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Church Information

Church Information

Presbyterian Church USA

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a mainline Protestant denomination of about 2.3 million members who worship God and serve their neighbors in over 10,000 congregations. Our English word, Presbyterian comes from the Greek word for elder, namely, presbuteros. We are a denomination governed by Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders. Teaching Elders are Pastors. Ruling Elders are members of the local church. Together, Teaching and Ruling Elders make up the Session of the local church. Our congregations are representative democracies. Teaching and Ruling Elders are elected by the vote of the congregation. Once elected, these individuals are entrusted with the authority to make decisions that further the peace, unity, and purity of the church.

The PC (USA) is a connectional church. By connectional, we mean that the local church is not autonomous. We are connected to the other congregations of the PC (USA) by our denomination's constitution. This document is called the Book of Order. It spells out the privileges and responsibilities for members, officers, congregations, and higher governing bodies. We value doing things decently and in order in the PC (USA).

The PC (USA) is a confessional church. We ask all of our ordained officers (Ministers, Elders, and Deacons) to subscribe to the essential tenants of the Presbyterian understanding of the Christian faith. These essential tenants are found in our denomination's Book of Confessions. Among the documents contained in this book are: the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Westminster Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Declaration of Barmen, and the Confession of 1967. This means that our officers are not free to espouse interpretations of the Bible that do not conform to our doctrinal standards. God alone is Lord of the conscience, but ordained officers are required to submit their own opinions to the doctrine of the church.

Finally, one of the unique attributes of the PC (USA) is that we believe in the full inclusion of women in all areas of the work and worship of the church. This means that we ordain women to the offices of Minister, Elder, and Deacon. This distinguishes us from the Presbyterian Church in America and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church who generally do not ordain women.