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Beliefs

If you are unfamiliar with the Presbyterian Church or new to the Christian faith, please feel free to contact Pastor Pat with questions. He would love to help you discover the love that God has for you and the call that Jesus Christ has for you.

The Presbyterian Church of Washington belongs to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) denomination. The PC(USA) is part of the Reformed Theology faith tradition. This tradition includes all Presbyterian denominations and others such as the United Church of Christ, the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church among others.

Reformed theology traces its roots back to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century. The Reformers themselves based their beliefs upon the authority of scripture alone, and not the decrees of the church.

Generally, Reformed theology holds to the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, the observance of two sacraments (The Lord’s Supper and Baptism) and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is sometimes called Covenant theology because of its emphases on the covenant God made with Adam and Abraham and the new covenant which came through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).

Authority of Scripture. Reformed theology teaches that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God. No other writing, doctrine or institution holds higher authority for the Church.

Sovereignty of God. Reformed theology teaches that God rules all creation. God has predestined events from the beginning of time, including the election of people for salvation. We believe that God chooses us for salvation, not the other way around (Romans 8:29-30)

Sacraments.  The PC(USA) observes two sacraments: The Lord’s Supper and Baptism. We believe that sacraments are the “sign and seal” of God’s grace.

At The Lord’s Supper, all believers are invited to the table. The elements of bread and the cup are consecrated symbols of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. When we participate in the Lord’s Supper, the grace of God is sealed in our hearts and we are nourished for our faith journeys.

At our Baptism, we participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are marked as children of God. Since we believe the grace of God is not dependent upon us, we do allow people of all ages, including infants, to receive the sacrament of Baptism. We believe in “One Baptism.” So, regardless if you were baptized as a Catholic or Baptist or baptized as an adult or infant, that baptism was sufficient. We will not ask you to be “re”-baptized if you wish to join our church.

Salvation by grace. Reformed theology teaches that God in his grace and mercy has chosen to redeem people to himself, delivering them from sin and death. Through our faith in God’s only Son, the resurrected Jesus Christ, we have been adopted by God into what we call the Covenant Family of Faith (the Universal Church).