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At the core of Presbyterian identity is a secure hope in the grace of God in Jesus Christ, a hope that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, empowers us to live lives of gratitude.  The name Presbyterian comes from the Greek term in the New Testament for elder, and 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.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is distinctly a confessional and a connectional church, with a membership of 1.6 million in all 50 states and Puerto Rico with nearly 10 thousand congregations and worshiping communities.  

Presbyterians confess their beliefs through statements that have been adopted over the years and are contained in The Book of Confessions.  These statements reflect our understanding of God and what God expects of us at different times in history.  Even though we share these common beliefs, Presbyterians understand that God alone is lord of the conscience, and it is up to each individual to understand what these principles mean in his or her life.  The PC(USA) also affirms our conviction through action “that neither the Church as the body of Christ, nor Christians as individuals, can be neutral or indifferent toward evil in the world” (1958 Statement – PC(USA), p. 537) and affirms our responsibility to speak on social and moral issues for the encouragement and instruction of the Church and its members.

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