The following was adopted in December, 2016, by the Session of First Presbyterian Church as a guiding statement of belief:
The Session of First Presbyterian Church of Danville, VA, provides the following affirmations as our congregational statement of belief. In addition to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Book of Confessions, this affirmation guides our theology and decisions as a Session: that we are accountable to the tenets of the faith that we share with the church throughout the world and throughout history.
We profess that God has revealed Himself fully in His Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:3, John 1:14). In his perfect life, atoning death, and bodily resurrection, Jesus invites us into relationship with God (Hebrews 10:14-25, John 14:6-21). The Holy Spirit calls us to respond in worship, thanksgiving, and mission. We have the responsibility to spread to the world the knowledge that it is by the grace of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit that we may know God the Father. While this truth is universal, our witness in this time and place calls us to respond with the following affirmations:
We believe the Bible is the unique and authoritative witness for the church’s life. It has been inspired and preserved by the Holy Spirit, working through its authors and in the church through history. Through study, prayer, and reflection, we allow God’s Word to correct and instruct us (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
As such, we believe that Christian marriage is a covenant affirmed by God, entered by man and woman as set forth in the creation narrative, affirmed by Jesus in Mark 10 and Matthew 19, and guided by the Holy Spirit and the witness and support of the church (Matthew 19:4-6).
The Session will support policies that affirm the preservation of life, and will seek to steward the congregation’s resources accordingly (First Presbyterian Church is a “Relief of Conscience” congregation in the PC(USA). Psalm 139:13-18). We will additionally take care to avoid politicization of our stewardship and service efforts when possible.
Acknowledging that we are all sinful, we make these confessions and statements so that all of us would repent and receive Jesus’ forgiveness, living transformed lives wholly committed to God. We are called by God and led by the Holy Spirit to seek where God is at work around us and join in that work. While we profess these truths, we seek to live them out in love and grace, knowing that Christ works in us most powerfully through love.