It’s About God We believe that worship together is what shapes us. So it is important to us to remember that we worship the Triune God—the One historically referred to in the Church as “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” We also know that, in recent years, this terminology has been troubled some faithful people. Understanding that the names we assign to God can sometimes limit what we believe about God, we know some of us feel more comfortable thinking of the Triune God as “Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.” It’s a mystery bigger than words, but what we call God is less important than the sheer fact that the God we worship on Sunday and try to follow throughout the week is the God who creates us and provides all we need for Life, is the God who provided us in Jesus with a model for how to live, is the God who accompanies and supports us.
We exist for a reason For long years, the Presbyterian Church tradition has said that there are actually six reasons we exist. They call those reasons: “The Six Great Ends of the Church “:
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 The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world
If you look closely at those reasons, you’ll see that the old proverb about Church (in general) is right: “Church is the only organization that exists for those outside itself.”
We are distinctive Presbyterians are the only denomination named for its form of government. Not unlike the representative democracy of the United States of America, we are governed by people we elect, rather than bishops. The ancient word for these “elders” who govern us is presbyters. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. This form of government, as well as our theology, were developed in the 16th century. This was a time of religious, political, and social upheaval in Europe. Three catchwords came to be assigned to our Reformed branch of Christianity: evangelical, catholic, and reformed. By evangelical we mean the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We think this is such good news that we want to share it with others. Catholic does not refer to the denomination with headquarters in Rome. It means being part of the universal faith that believes Jesus Christ is Savior. To be reformed doesreference the historical events of the 16th century, but more importantly is homage to the 16th century motto, “The Church reformed, always being reformed under the Word of God.”
We are connectional Organizationally, our congregation is part of a larger denomination—the Presbyterian Church (USA)—which is broken down into smaller geographic organizations called synods, which are in turn comprised of smaller geographic organizations called presbyteries. Springwater is part of the Cascades Presbytery, made up of all PCUSA congregations in Oregon west of the Cascades. Congregationally, we are connectional with each other. We think the community of faith is an important part of how we do our faith. That we come together to worship is essential to our formation as a community. Providing for and participating in faith nurture opportunities supports our service to the greater community and around the world. All ages have something to contribute to life of church, and so you will often see young people as worship leaders as well as participants in our mission life. We can make arrangements for childcare during worship, but on the whole, we like it when children are present with us in worship.
We like to describe ourselves as “A place of worship, nurture, and service for God’s people of all ages.”