When Presbyterian ministers, elders, and deacons accept a call to church leadership, they promise to "receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church." And each week we stand with our fellow congregants in worship and repeat statements of faith to draw us together in belief and to outline what it means to be Christian, to be Presbyterian.
The roots of our church confessions span the whole history of the Christian movement. The names no doubt are familiar--the Nicene Creed, the Apostles' Creed, the Scots Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Second Helvetic Confession, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Shorter Catechism, the Longer Catechism, the Theological Declaration of Barmen, the Confession of 1967, and, of course, the Brief Statement of Faith--but their history and relevance to today's church may be a bit more elusive.
In this two-session study we will take a look at the roots of the creeds and confessions of the PC(USA). Why do we say them? Where did they come from? What do they mean? How are they distinctive? And, how can we as Presbyterian leaders use them to encourage Christian living?