review, or don’t hesitate to reach out to one of Sharon’s pastors. 

Shared with all Christian Churches

Presbyterians are part of the Christian family of God.  Part of church of Jesus Christ, we recognize and are recognized by practically all other branches of Christian church, with similar proclamations (beliefs) and sacraments (practices).  From the time of Christ, we have followed the Old and New Testament teachings according to the following core beliefs.  

The Trinity.  One God revealed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ as Savior.  The Incarnation of the eternal Word of God in the person of Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saves us from our sins.

Shared with all Protestant churches

Protestantism is one of the three major branches of Christianity, along with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.  Protestants formed from the split with Catholicism during the Reformation in the 16th century, initiated by Martin Luther.  We share the following beliefs in common with most protestant churches, such as Methodist, Baptist and Lutheran.

Justification by grace through faith.  We are made right with God by His grace alone, not through our own efforts. 

Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.  The Bible alone is our final guide for salvation and the life of faith.

Presbyterian Emphases

Presbyterianism  evolved in the 1700s from the leadership of John Calvin, and is part of “the reformed tradition”.   Presbyterian beliefs are based on a set of Bibilcal  teachings, governing style, and worship structure outlined in the Book of Order.  These are the key beliefs where we put our emphasis.

God’s sovereignty.   God creates, rules, sustains, transforms, and redeems all things and all people.   Our ultimate loyalty belongs to God alone.  God's kingdom is in God's hands.  Salvation is not determined by us.  We are given the opportunity to participate in God's purpose each day.

Children of God.  God has chosen each of us uniquely, for salvation and a life of service.  In baptism, God claims us as God's own, and nothing can eer separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.

Covenant Life of the church.   God is a covenanting God, who makes and keeps God's promises, and who desires to be in relationship with God's people.  God is committed to us, and we committed to God and connected to one another in Christ.  This sense of covenant and connection guides how we worshi pand govern ourselves in the church.  The Presbyterian denominatin takes its name from its form of church government (Greek for "council").  The church is led by "elders", members elected by the congregation.  Relying on the Holy Spirit, pastors and elders together are called to seek the will of God in Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church.

Stewardship of all God’s creation.  All that we have is a gift from God.  Therefore, it is our desire to offer our time, talent, and tithe for God's glory.  The earth and all that is in it is a gift from God entrusted to our care.

Root of Sin is idolatry.  Idolatry is the pursuit of, longing for, and trust in things and persons in place of God.  When we lose focus on God, it leads to all other sins.. 

Living in Obedience to the Word of God.  We are challenged and called to work for justice, love, and kindness, and walk humbly with God.  We are called to live lives of discipeship.  

(Adapted from Jack Rogers, 1989.  Essential Tenets of the Reformed Faith.  Essential Media Services 629 Garfield Place, Arroyo Grande, California 93420.)

What else might it be interesting to know?

  • Presbyterians believe we are a people of community.   The church body, a community of believers, is critical to spiritual growth.
  • We emphasize lifelong learning.  God has given us minds to use for God's service.  Therefore, we study our faith in order to love God with our mind, as well as our heart and soul.
  • We do not believe any individual knows everything there is to know about God’s will.  Therefore, we establish the Presbyterian belief and church structure that we believe is God’s will, but have a great hope for all people.
  • We recognize two sacraments of primary significance in the life of the congregation  – baptism through sprinkling (babies and unbaptized adults) &  the Lord’s Supper (or Communion).   Sharon Presbyterian celebrates the Lord's Supper monthly.
  • Worship includes music, singing, scripture, preaching, prayer, and congregational participation, and follows  the traditional church calendar of holidays and scripture.

Sharon Presbyterian is a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic, and the Presbytery of Charlotte.