While some of these statements are dated in their language, the core positions are still actively supported by the church.
Confessing Church Resolution
This statement was written in response to several trends in the national church that caused many great concern. Three subjects are addressed: the Lordship of Jesus Christ, a high view of Scripture, and holiness in the area of sexuality.
The session of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Dunedin, Florida (membership 723) meeting this 21st day of May 2001 joins faithful believers throughout the Church in confessing:
- That Jesus Christ alone is Lord of all and the way of salvation.
- That Holy Scripture is the triune God’s revealed Word, the Church’s only infallible rule of faith and life.
- That God’s people are called to holiness in all aspects of life. This includes honoring the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, the only relationship within which sexual activity is appropriate.
We therefore announce our commitment to the Confessing Church Movement and we implore all Presbyterians who share these historic Christian convictions to:
- Renew their individual commitments to the above confessions.
- Urge their session and presbytery to affirm these confessions and to declare that they will not ordain, install or employ in any ministry position any person who will not affirm them.
- Urge the 2001 General Assembly to instruct the General Assembly Council to require that all program personnel uphold these confessions and ensure that these confessions are followed faithfully in all programs and policies of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Adopted May 21, 2001
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
When the AIDS epidemic began, people were scared and wild ideas and theories were being spread. The elders of the church knew this was an issue that needed a faithful, biblical, accurate and responsible repose from the church. This is the result of that effort.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, recognizing that AIDS and AIDS Related Complex (ARC) are causing widespread and difficult medical, emotional, and spiritual challenges which our society and our congregation must face and meet, adopts the following.
- We concur with the statement of the 198th General Assembly reaffirmed by the 200th G.A., that AIDS and ARC are illnesses, not punishment for behavior deemed immoral. While some say that AIDS is God’s judgment upon sinful behavior, God’s word suggests otherwise. The story of Job shows us that suffering can come to people in spite of their goodness. And Jesus, when asked whose sin had caused a man’s blindness said: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:1-3)
- The Aids crisis calls the church to be the church---to be the body of Christ for all people, and to recognize that people with AIDS are not “them” but “us.” It is the responsibility and mission of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church to support and minister to persons with AIDS/ARC, their families, and loved ones in a compassionate, non-judgmental manner, as with any other illness or crisis.
- We should pray for, and call upon others to pray for, the comfort and healing of persons afflicted with AID/ARC, the discovery of a cure for same, and strength for care givers, family, and loved ones of persons so afflicted.
- Every effort must be made to maintain confidentiality and to protect the privacy of persons with AID/ARC, their families and their loved ones.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church should identify medical, educational, psychological, hospice, and other care giving and support resources and make them known to the congregation generally and to any individuals who may inquire.
- It is important to know that, according to the best medical evidence, AID/ARC is not transmitted through every day casual contact with others; through shaking hands, touching, coughing, sneezing, sweating, casual kissing of the cheek, swimming or through contact with toilet seats, eating utensils, telephones, etc. Preliminary studies indicate that mosquitoes and other insect bites do not transmit the AIDS virus.
Adopted October 21, 1991
Commitment to Evangelism
The national church recognized the need to reach out to non-believers and developed a call for Presbyterian Churches to get serious about it. This is the response of St. Andrews to that call.
We, the Session of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, commit ourselves to the task of evangelism. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we accept our identity as witnesses to Jesus Christ in our immediate community, our county, our nation, and around the world (Acts 1:8). We affirm that we are called to reach out in word and deed to those beyond our walls, and we dedicate ourselves tobeing hospitable and initiating within our walls. For these reasons we commit ourselves.
- To pray regularly for the Church around the world, to pray for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and for our congregation that we might all be used as instruments for God’s purpose.
- To accept A Theological Basis for Faithfulness as our theology of evangelism, or to develop and accept our own theological statement consistent with the Reformed faith.
- To assess evangelistic opportunities and the needs of the unchurched within reach of our congregation, and to pursue those opportunities and meet those needs.
- To develop programs to train persons how to share their faith, such as parents relating to their children, and laity relating to unchurched neighbors and co-workers.
- To establish annual goals over the next three years for worship attendance and to develop action plans to move steadily toward the goal. This goal is to be shared with the entire congregation and recorded by the Presbytery.
- To establish annual goals for each of the next three years for adding new members and to develop action plans to move toward the goal. This goal is to be shared with the entire congregation and recorded by Presbytery.
- To develop a plan to include and involve all members in the full life of the congregation.
- To provide over the next three years within the life of the congregation programs for those persons who are new to the Christian faith. This will mean an intentional effort to be basic and introductory in worship, Bible study and mission, working to be inclusive of and sensitive toward, persons just beginning their faith journey.
- To seek out and invite persons gifted for evangelism to consider whether they are called to the Ministry of word and sacrament or other church vocations.
- To evaluate annually our progress on this commitment, to recommit ourselves to evangelism and to make adjustments as needed.
Adopted November 16, 1991
This was written during a time when racial issues were present in the community. At the time, the Ku Klux Klan was active in this area holding open rallies and the elders of the church wanted to be clear about where we stood.
We affirm that our church is open to all persons wishing to join in the worship of God, and ushers shall be advised to seat those persons without distinction as to race or social standing.
Adopted May 29, 1978
The position on gambling below did not prevail, but the elders wanted to express concern about the problems gambling introduces into families not the least of which is addiction to gambling.
Session voted to support a statement, adopted by Westminster Presbytery July 25, 1978, strongly opposing the legalization of casino gambling in Florida. We urge our members to vote against it.
Adopted August 21,1978