About Us - Overview
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith. -- Romans 1:11-12
"Since 1879, East Main Church has been a community of people who seek to respond to Jesus' call to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We believe that as we do this more and more, we come to discover wisdom and strength to face the various joys and challenges of life, and so too we become better equipped to be a blessing to our wider community. As you learn more about us and the particular ways that we are committed to submit to the Lordship of Christ, we hope that you might come to join us in this journey as well." -- Pastor Bill Hoffman
Who We Are
We, the members so East Main Presbyterian Church, are:
- People who recognize that salvation is found only through Jesus Christ, God's incarnate Son, who died and rose again to save us from our sins and to give us new life now and forever;
- A congregation that affirms the authority of Scripture ;
- A community of believers who respond with grateful obedience to God, who created us in His image to do good works;
- A church empowered by the Holy Spirit that acknowledges Christ's Lordship in every part of life.
What We Do
We, the members of East Main Presbyterian Church:
- Worship God through prayer, music, the sacraments , the reading of Scripture, and the proclamation of the Word of God through preaching;
- Endeavor to bring others to saving faith in Jesus Christ, in Grove City and around the world;
- Train people in the Christian faith and equip them for ministry;
- Minister to the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of people in our church, in our community, and in the larger world;
- Strive to worship and serve together in the spirit of Christian love, truth, and responsible fellowship.
What We Believe
Presbyterians don't have a strict set of beliefs which unites or separates them from other followers of Christ. As Presbyterians, we believe in:
- God the father, creator of the universe
- Jesus, the incarnation of God on the earth
- Holy Spirit, the presence of God in the world and in the believer
- The Church, a universal company of Christ's followers
- Forgiveness of Sins, made possible by the crucifixion of Christ
- Life Everlasting, assured by the resurrection of Jesus
- The Bible, the inspired word of God.
The Bible as the inspired word of God is a hallmark of many Protestant religions. Presbyterians have always believed the Bible is the most authoritative source for faith, but it does not believe the authors of the Bible were "pens of God" as many of the early Christians believed. We believe they were inspired by God to reveal his presence to all people, but they did so in their own words and with the influence of their times.
One way this is illustrated is in the role of women in the church. Many denominations believe that women should not hold positions as clergy based on the opinions expressed in the Bible. Many Presbyterian denominations, including ours, embrace the contributions of women in our churches both as elders (lay persons) and as ministers of the Word (clergy).
Some churches hand down doctrine and simply expect their members to accept it. Being a Presbyterian puts more emphasis on personal freedom and responsibility. Every Presbyterian must find a personal set of beliefs through contemplation, prayer and worship. We believe that no Christian church has exclusive possession of the church government authorized by Christ. We, therefore, do not claim that being a Presbyterian is the only way to achieve salvation. Presbyterians also believe the Holy Spirit heightens truth, and thus admit different understandings of the Confession of Faith. Finally, we also believe that a church never reaches a "reformed" state. It is always in a state of reformation and needs to be open to the power of the Holy Spirit for change.
Presbyterians also follow a stated, though not strict, liturgy in our church services. One feature of many Presbyterian church services is reading together and aloud different creeds and confessions. These are statements of doctrine which express the beliefs of a church or congregation. The recitation involves the whole congregation in the act of worship and helps reinforce our common beliefs.
Presbyterians follow only two biblically based Sacraments. The Sacrament of Baptism unites us with Jesus and makes us members of God's family, the church. The particulars of the baptism, whether full immersion or a symbolic sprinkling, are a matter of personal preference. It is only important that baptism occurred under the guiding hand of a Christian church. Baptism is not a guarantee to Heaven, nor do we believe its lack denies someone salvation. It is the initiation into a church community, a public confession of our sinful state and shows our willingness to make Jesus and His teachings a part of our lives. The Sacrament of Communion, also called the Lord's supper or Eucharist, is a time to renew faith and focus on the responsibilities and gifts we have as Christians. The elements, bread and wine, represent the sacrifice that Jesus willingly made for all sinners. Together, they represent the new covenant God has made with his children. Any member in good standing in any Christian church is welcome to participate in communion at East Main Presbyterian Church.
So, what does it mean to be a Presbyterian? It means we are Christians in service to God through our church, in our community and beyond as God calls us. We willingly give our time and money to support our church. It means that we try to set an example in our actions that is worthy of Christ's sacrifice. And finally, it means that we have an obligation to help anyone we can, in any way we can, when they are in need.