We belong to:
What do Presbyterians believe?
Presbyterians are part of the Protestant (Reformed) branch of the Christian church. We maintain ties with other PC(USA) churches according to our Book of Confessions (theology) and our Book of Order (polity).
Yes, we’re very organized! 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. It is everyone's job–ministers and lay people alike–to share this Good News with the world. F&C is more than a welcoming congregation. We strongly believe that service to the church through membership and ordination is open to all, regardless of gender, race, age, marital status, or sexual orientation.
Do you have to be Presbyterian to worship or join First & Central?
No! We believe in one baptism, meaning we celebrate and acknowledge those who have been baptized in other churches and denominations. We have many members who come from Catholic backgrounds, as well as Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, and people who did not grow up in the Church at all. To join, click here.
Who is in charge in a Presbyterian church?
We are led by the spirit in selection of pastors (Ministers of the Word and Sacrament) and in annual election of Elders, who make up the Session of the church (a sort of board of directors). Session meets monthly to effect the business of the church and manage leadership of its committees and councils (property, education, etc.). Deacons are also elected and ordained to support the care of the congregation. We participate in the larger organization of the PC(USA) as part of New Castle Presbytery.
PC(USA)? What is that?
The Presbyterian Church of the United States of America is the largest of several Presbyterian denominations, formed from a reunification of southern and northern churches. We are the most progressive and open, with full acceptance of female and LGBTQ pastors, on completion of (rather rigorous) education and ordination practices. (Our pastors still have to learn Greek and Hebrew!) We're the ones with the red and blue logo, representing Christ's cross, a Bible, a baptismal font, and the flames and dove of the Holy Spirit.
This church is filled with people who take the message God sent through Jesus Christ seriously enough to challenge them-selves to take unpopular stances and support those who are ignored and abused by the greedy and short-sighted popular culture of this world.
Who are those other two groups shown above that you belong to?
Both the More Light Presbyterians and the Covenant Network of Presbyterians seek the full participation of LGBTQIA+ people in the PC(USA) and, through extension, further acceptance and inclusion in society. More Light arose from a need for declaring welcoming congregations, and the Covenant Network formed to lead the struggle for inclusion of LGBTQ Christians in leadership roles (elders and pastors) within the denomination. First and Central was a founding member of the Covenant Network. The images are links if you want to read more.
What if I don't know all the rituals and theology?
You are in good company. We know how difficult it can be to grow in faith while navigating the many choices in places to worship. You will also find that we are an open congregation that would love to answer your questions. We enjoy sharing our faith and our love of God. Pick up one of our FAQ brochures for some help.
We believe that Jesus was fully human, fully divine. He ministered to those who lived on the margins of society, ate with tax collectors and prostitutes, and preached the love and mercy of God to all people.
We believe that God is Three in One, One in Three: Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the Creator made all things both seen and unseen; God the Son gave his life for the forgiveness of sins and the reconciliation of God’s children; God the Holy Spirit moves us to closer relationship with God and with each other.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, written by human hands. It describes God’s love for all of God’s creation, including humanity. The Bible, through interpretation, reveals to us how to be better stewards of creation and how to love one another.
We believe that marriage extends beyond boundaries of race, class, or sexual orientation. Because God is love, we celebrate the love between two persons as a gift from God.