First Presbyterian Church is a congregation uniquely situated in the village of Minerva and uniquely gifted to address needs with compassion and love.
We are a church centered on the grace of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the head of his body, the Church. The one God we know and experience as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit came into our midst through Jesus the Christ to example for us unmerited love, so that as the body, we might offer that love to others, regardless of the worth we imagine they have or do not have. We love, albeit imperfectly, with the perfect love of God.
We are a church guided by a rational reflection on the Word.
The word of God, composed by various authors over a variety of generations, witnesses to God’s continued interaction with and through the world. God has blessed us with rational minds to comprehend this natural world God created, even while we stand trusting with our hearts and minds in the mystery revealed in Jesus, the Word made flesh.
We are a church that is actively seeking to be disciples.
Membership is not the goal. Following Jesus is not merely about joining a club or even becoming improved human beings; we desire to be changed people who will change the world. As such, we possess an energy and willingness to address needs, responding with compassion, understanding and love. As disciples, we draw on our variety of God-given gifts in order to make the ongoing presence of God felt within our congregation and in the world.
We are a Presbyterian Church.
While they are not the only means of connecting with God, we hold to the teachings and principles of the Reformed faith as they have been given life through the Presbyterian Church USA. These allow us to be open to the sovereign direction of God, instead of being driven by any special interest organizations in the church. They also call us to acknowledge our weakness and limitations, even as we try to individually and corporately fulfill God’s mission and enact the great ends of the church as they are defined by the denomination’s Book of Order:
the 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.
We are a church grounded in tradition that looks with hope toward the future.
In church, as in life, we face joys and struggles; yet God is present in them all. Thus, we seek to celebrate all that God has used to shape us as disciples. Our heritage only tells part of the story; God continues to shape us, even as the Holy Spirit moves us out into the world. The means and the programs may change, but we expectantly look to follow wherever God inspires and challenges us to go.
We are a church that sows generously.
We seek to remain open to what God is saying and how God is saying it, for the gospel is expansive, not limiting. As such, we are unafraid to experiment in worship, fellowship, and mission. In hope, we strive to imitate God’ s extravagant love, as revealed in the Parable of the Sower and the feeding of the 5,000. We offer what we have and hope for the abundant blessing of God.
We are a church dedicated to community.
As we are made in the image of the triune God, we have been sculpted to live in relationship. None of us can do church alone; we need each other to continually show us the challenging and gracious face of God. As we more and more reflect the body of Christ, we become the priesthood of all believers: praying for, loving, and living with each other. We never have to go through tasks or trials alone. This also leads us to pursue ecumenical relationships; God has given us Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, and a variety of other brothers and sisters in Christ with whom to live, work, and worship.
We are a village church.
Being situated in a small village, yet drawing its membership from the surrounding community, First Presbyterian is uniquely situated to attend to what God is doing outside the city centers, along the highways and byways. We begin our understanding of God’s will and direction as we do the hard work of learning to love our neighbors. From here, we can more readily see the face of Christ even in strangers and enemies throughout the global village.