THE CALLING OF THE CHURCH
(Book of Order, PCUSA)
The Church Is the Body of Christ. Christ gives to the Church all the gifts necessary to be his body. The Church strives to demonstrate these gifts in its life as a community in the world (1 Cor. 12:27–28):
The Church is to be a community of faith, entrusting itself to God alone, even at the risk of losing its life.
The Church is to be a community of hope, rejoicing in the sure and certain knowledge that, in Christ, God is making a new creation. This new creation is a new beginning for human life and for all things. The Church lives in the present on the strength of that promised new creation.
The Church is to be a community of love, where sin is forgiven, reconciliation is accomplished, and the dividing walls of hostility are torn down.
The Church is to be a community of witnesses, pointing beyond itself through word and work to the good news of God’s transforming grace in Christ Jesus as Lord.
THE GREAT ENDS OF THE CHURCH ARE:
*the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;
*the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God;
*the maintenance of divine worship;
*the preservation of the truth; the promotion of social righteousness;
*and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.