What We Believe


What do Presbyterians believe?

Presbyterians pride themselves on taking time and working thoughtfully through matters of faith and life. What we believe matters. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website has a resource page that gives more detail on a variety of theological issues.

We believe in the God who created all, who came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to free us from sin so we might live and serve joyfully together. We believe that the Spirit accompanies us on this journey, guiding us as we seek to be faithful each day. One way that faith is expressed is through The Brief Statement of Faith.

Our life together, as the First Presbyterian Church faith community, expresses those beliefs through our worship, through our commitment to growing and learning, through engaging with scripture, and through our commitment to serving others in our Parkside community, Port Charlotte area and beyond. We respond in faithfulness to the love and relationship we have in Christ by serving one another and serving in the community to make a difference. We are always on a journey, trying to live faithfully, and when you come to visit and engage in the life of our church, what we believe becomes even more evident.


Worship is at the core of who we are as a community and as individual people of faith. God gathers us, young and old, from different backgrounds and neighborhoods, to listen for the Spirit's dynamic work among us. We bring our burdens and joys as we pray and sing, as we gather around scripture, listening for God's promises. These promises are both words of comfort when life gets difficult, and words of challenge as God calls us to use what we have been given to serve God and God’s people. All are welcome here. Read about our worship services. 

Brief Statement of Faith

In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.

We trust in Jesus Christ, Fully human, fully God. Jesus proclaimed the reign of God: preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed and blessing the children, healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners, and calling all to repent and believe the gospel. Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition, Jesus was crucified, suffering the depths of human pain and giving his life for the sins of the world. God raised this Jesus from the dead, vindicating his sinless life, breaking the power of sin and evil, delivering us from death to life eternal.

We trust in God, whom Jesus called Abba, Father. In sovereign love God created the world good and makes everyone equally in God’s image male and female, of every race and people, to live as one community. But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator. Ignoring God’s commandments, we violate the image of God in others and ourselves, accept lies as truth, exploit neighbor and nature, and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care. We deserve God’s condemnation. Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation. In everlasting love, the God of Abraham and Sarah chose a covenant people to bless all families of the earth. Hearing their cry, God delivered the children of Israel from the house of bondage. Loving us still, God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant. Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child, like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home, God is faithful still.

We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the Church. The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the church. In a broken and fearful world the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace. In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth, praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.*

*Instead of saying this line, congregations may wish to sing a version of the Gloria

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