The Great Commandment in the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37) tells of a lawyer coming to Jesus to ask him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus as a good Rabbi turns the question back on the lawyer and says, “How do you read the Law?” The lawyer answers saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus responds by saying, “You have answered wisely. Do this and live.” The lawyer, seeking to justify himself and put limits on the Great commandment says, “Who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus goes on to tell the story of the Good Samaritan which defines “neighbor” as the one in need.
This explains why we host a Community Breakfast on the first Saturday of every month from 8 to 9:30 am. It gives us an opportunity to meet our neighbors and know our neighbors as we share a meal together with Christ as our Host.
The Great Commission is found in the Gospel of Matthew (28:18-20). Just before Jesus ascends to the Father in heaven, he commissions his disciples to continue his work here on earth with the following words: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
So at First Church, like any other church we baptize in the name of the Trinity, we teach the content of the faith that goes all the way back to the words of Jesus and we remember that Jesus is with us by the power of the Holy Spirit. So, in short, we understand our task at First Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ as we continue the work of reconciling all things back to the Father that Jesus began with his life, death, and resurrection (2nd Corinthians 5:18-20).
The Great Ends of the Church are to be found in the Book of Order which states:
"The great ends of the Church are:
the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;
the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God;
the maintenance of divine worship;
the preservation of the truth;
the promotion of social righteousness; and
the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world. (F-1.0304)"
If you look at the Great Ends of Christ’s Church from a Reformed Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) perspective, it involves evangelism and social justice, worship and spiritual formation, ministry to the Body and mission to the world as we (attempt to) demonstrate what God’s kingdom on earth looks like as it has come near in Jesus Christ.
If you are ready for the greatest adventure of your life, please join us in our worship and our work to proclaim and embody the Good News of Jesus Christ here at First Church.
Reformers like John Calvin and John Knox believed:
Where Christ is, there is the true Church. Since the earliest days of the Reformation, Reformed Christians have marked the presence of the true Church wherever:
In our own time, we affirm that, in the power of the Spirit, the Church is faithful to the mission of Christ as it:
Proclaims and hears the Word of God,
responding to the promise of God’s new creation in Christ, and inviting all people to participate in that new creation;
Administers and receives the Sacraments,
welcoming those who are being engrafted into Christ, bearing witness to Christ’s saving death and resurrection, anticipating the heavenly banquet that is to come, and committing itself in the present to solidarity with the marginalized and the hungry; and
Nurtures a covenant community of disciples of Christ,
living in the strength of God’s promise and giving itself in service to God’s mission. (BO F-1.0303)