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A Brief Statement of Faith
Approved in 1983 for use in public worship by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

In life and death we belong to God.
  Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
     The love of God,
       And the communion of the Holy Spirit,
  we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,
     whom alone we worship and serve.

We trust in Jesus Christ,
     Fully human, fully God.
  Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:
     preaching good news to the poor
       and release to the captives,
     teaching by word and deed
       and blessing the children,
     healing the sick
       and binding up the brokenhearted,
     eating with outcasts,
     forgiving sinners,
     and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.
  Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition,
  Jesus was crucified,
     suffering the depths of human pain
     and giving his life for the sins of the world.
  God raised Jesus from the dead,
     vindicating his sinless life,
     breaking the power of sin and evil,
     delivering us from death to life eternal.

We trust in God,
     whom Jesus called Abba, Father.
  In sovereign love God created the world good
     and makes everyone equally in God's image
       male and female, of every race and people,
     to live as one community.
  But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator.
     Ignoring God's commandments,
     we violate the image of God in others and ourselves,
     accept lies as truth,
     exploit neighbor and nature,
     and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care.
     We deserve God's condemnation.
  Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.
     In everlasting love,
       the God of Abraham and Sarah chose a covenant people
          to bless all families of the earth.
     Hearing their cry,
       God delivered the children of israel
          from the house of bondage.
     Loving us still,
       God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant.
     Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child,
     like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home,
       God is faithful still.

We trust in God the Holy Spirit,
     everywhere the giver and renewer of life.
  The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
     sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,
     and binds us together with all believers
     in the one body of Christ, the church.
  The same Spirit
     who inspired the prophets and apostles
     rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
     engages us through the Word proclaimed,
     claims us in the waters of baptism,
     feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
     and calls women and men to all ministries of the church.
  In a broken and fearful world
  the Spirit gives us courage
     to pray without ceasing,
     to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
     to unmask idolatries in church and culture,
     to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
     and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
  In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
     we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
       and to live holy and joyful lives,
     even as we watch for God's new heaven and new earth,
       praying, Come, Lord Jesus!

With believers in every time and place,
  we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
  can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Copyright 1991 by the Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This document is part of the Book of Confessions, which is in turn Part I of the Constitution of the Church. Used with permission.

Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and author of Faith, Science and the Future, published in 1994 by CrossCurrents Press. He is also the author of God and Science (John Knox / Westminster, 1986) which he is now rewriting to incorporate more recent developments in the conversation taking place between scientists and theologians. He has also written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The Nation, Commonweal, The Christian Century and others.

For further information about Charles Henderson.