Eastminster Presbyterian Church
Eastminster Presbyterian Church
Hearts, Hands, Heads for Christ in Service and Celebration
The following has been gleaned from various sources on the Presbyterian Church (USA) website which provides a wealth of information regarding who we are as Presbyterians and what we believe.
Snapshot View of Presbyterian Beliefs
John Calvin is the 16th century Reformer who is most associated with the establishment of the Presbyterian Church. Some of the principles articulated by 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. What they mean is 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 (justification) 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.
What we believe about Jesus
Jesus was born of a woman--Mary; in a particular place--the Middle East; to a particular people--the Jews. He was born as a helpless infant who hungered, cried, had to be changed and grew as all babies grow. As a grown man, Jesus knew all of the feelings humans know--joy, sadness, discouragement, loneliness and longing. Yet, Jesus also trusted completely in God and was without sin.
Jesus' actual ministry on earth was short--approximately three years. Because his teachings challenged powerful religious and government leaders, he was executed as a dangerous and seditious criminal. He died, was buried, and was resurrected by God. For Christians, this resurrection is God's most amazing miracle and proof that Jesus was indeed divine.
We believe that Jesus is as alive today as he was on the first Easter morning and that he is present with us today, even though we cannot see him or physically touch him. We call Jesus "Lord" because he has saved us from the power of death and the power of sin and because, through his sacrifice, we are able to know the fullness of God's love for us.
Christians also believe that Jesus will one day return to the earth to complete the task of creating a world where justice, peace and love rule and evil is no more. To those who believe in Christ, such an event is seen not with fear but with joyful anticipation. Because Jesus showed that not even death can stop God's purpose and God's activity, we know that we have life and hope forever.
What we believe about the Bible
The Bible is a collection of 66 individual books that together tell the story of a group of people bound by a common faith in God. It is divided into two main sections: the Old Testament containing 39 books originally written primarily in Hebrew, and the New Testament containing 27 books originally written primarily in Greek. For Presbyterians and others of the Reformed tradition the Bible is the means by which Christian believers come to understand how God has been present with humanity since the beginning of time and is present in our world today. By studying the scriptures we can begin to know of God's faithfulness, constant love and eternal goodness.
What we believe about sin and salvation
God has always been faithful to the people of Israel and to the church. Presbyterians believe God has offered us salvation because of God's loving nature. It is not a right or a privilege to be earned by being "good enough." No one of us is good enough on our own--we are all dependent upon God's goodness and mercy. From the kindest, most devoted churchgoer to the most blatant sinner, we are all saved solely by the grace of God.
Out of the greatest possible love and compassion God reached out to us and redeemed us through Jesus Christ, the only one who was ever without sin. Through Jesus' death and resurrection God triumphed over sin.
Presbyterians believe it is through the action of God working in us that we become aware of our sinfulness and our need for God's mercy and forgiveness. Just as a parent is quick to welcome a wayward child who has repented of rebellion, God is willing to forgive our sins if we but confess them and ask for forgiveness in the name of Christ.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
"Heads, Hearts and Hands For Christ in Service and Celebration"
Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. Through Christ's teachings, we of Eastminster Presbyterian Church believe in the unifying messages that God is Love and that God's grace is the greatest gift the world has ever known. We respond to God's grace by loving one another while recognizing that we have differing theological expressions of shared core beliefs.
As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to serve Christ and celebrate the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in the world today.
We serve and celebrate with our heads:
Nurturing one another and those around us toward a deeper relationship with God.
Encouraging and supporting individual and group study of God's word
Seeking to understand God's will for our lives.
We serve and celebrate with our hearts:
Praising God through prayer and worship.
Embracing one another as family in unconditional love, acceptance and compassion.
Recognizing and rejoicing in the way God works in and through all people.
Forgiving and seeking forgiveness.
We serve and celebrate with our hands:
Reaching out to meet the needs of our neighbors across the street and around the world.
Sharing our resources, our talents, and our personal relationships with Christ.
History of Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Evansville, Indiana
The current Eastminster was established on August 19, 1999. We are the result of a merger between the former Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church and the former Eastminster Presbyterian Church. Don't let the name fool you, though. This is, indeed a new church.
Interestingly, both former congregations had their roots as mission churches of what was known as "the little church on the hill". That church - First Presbyterian - was established in 1821 and eight other Presbyterian churches in Evansville were founded from that one congregation. The former Eastminster Church was part of the First Presbyterian Church until 1987 when it became a congregation of its own. The former Washington Avenue church was established in 1914 and was located at 641 Washington Avenue.
Over the years the neighborhood around the Washington Avenue church changed dramatically and the congregation made a commitment to serve the area in whatever way possible. At the same time, the former Eastminster church was seeking ways to reach out to those of our community who had special needs. Providentially, these two situations made for a perfect fit and in 1998 conversations began between the churches that led to the merger.
The building of the Washington Avenue church was converted into a center for mission and has since become God's Way Church.
This marriage between two wonderful congregations has been remarkably successful and clearly came about through the action of the Holy Spirit in our midst. As exciting as our past has been, we know that the future will be even more so as we continue to follow the path God has set before us in our commitment to serve Jesus Christ.