Perspectives from the Church's 50th and 102nd Anniversaries
Lessons from generations of people in St. James whose work was produced by faith, their labor prompted by love, and their endurance inspired by hope in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3)
Our Vision, Our Mission, Our Calling
At this point in our church history, our vision is to be a revitalized and fully functioning church, missionally active and growing in number and diversity. As we gradually transform St. James Presbyterian Church, we will fulfill our God-given mission to be Christ's heart and hands that are compassionate, inclusive ethnically and generationally, and faithful to the Gospel and Scriptures. As a group of believers, we will value and protect the honor and calling of proclaiming the glory of Jesus Christ to one another and to our neighbors in a loving and caring setting. Glory be to God alone!
What We Believe
Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin are still at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What these tenets 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.
Points of interest
Presbyterians confess their beliefs through statements that have been adopted over the years and are contained in The Book of Confessions. These statements reflect our understanding of God and what God expects of us at different times in history, but all are faithful to the fundamental beliefs described above. Even though we share these common beliefs, Presbyterians understand that God alone is lord of the conscience, and it is up to each individual to understand what these principles mean in his or her life.
What makes us unique?
“In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth praying, ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’” —From “A Brief Statement of Faith”
At the core of Presbyterian identity is a secure hope in the grace of God in Jesus Christ, a hope that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, empowers us to live lives of gratitude: “In affirming with the earliest Christians that Jesus is Lord, the Church confesses that he is its hope, and that the Church, as Christ’s body, is bound to his authority and thus free to live in the lively, joyous reality of the grace of God.” (Book of Order F-1.0204)
This strong emphasis on the grace of God in Jesus Christ is our heritage from the founder of the Reformed tradition, John Calvin.