The SHPC community firmly believes that being a fully-devoted follower of Jesus Christ is about living. It involves being transformed by the Holy Spirit so that our behavior might reflect that of Jesus. We want to live like Him! At the same time, we also recognize that such living is firmly rooted in a set of commonly held beliefs. So we affirm the following…
God: All that has been and ever will be begins and ends with God, and while realizing that all definitions and explanations fall short, we embrace a Trinitarian understanding of God. God “the Father”, the Source of all that is, became visibly incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ, “God’s Son”, and abides within each one of us, working and moving by the power of the “Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 28:19, John 14:6-9, 15-17, 16:7-15, and 2 Corinthians 13:14)
Humanity: Humanity exists in God’s image, a special creation by God able and invited to abundant life within Him. (Genesis 1:25, 28 and 2:18) As creation and not Creator, we are “less than” God, but still being called to participate in all that God is doing in the world. The invitation is simple but profound: to love God, and to love others. (Micah 6:8 and Matthew 22:37)
Sin: The crisis of humanity, or that which the church calls sin, is about our rebellion and movement away from God and our limits as human beings, wanting to be like God ourselves. As a result, we men and women hide from God, rebel against God, and struggle in conflicted relationships. (Genesis 3:7-8, Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8)
Salvation: Salvation is about the forgiveness of our sins by God simply through His gift of grace which is given to all who profess to believe in Jesus Christ and commit their lives to following Him. But it means more than going to heaven when we die. It involves experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven here and now, in this life. The salvation gift of God’s grace has the power to change not only our individual lives, but the life of our world. Each one of us is called to participate in bringing God’s blessings back to creation! (Psalm 139:7, Romans 6:23, and Ephesians 2:8-9)
Scripture: The Bible is the authoritative Word of God, written by people inspired by God, and brought to life when engaged by the people of God. Our Reformed Tradition understands 2 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 4:12 to teach us that the Bible is authoritative when 1) it gives witness and points to Jesus Christ, 2) it is understood contextually, taking into account the location and context of the writer, and 3) it is regarded as a living document. It involves a consideration of the plain truth of the text, an interpretive method that takes into account other Scripture, a constant regard for the rule of love, and a great deal of study.
Ministry: The church is not a closed club that exists for itself, but rather an open fellowship that has been created for the world. And while we hold to the theology of the Presbyterian Church (USA), we are also a congregation seeking to ‘do church’ in a new way; growing stronger through worship, warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, and broader through outreach.