Rev. Dr. R. Mark Giuliano
Statement of Faith
Pastor's in the Presbyterian Church (USA) are required to write a statement of faith. For me, the formal articulation of beliefs is more than a requirement, though. Writing a statement of faith is a both an opportunity and a spiritual practice of attempting to state for ourselves and others our deepest convictions about God. It's a wonderful discipline that I hope every Christian might attempt. And since faith is alive, moving, and always growing, I think its important to update our statement of faith every now and then. Here's my most recent Statement of Faith:
Copyright 2020. Montgomery Presbyterian Church. All rights reserved.
God has been creating from the beginning. Signs of God’s creation abound: in natural environments like flowing waters or breathing forests, powerful Lowcountry storms or Great Lake whiteouts that create stillness and can bring our busyness, quietly, to rest; and in the faithful expressions and aspirations of the human spirit such as in the soaring architecture or dynamic street-scaping of our great cities; in orchestral scores or musical performances, in dramatic paintings, unnerving films or whimsical tales told by the artists and storytellers among us; in the lives of those who dream of and labor for a new realm of justice and peace on earth and in the city; in the complexity of our human relationships and in the very sinew of love that binds them together.
God has come to us in the person Jesus, God’s word made flesh. Jesus was a faithful and prophetically cosmopolitan Jew who crossed many lines and divisions throughout his lifetime including religion, nationality, gender, ability, class and economy. In the end, he crossed the line between life and death and restored us to God and God’s unwavering grace. The risen Jesus gave his disciples peace and called them to go into the world to forgive others, preach the gospel and baptize people in the grace of God. Jesus was the new lens through which people saw and continue to see: hope for the world, in spite of its brokenness; opportunities for peace and healing, in spite of acts inhumanity; the path of truth, in spite of deceitful ways; and another chapter in God’s story and our own, in spite of the grave.
God empowers us by the Holy Spirit to be the church for our day and generation just as God has done in every age since Jesus ascended. By the Holy Spirit: we are knit together as one, God’s diverse people, marvelously shaped as a holy and manifold mosaic; guided in our understanding of scripture; compelled toward the proclamation of God’s good news in Jesus Christ; strengthened to do the good work of forgiveness and reconciliation with God and the world; and sustained for our journey of faith.
God calls us to be the church: to be in the world and for the world; to love the world without being in-love with the world; to work and pray for the well-being of the city for in so doing, we find our own well-being; to be a servant people; to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly along labyrinthine paths with our God; to be God’s people for our day and generation, in all places, including our cities which God values and where we are clothed with power from on high; and to tell the story of God’s immeasurable love for the world.
R. Mark Giuliano, September 2019
Montgomery Presbyterian Church
10192 Ferguson Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31406