Why be Presbyterian?
(All information below is from The Constitution of the PC(USA) or referenced from the PC(USA) website)
- Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways. They adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members.
- Presbyterian church government emphasizes that the leadership of the church is shared between those called to be ministers and church members called to be elders within the congregation.
- One of the places where the church has had the opportunity to live up to its proclamations for the equality of all persons is in the status that it gives women in its own life and work. Women have been ordained to serve in all capacity of PC(USA) leadership (deacons, elders, ministers,...) since 1965.
- Worship in a Presbyterian congregation, its shape and content, is determined by the pastor and the session, the church’s governing body. It generally includes prayer, music, Bible reading and a sermon based upon scripture. The Sacraments, a time of personal response/offering and a sharing of community concerns are also parts of worship.
- The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- Baptism is received only once and usually occurs during infancy, though a person may be baptized at any age. There are many times in worship, however, when believers acknowledge the grace of God continually at work. "As there is one body, there is one Baptism" (Ephesians 4:4-6). The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recognizes all Baptisms with water in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit administered by other Christian churches.
- The invitation to the Lord’s Supper is extended to all who have been baptized, remembering that access to the Table is not a right conferred upon the worthy, but a privilege given to the undeserving who come in faith, repentance, and love....none shall be excluded because of race, sex, age, economic status, social class, handicapping condition, difference of culture or language, or any barrier created by human injustice.
- Presbyterians believe in Predestination. Properly understood, the doctrine of predestination frees us from speculating about who is saved and who is not. God has already taken care of these matters in the mystery of God’s own being. We are called to hear God’s good news in Jesus Christ and to trust in God through Jesus Christ.
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The Seal of the PC(USA)
Rev. Dr. Taylor Todd
Taylor was raised in Florence, AL. where his father served as the minister of First Presbyterian Church. After graduating from Rhodes (then Southwestern at Memphis) College in 1980 with a B.A. in Religion, he married Abby Jackson, also from Florence and a Rhodes graduate. For the next 18 months he worked for the YMCA in Florence as a community programs director and summer camp director before answering God’s call to go into the ministry. Taylor enrolled in Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) in the fall of 1981. He graduated from seminary in 1985 with a Doctor of Ministry degree. Then, he and Abby received their first call from the First Presbyterian Church in Washington, North Carolina to be the Associate Pastor for Christian Education. In April of 1988 Abby, their infant daughter Caroline, and Taylor moved from Washington, N.C. to Roanoke, VA. where they had been called to serve the Second Presbyterian Church of Roanoke as it's Associate Minister for Congregational Care and Development and Missions. In August of 1996 Abby, Caroline and Taylor moved about 90 miles north of Roanoke to Staunton, VA. where they had taken a call to be the head of staff at the First Presbyterian Church in Staunton. Five years later they moved to Birmingham, AL. where they served the Shades Valley Presbyterian Church. After serving that congregation for 14 years Taylor's call ended. In October of 2015 Abby and Taylor embarked upon their current adventure that has brought them full circle back to North Alabama. Taylor says, "Having served as an installed minister my entire ministry I was ready for a change and felt the call to become a “transitional or interim” pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church while they began their search for their next installed minister."
Taylor has continued his education throughout his career by participating in a study group sponsored by the Fund for the Explication and Application of Reformed Theology, by helping to develop a confirmation class curriculum for youth, by helping to lead 25 people on a pilgrimage to retrace the steps of the Apostle Paul, by participating in a journey to Cuba to foster greater understanding between the governments of the US and Cuba, and by participating in a trip to Scotland to trace our Presbyterian heritage.
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Ron has been the Director of Music at Westminster for 10 plus years.
What is the PC(USA)?
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is distinctly a confessional and a connectional church, distinguished by the representation of elders in its government. The church has a membership of 1.7 million in all 50 states and Puerto Rico with nearly 10 thousand congregations and worshiping communities.