Confession Banners Introduction
You may have noticed that we have a wall of banners in McLeod Hall and wondered where they came from or what they were all about. These banners were made by members of this church and were designed by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to share about our confessions. Our constitution is made up of two volumes: The Book of Confession (containing the texts of our confessional documents) and the Book of Order (consisting of four sections: the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity, the Form of Government, the Directory for Worship, and the Rules of Discipline).
In our Book of Order, the purpose of the confessional statements is described as follows:
“The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) states its faith and bears witness to God’s grace in Jesus Christ in the creeds and confessions in the Book of Confessions. In these statements the church declares to its members and to the world who and what it is, what it believes, and what it resolves to do. These statements identify the church as a community of people known by its convictions as well as by its actions. They guide the church in its study and interpretation of the Scriptures; they summarize the essence of Reformed Christian tradition; they direct the church in maintaining sound doctrines; they equip the church for its work of proclamation. They serve to strengthen personal commitment and the life and witness of the community of believers.”
Each of the confessional statements were created in particular times and places in response to the context of the church. We should recognize that each statement originates in a historical setting, but does simply reflect what the church was, but continues to speak to the church’s current faith and life. For the next two weeks, our devotional series will focus on these banners, the confessional statements they represent, and some of the symbols portrayed. We hope that you will find them enlightening as well as meaningful as we seek to walk God’s path each day.
Holy God, we thank You for the saints of the faith who have gone before us. We celebrate the struggle of Christian brothers and sisters who have sought to prayerfully reflect on what it means to be a Christian and how we are called to be the church in different times and places throughout our history. Strengthen us to live as Christians today, loving others no matter what and seeking to do Your will. Guide us today to be Your instruments in our current time and place. In Your name we pray, Amen.