Who are we?
New Year has some people making resolutions while others refusing to change. Yet New Year does seem a natural time to reevaluate one's life. Churches, like people, need to do this from time-to-time as well. So I thought the place to be would be with the question “Who are we?”
Kenton Church is a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We were dismissed a few years ago and were officially chartered as a new congregation in 2012. This is not the first such change for us. We were part of the North American Presbyterian Church when formed in the early 20th century and were moved into the United Presbyterian and the Presbyterian Church (USA) in the ensuing decades.
What makes our new home different is that we take our theology seriously. We are reformed which means our history traces itself back to Geneva Switzerland and John Calvin. We are not Methodist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Holiness or Baptist although we share some theology with many of these sister churches.
What makes our new home different is that we expect a lot from our officers. In previous denominations the preacher was the de facto leader with the Session merely a collection of members with good intentions. Not so in the EPC. We expect leaders to know theology and to practice Christian morality. The leadership, especially the Session, have a lot to do as leaders in the church. So important is this that at the Presbytery (regional governing Body) and General Assembly (national level) the desire is to have 2 elders (not clergy) for every 1 clergy person as voting members (maybe we’re a bit more Baptist than we think).
What makes our new home different is that membership is not just for anyone. One’s membership in any congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is based upon a statement of their personal faith in Jesus Christ. In other denominations most members are received with a mention in the bulletin, not so in the EPC. It is expected that those who join an EPC church can and will express their faith journey to the Session and upon their reception before the congregation. The reason is to enable the church to know each other better.
Who are we? We are a group of people committed to following Jesus into a new year together.