What We Believe
Our Mission Statements
"Make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." -- Matthew 28:19-20
At St. Paul United Church of Christ, we make use of the Apostles' Creed in worship as a historic testimony of faith. But our life together in Jesus Christ is also guided by three additional mission statements which express our convictions as faithful people.
Mission Statement for Our Church Community
"Our mission at St. Paul United Church of Christ is to promote God's plan of salvation in our church, family, and community. Knowing that all blessings come from God, we seek to share these in the church universal and proclaim God's good news of his love and compassion, bringing together all people in Jesus Christ."
The Mission Statement continues to express the heart and mind of our congregation in our shared ministry. An engraving of the Mission Statement hangs in the front foyer of our church, greeting church members as we come together and then go forth to serve Christ in the world.
Mission Statement for Our Christian Education Ministry
Our Christian education ministry has also prepared and adopted a mission statement for its work with children, youth, and families.
A calligraphic rendering of our Christian education mission statement hangs on the west staircase leading to our Christian education classroom area.
The United Church of Christ Statement of Faith
St. Paul United Church of Christ belongs to the United Church of Christ, a major Protestant denomination with 1.5 million members nationwide. Created in 1957 from the merger of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church, the United Church can trace its roots to the Pilgrims who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the 1600's and German settlers who emigrated to America during the 1700's and 1800's. Thus, it is both a very old and a very new denominational family.
The United Church of Christ is a non-creedal church because it does not require men and women to subscribe to any particular creed in order to become church members. Members are simply asked to confess Jesus Christ as their Savior and to commit themselves to a life in Christ. At the time of its creation, the new United Church of Christ adopted by acclamation a statement of faith which expresses what it means to walk with God and to have a life in Christ. This statement of faith continues to be used in adapted form in all U.C.C. churches today:
"We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify: You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own imageand set before each one the ways of life and death. You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin. You judge people and nations by your righteous will declaredthrough prophets and apostles.In Jesus Christ, the Man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself. You bestow upon us your holy spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all nations, tongues and races. You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world, to resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory. You promise to all who trust youforgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace,your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end. Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you." Amen.
Along with the Apostles' Creed, the U.C.C. Statement of Faith is often used in worship at St. Paul Church. Copies of the Statement of Faith are printed on pew cards for worship use.
An Emblem of Faith
Although our church was initially founded as St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church and later known as St. Paul Evangelical and Reformed Church, it joined the newly-organizing United Church of Christ in 1957. Our congregation continues to be a proud part of this "family" of Christian congregations with 1.5 million members nation-wide and many global ties.
The emblem for the United Church of Christ is an oval incorporating the fresh rendering of an ancient Christian symbol. At the center of the oval is the Cross of Victory (also known as the Cross Triumphant), com-posed of a cross and a crown. Together they form the staff of an orb, signifying the king-ship of the crucified and risen Christ over the entire world. The actual orb, which represents the world, is divided into three parts. The three parts symbolize the three ancient biblical lands where the gospel was first pro-claimed in keeping with Jesus' command to his own disciples: "You shall be my wit-nesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Around the perimeter of the emblem the name of the United Church of Christ appears along with the words of Jesus' prayer from John's Gospel, expressing that hope that in him God's people "may all be one" (John 17:11). The St. Paul congregation seeks to live out Jesus' prayer by its own outreach, inclusiveness, and welcome to all Christians.