Our foundation is the Love, Hope, and Peace of Jesus Christ. Everything we do is because of what God has called us to do here in this place. We are a particular church of unique people, in a particular place unique to what the Spirit is doing in the world. We are God’s own church in the Body of Christ.
We are part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Click here for more information about the PC(U.S.A.).
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706. The first General Assembly was held in the same city in 1789. The first Assembly was convened by the Rev. John Witherspoon, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What they 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.
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.
At Saint Luke’s we serve together. God has called each one of us to be part of Christ’s Church. This is a church were we all work hand-in-hand to accomplish the specific ministry God has entrusted us with.
In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Pastors (called “Teaching Elders”), The Session (made of “Ruling Elders”), and The Diaconate (made of “Deacons”), are the governing bodies of the church. Working together, these groups guide the church using the Presbyterian Church Book of Order.
Of course, they are not the only ones doing great things around Saint Luke’s. It really does take a village. Our hope is that everyone will find what God is calling them to here.
(sources: www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/101 and www.pcusa.org)