We join with Christians across the world in affirming our beliefs as summarized in The Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. AMEN.
A more comprehensive statement on the beliefs of The Presbyterian Church in Canada can be found in “Living Faith“.
We believe in the triune God. In other words, God is one God, yet revealed in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. The one God comes to us in three “modes”, as the Creator (the Father), the Redeemer (the Son), and the Sustainer (the Holy Spirit). Jesus is human and divine and is the Son of God.
The Bible is our sacred Scripture, made up of an Old Testament and a New Testament. We believe that the Bible is the written revelation of God’s word. It tells the story of God and God’s relationship with God’s people.
The writers of the Bible were guided and inspired by God so that we and succeeding generations may know what God has done, is doing, and how God wants us to live.
Scripture is written by human hands and is shaped by its particular historical and cultural circumstances. We are also conditioned by our own time and culture and our own biases. We believe that we must seek to understand the Bible in its historical context, while praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us listen afresh and bring the biblical teaching to bear on our current situation. We must always consider Scripture as a whole, avoiding the dangers of quoting isolated texts.
Worship and the Sacraments
Worship gives us an opportunity to praise, listen, and respond to God. Typically, we organize the worship service into four parts: gathering, listening, thanking, and going.
Presbyterians celebrate two sacraments – Baptism and Communion. Baptisms happen at several points of the church year. Traditionally, Grace celebrates Communion four times a year. Both Baptism and Communion are visible expressions of the gospel, given to encourage Christian growth.
- Baptism can occur at any age. Believing parents bring their child for Baptism and promise to raise their child to love and serve God. The entire congregation promises to support the child and the family. Usually the minister pours or sprinkles water on the person’s head in Baptism. The waters of Baptism symbolize refreshment, cleansing, new life, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Because Baptism is seen as an act of the whole church and a sign of church membership, Baptism happens in the presence of the worshipping congregation.
- Communion, the breaking of bread and drinking of wine or grape juice, reminds us of Jesus and his Last Supper with his friends. In Communion we are united with Jesus and with each other; we are strengthened to go out into the world as a “symbol of hope for a troubled age.” Communion is thanksgiving and a memorial of Christ’s life and death.