Windsor Presbyterian Church
Windsor Heights, Iowa
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About Us

 

Windsor Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)
6301 University Ave.
Windsor Heights, Iowa 50324-1815
515-277-8379

info@windsorpc.org


Shamaine Chambers King, Pastor  

 

Mission Statement (May 2007)
It is the mission of Windsor Presbyterian Church to be a warm supporting family for worshiping God, learning and practicing Christ’s teachings, and sharing Christ’s good news with others.  We accomplish our mission through: Organized system of member care; Christ centered education and fellowship programs; a welcoming atmosphere for all; acting with love and compassion toward those in need.                                       

 

Beliefs
Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways. They adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members.

Reformed Theology

Some of the principles articulated by John 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.

Presbyterians confess their beliefs through statements that have been adopted over the years and are contained in The Book of Confessions. These statements reflect our understanding of God and what God expects of us at different times in history, but all are faithful to the fundamental beliefs described above. Even though we share these common beliefs, Presbyterians understand that God alone is lord of the conscience, and it is up to each individual to understand what these principles mean in his or her life.

Holy Scripture

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. The Old Testament tells the story of God’s covenant with the Hebrew people. It is regarded as sacred scripture by both Jews and Christians. The New Testament contains four accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the account of the earliest Christian churches and other writings from the early Christian era. It is considered sacred scripture by Christians.

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.

The Bible has been translated from its original languages into the languages of people throughout the world. The first translation into English was by John Wycliffe in the 14th century. Since that time, there have been a myriad of English translations. One of the most familiar, the King James Version (KJV), was commissioned by James I of England and published in 1611. Although the language of the King James Bible reflected the everyday speech of England in the 17th century, changes in speech patterns and the meaning of certain words have made it more difficult to understand than more modern translations. Since the 1950s, there have been many translations of the Bible into contemporary English.

The church confesses the Scriptures to be the Word of God written, witnessing to God’s self-revelation. Where that Word is read and proclaimed, Jesus Christ the Living Word is present by the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. For this reason the reading, hearing, preaching, and confessing of the Word are central to Christian worship. The session shall ensure that in public worship the Scripture is read and proclaimed regularly in the common language(s) of the particular church. —Book of Order, W-2.2001

Leaders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) affirm that “... the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments ... [are] ... by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to us.” —Book of Order, G-14.0405b.2

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.

Holy Spirit

This triune God is the creator of the universe the savior of the world who has been revealed as the perfect model of humanity in Jesus Christ and is the ongoing presence and power of God in the world.

On Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, Christians commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ early followers. But the Bible contains several earlier references to the Spirit as well — for example, in the accounts of Mary’s conception: “… she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18) and “The Holy Spirit will come upon you …” (Luke 1:35); the accounts of Jesus’ baptism: “… he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him” (Matthew 3:16) and of Jesus sending his disciples out for the first time: “… do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say … for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:19-20).

Through the Holy Spirit, God empowers us to grow in faith, make more mature decisions and live more faithful lives. The Spirit gives us the will, as Jesus said, to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The Holy Spirit gives believers the authority to accurately interpret the Bible, just as the Spirit enabled the original writers of Scripture to tell truthfully about God, Jesus and everything else we need to know. The Spirit also gives authority to the church to act in God’s name for the good of humanity. The Spirit gives every person a sense of “calling” to a special function in the world, in keeping with God’s providence and Jesus’ summons to “follow him.” Among the “fruits of the spirit” identified by the apostle Paul are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).

The “Westminster Confession of Faith,” a historic Presbyterian document, refers to the Holy Spirit as a source of God’s grace and “the only efficient agent in the application of redemption.” For all humans, the confession says, the Spirit “convicts them of sin, moves them to repentance and persuades and enables them to embrace Jesus Christ by faith.” It further states that God is willing to give the Spirit to all who ask.

Sin and Salvation

Presbyterians believe the Bible when it says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Unlike crime, which involves the breaking of human law, sin is a condition of the heart or an expression of that condition where we are estranged from God and fail to trust in God. Sin expresses itself in particular acts.

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.