UPC and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
UPC is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) denomination. PC(USA) is distinctly a confessional and a connectional church, distinguished by the representation of elders—laymen and laywomen—in its government. Our theology is reformed and our form of government stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members.
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UPC and The Fellowship Community
The Session of University Presbyterian Church, at the November 26 meeting, made the decision to join The Fellowship Community. The Fellowship is an association of churches within and outside PC(USA) founded in 2011, formed to foster flourishing churches by sharing ideas, ministry resources and strategy to fulfill Jesus' mission of making disciples. The central reasons for joining are:
We firmly endorse the Fellowship Covenant and Essential Tenets which are wholly in line with UPC’s understanding of scripture, theology and our historic confessions. The Covenant and Tenets emphasize the nature and role of Jesus as God's gracious human incarnation and the only source of our salvation; life in obedience to the Word of God as the final authority in all our decisions, choices and actions; the fruit of the Holy Spirit in transforming our individual members and congregation for joyful and useful Kingdom work; and our covenant life together as brothers and sisters in faith called to live in community as faithful stewards of all of life, at peace with God and as winsome encouragers to all persons we encounter.
We seek to emphasize UPC's primary mission of sharing hope in Jesus Christ and to live as good neighbors in the community in which we minister, while avoiding the distraction of further debate on issues already settled by current Session policy.
We wish to stay in relationship with Presbyterian churches with which UPC has long worked in ministry, many of which have already joined or are joining the Fellowship, and some of which have chosen to leave our denomination (PCUSA). The Fellowship provides a formal vehicle for doing that for UPC staff and members alike, including UPC's session.
We wish to deepen such relationships by being held accountable to other evangelical churches in ways not presently offered within our denomination as we seek to fulfill our common mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ while maintaining a Reformed and Evangelical heritage.
We embrace the Fellowship's emphasis on development of new congregations and of strong ministry paths and opportunities for the clergy candidates whom God is calling from our midst. We are particularly concerned about development of a new generation of committed leaders.