What We Believe

We Believe

At Park Avenue Congregational Church (PACC), coming together to explore faith in a community of love and support is an essential part of our lives. Here we share our joys and sorrows, grow deeper in our faith, wrestle with the big questions, and find spiritual sustenance so that we can share the good we experience here with the world around us.

On any given day at PACC, you will find people who believe many different things about God and who often have more questions than answers. For us, belief is not a litmus test or a dogmatic teaching, but more about where we put our trust – and how we live that out in ways that matter.

What you’ll hear from the pulpit and from most, though not all, of our community members is that we put our trust in one God known to us in three ways: the Creator who forms each of us in the divine image; Jesus Christ who makes us whole; and the Holy Spirit who is with us in suffering and in joy and who empowers us to share God’s extravagant love with all creation.

A little more about where we find common ground:

  • We take the Bible seriously but not literally. We affirm that the Bible’s stories of God and God’s people extend a powerful invitation to us to be part of something bigger than ourselves, to embrace our neighbor and the stranger, and to accept and share the good news of God’s healing love and grace, continually following in Jesus’ way.
    These sacred stories also bear the marks of their culture and their time, and so each Sunday we wrestle with scripture to discern how God is still speaking through it, to us, today. We believe that God’s message for us does not end with the last page of the Bible; rather, we can each hear and respond to God’s call in our lives and in our communities.
  • We believe that the Gospel is good news for all people – not because it will convert everyone to think like we do, but because through it God calls us to abundant life: to love, justice, peacemaking, and the difficult but life-giving work of healing our wounds and reconciling the ways we have wounded one another.
  • We cherish as two of the most important tenets of our tradition freedom of conscience – the ability to discern what faith and belief looks like for each of us; and covenant – intentionally investing in relationship with God and with one another.
  • We believe that joy is found in relationship; we are witnesses to the power of Christian community to heal, uphold, and companion each other through joy and through struggle.
  • We celebrate communion as Jesus’ open table, set for all. We welcome you to partake whether you have a little faith or a lot, whether you have questions or doubts, whether you are baptized or not – you are welcome!
  • We celebrate baptism as an individual’s official welcome into God’s family and as their commitment (or their parents’) to grow in faith. We practice both infant and adult baptism.
  • We believe that God has a sense of humor and that God welcomes everyone! You’ll often find us laughing and playing together, enjoying both our gifts and our foibles, because we know that each and every one of us is God’s beloved, just as we are – and that you are God’s beloved, too!

Click here to read our Open and Affirming statement welcoming people inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, race, ethnicity, mental or physical ability, age, immigration status, and socio-economic background.

If these things matter to you, too, we invite you to join us for worship on Sunday mornings!

Many of these things we value are rooted in our denomination, the United Church of Christ (UCC).  Click here to read more about the UCC; click here to read the UCC statement of faith.