Presbyterians have our roots in the Reformation through John Calvin, John Knox, and other reformers. We came to this country from Scotland and Ireland, and some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Presbyterian. In Plymouth, there has been a congregation since the mid-nineteenth century.
‘God alone is Lord of the Conscience… according to the Word of God.’ We value education, discussion, freedom, diversity, and independence of thought, but sometimes we forget about the Word.
Central to our Worship is the proclamation of the Word. Sermons should be relevant and biblically centered. We have no strict liturgy, rather, it is a stated liturgy. This allows for considerable flexibility according to the tradition of the congregation.
Holy Communion is celebrated on a regular basis. Here at FPCP, the traditional approach of serving communion, with the elders distributing the elements, is the most common form. It signifies the extension of the Lord’s Table. More recently, we have developed a special communion. Here, we leave the pews and approach the Elders. Baptized children are welcome to participate, provided they are instructed.
There is one Baptism, administered in the name of the Triune God, and it is recognized by a wide group of other Christian communities, including Roman Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran and Episcopalian communities, but not the Baptist communities. Baptism happens once to children or adults.
How We Make Decisions
We are a representative democracy, based upon a New Testament model. Ministers are highly educated and are called by the congregation, not appointed. At the local level, we have Elders and Deacons who serve for three years, but are ordained for life. We have Deacons, who share in the compassionate area of ministry. The Session consists of serving Elders and the Ministers, also known as teaching Elders. They are partly accountable to the congregation and the Presbytery. Beyond the Presbytery, there is the Synod and General Assembly. The congregation has limited powers. In essence, ours is a system of Checks and Balances.
The Center of Our Faith
With other Christians, we acknowledge one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that God’s mighty acts were revealed through Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer. The Holy Spirit sustains our faith and calls us to a life of Spiritual Growth and Justice in the World. We accept the Bible as the authorized Word of God written. Its purpose is to lead us in faith to Jesus Christ the Living Word. We also have Confessions, which are snapshots of what we believed at a particular time of history.
If you have questions concerning our Presbyterian faith, please contact one of our ministers. For more information about the Presbyterian Church (USA), you may wish to visit the PC(USA) website.