What We Believe

Mission Statement

Valley Community Presbyterian Church is the people of God in one place and one time. We are called by God to gather, in the name of Christ, and we have responded to that call with a commitment to active membership in this body, this community of Christians.

We are called, and we have committed:
    to worship God regularly in this place, in hearing the word, in prayer, in sacrament and sacred music.

We are called, and we have committed:
     to care for each other, individually, in large groups and small; to form a community in the midst of a rushing world.

We are called, and we have committed:
     to care for our children and youth, not only telling them of the love of God but also showing them.

We are called, and we have committed:
     to continue to learn and to grow, to discuss, to wrestle with the challenges of applying our faith to our place and time.

We are called, and we have committed:
     to serve God by serving others, with soup kettles and hammers, with hands of hope and ears of understanding.

We are called, and we have committed:
     to hear and proclaim God’s vision of a kingdom of peace and justice.

We are called, and we have committed:
     to throw open our doors, to invite in and welcome all our neighbors.

We are called, and we have committed:
     to be the body of Christ in this place and time.

"For what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice,
and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8

 

Youth Statements of Faith

I believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I believe God is the one and only true God. I believe God is always with us and always loves us.

I believe Jesus was God's only son, and Jesus was the one who took all of our sins away from us. He was the one who saved us from ourselves...and we can show our thanks by sharing God's love.

I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, the force that unites us whether we notice it or not. I believe God has a plan for all of us, but we can't start to imagine and understand all of it.

I believe that as Christians, we are called to be the hands and feet of God and to welcome all in our presence. It is part of our job to pass on God's Word. It is our job to love, pray, and create a sense of community: We are one church and one family.

I believe in the strength of God's community, and that together it can overcome all struggles.

~ Written by the Confirmation Class of 2011

We believe God is Creator of everything, the beginning, middle and end.
God is for us, and sent us Jesus Christ - our Savior and Redeemer.
Jesus is God's Son, our brother and teacher and friend.
The Holy Spirit is God who is always with us, everywhere.
The Bible is a story of faith, God's Word that guides our lives.
The Church should be a welcoming community, a safe place to seek faith, friends, family and God.
As Christians, God calls us to learn and love, to follow and spread God's Word.
Someday, the world will be saved from poverty and hate.
We believe God is good. God calls us to help other people.

~ Written by Valley Youth on the occasion of Youth Sunday 2011

 

Presbyterian 101

We are a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the Presbytery of the Cascades.

For more information about our denomination and:

  • Presbyterian Distinctives
  • History
  • Theology
  • Social Issues
  • Who We Are

Go to http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/101/

 

It has been estimated that fifty-eight percent of the members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) did not grow up in the denomination. Here is a short rundown of the lingo you are likely to hear in a Presbyterian church that you may not have heard in another church.

Communion Table or Lord's Table
This is the table at the front of the sanctuary that holds the bread and the juice/wine for Communion. Sometimes other items are placed on this table, such as candles. The reason this is called a Lord's Table rather than an altar is that when Jesus was eating the Passover meal with his disciples, they were sitting at a table (Luke 22:14). An altar is a place for making sacrifices. In the Reformed tradition we believe that Jesus sacrificed once for all. This sacrifice does not have to be repeated with a Mass or other Communion on an altar.

Session
This is the group of people called "Ruling Elders," elected by the congregation, who make the decisions for the leadership and governance of the local church. In some church denominations, this group is called the "church council."

Elders
The session is composed of elders. This doesn't have to do with age so much as those who are considered competent and wise enough to make good decisions. There are two kinds of elders, "ruling elders" and "teaching elders." The ruling elders come from the congregation and are elected to serve three-year terms. Teaching elders are ordained pastors. Pastors are called teaching elders because they have completed a Masters of Divinity degree and are the primary teachers for scripture, theology, and church doctrine. The pastor may also be called the minister, or a "Minister of Word and Sacrament."

Presbytery
The presbytery is made up of a group of churches usually in a certain geographical area. The Presbytery meeting includes "presbyters," both ruling and teaching elders, who gather to make decisions affecting the presbytery. By having their representatives gather together as a group, congregations both support each other and are held accountable by each other. We are a part of the Presbytery of the Cascades.

Book of Order
This is the rule book for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It contains the guidelines for church life, including structure, worship and collective action. It not only tells us how to do things but also explains why. It was developed and can be modified by the General Assembly, with the ratification of a majority of the presbyteries.

General Assembly
Every other year, all the presbyteries in the country elect commissioners or representatives to a meeting of the General Assembly. The General Assembly makes decisions for the denomination as a whole. This is where Presbyterians become a national, rather than a local, church.

Commissioners
These are the people, a proportionate number of ruling elders and teaching elders, elected by the presbyteries to go to General Assembly. Rather than being instructed in how to vote at the Assembly by their presbytery, the commissioners as a body seek to discern the will of the Holy Spirit.

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