What does it mean to be a Presbyterian?
We are a congregation of young and old, single, married and widowed. Many of us have lived in the Chippewa Falls area all of our lives. Others of us have recently moved into the community. Some of us have been Christians all our lives, some of us are seekers, while for others Christianity is a new thing!
We are a family of believers who have been drawn together by Jesus Christ.
Presbyterians affirm that God comes to us with grace and love in the person of Jesus Christ, Who lived, died, and rose for us so that we might have eternal and abundant life in him. As Christ’s disciples, called to ministry in His name, we seek to continue His mission of teaching the truth, feeding the hungry, healing the broken, and welcoming strangers. God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, giving us the energy, intelligence, imagination, and love to be Christ’s faithful disciples in the world.
Presbyterians trace their history to the sixteenth century and the Protestant Reformation. Presbyterian heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the Swiss/French theologian/lawyer John Calvin (1509–1564), whose writings solidified much of the Reformed thinking that came before him. More than two million people call the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.) their spiritual home.
What is distinctive about the Presbyterian Church?
Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: we adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members.
Presbyterian Theological Beliefs
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. That means that we believe 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 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. That is also why the Presbyterian Church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike. This government is exercised locally, regionally and nationally through a graded series of courts usually known as Session, Presbytery and General Assembly. It provides a way for the whole Church to be connected in mutual accountability and responsibility, and demonstrates organizationally our common bond as the body of Christ under His Headship.
Becoming a Member
You are always welcome to all services and events as a visitor or regular attendee. After you have had a chance to get to know us, we hope that you might consider membership in the church.
Whether the sermon is delivered among the people or from a pulpit, whether music is delivered by piano, choir, or the 140 year old pipe organ, you can find the service at First Church that appeals to you and allows you the opportunity for prayer, meditation, singing, participation and hearing God’s word for you.
If you have been visiting or attending First Presbyterian Church for a while and are deciding that you want to become a member there are five easy steps to become part of our family of faith:
- Talk to the Pastor – this can be initiated by:
- Completing an interest card indicating your desire to join
- Placing a call to our church office at 715-723-5717
- Emailing the Pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Talk to an Elder or the Pastor in person
- Take your Spiritual Gifts Inventory
- Come meet the Church Board (Session) – share your faith journey, what it was, what it is, and what you want it to be
- Be welcomed into membership at a Sunday service.