What We Believe
The Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole is a congregation that has organized our beliefs into a very simple Mission Statement to Pass on the Faith as we:
Gather to Love God,
Grow to know and follow Jesus, and
Go into its community and world to make a difference
So, what does this simple statement mean?
We believe that God is the Creator of the universe. God created it good and created people with a special purpose: to love God with all we are, tend God’s world, and love one another. We fell away from God’s purposes by choosing to do things our own way. The consequences of our choosing led to broken relationships spiritually, interpersonally, and ecologically. From that moment in our ancient past to this present moment God works to restore us into a right relationship that heals our past, secures our eternal future, and empowers us to live in the present as God’s children.
We love God for God’s passion to pursue us and draw us back. We believe God’s love was so great that God became one of us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus, the Son of God, emptied himself of his divine nature, becoming a man, to walk with us, identify with us, teach us, love us, heal us, and die for us on the cross. We believe Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning and is alive today in God’s presence. When we invite him into our life, the risen Christ gives us direction and empowers us to learn Jesus’ ways and to show Jesus’ love. The Bible, God’s written word, is a primary tool by which we learn about God’s love and grace through Jesus our Lord.
We believe this good news of a loving God and a life transforming Jesus should not be kept to ourselves. We believe this good news should we shared through word and deed with all God brings across our path.
In addition, for those of you who want to go deeper in a more theologically defined way, PCJH is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and our denomination’s form of government (called the Book of Order) outlines our core beliefs in this way:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) states its faith and bears witness to God’s grace in Jesus Christ in the creeds and confessions in The Book of Confessions (The first half of the Book of Order). In these statements the church declares to its members and to the world who and what it is, what it believes, and what it resolves to do. The confessions:
A. Express the faith of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, i.e., the recognition of canonical Scriptures, the formulation and adoption of the mystery of the triune God, and of the incarnation of the eternal Word of God in Jesus Christ.
B. Uphold the affirmations of the Protestant Reformation. The focus of these affirmations is God’s grace in Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures. The Protestant watchwords—grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone—embody principles of understanding that continue to guide and motivate the people of God in the life of faith.
C. Express the faith of the Reformed tradition. Central to this tradition is the affirmation of the majesty, holiness, and providence of God who in Christ and by the power of the Spirit creates, sustains, rules, and redeems the world in the freedom of sovereign righteousness and love. Related to this central affirmation of God’s sovereignty are other great themes of the Reformed tradition:
God chooses people for service as well as for salvation;
Covenant life marked by a disciplined concern for order in the church according to the Word of God;
A faithful stewardship that shuns ostentation and seeks proper use of the gifts of God’s creation;
The recognition of the human tendency to idolatry and tyranny, which calls the people of God to work for the transformation of society by seeking justice and living in obedience to the Word of God.
If you are interested in learning more about these beliefs and how they work at PCJH, plan on attending a Church Information Class where we can talk about our beliefs more fully.