We Are Part of the Presbyterian Church of Australia
Together with the Presbyterian Church in each of the other states, we form the Presbyterian Church of Australia, which came into being on 24 July 1901 as the mainline Presbyterian denomination in this country in historic continuity with the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland, accepting the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as our supreme standard and only rule of faith and practice, and the Westminster Confession of Faith with slight modifications as our subordinate standard.
We Are Christians Who Believe the Bible
We believe that the whole Bible is the Word of God in written form, that the Bible is not mistaken in anything it says, that it is the final authority for the church’s beliefs and practices, and the ultimate guide for all mankind. Therefore we believe that hearing God’s Word carries with it the responsibility to obey God’s will. To help us understand the Bible we accept and use the Westminster Confession of Faith as a reasonable summary of the Bible’s teaching.
We Are Christians Who Proclaim God’s Promises
God gave mankind a message of Good News (‘the Gospel’) through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a message which demands a response from all people everywhere.
We seek to proclaim the good news that when people put their trust in Jesus Christ and obey His commands their sins are forgiven, they live under God’s blessing day by day, and they receive the assurance of eternal life.
We Are Practical Christians
We aim to provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn how to respond to this good news, and then to become effective followers of Jesus Christ. As they do this they progress in the Christian faith through Bible study, prayer, fellowship with other Christians, and service to others.
We Are Relevant Christians
We believe that the Bible’s message provides tried and true answers for every modern problem and issue. As we worship God we seek to maintain a simple format with emphasis on the practical teaching and application of God’s Word, the Bible, to the needs of our world.
We Are Australian Christians
Since 1823, Presbyterian Churches have taken an active part in Australian society. Subsequently, Australia has become a home to people of many ethnic and cultural backgrounds. So has the Presbyterian Church, with people of many different origins worshipping in our local congregations as well as in congregations which cater for specific ethnic groups, such as Arabic, Chinese, Cook Island, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portugese, Samoan, Spanish.
We Are ‘Presbyterian’ in Church Government
The spiritual leaders of the Presbyterian Church are called ‘ministers’ (who are particularly responsible for preaching) and ‘elders’ (who join with the ministers in exercising pastoral care and oversight in the congregations and courts of the church). These words are English equivalents of the Greek word ‘presbyter’. Ministers and elders are elected by members of our congregations from among themselves, being those whom the members believe are spiritually qualified to lead and care for them.
Each congregation looks after its own affairs under the general guidance and oversight of the presbytery, a gathering of ministers and elders from the several congregations in the local area. The General Assembly of each state provides leadership in wider areas of the church’s work such as social services, chaplaincy work in the defence forces, hospitals and other institutions, training of ministers, mission and evangelism, and Christian education. The General Assembly of Australia deals with matters of doctrine, overall standards of training of ministers, receiving ministers from other churches and the church’s mission to the world.