The Presbyterian Church USA (aka PCUSA)
The Presbyterian Church of Chestertown is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) – the oldest and largest of the Presbyterian denominations in the United States. The Presbyterian Church traces its roots back to the Protestant Reformation in 16th century Europe, specifically to the “Reformed” tradition inspired by John Calvin. Ultimately, however, Presbyterianism is an heir of the ancient apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ; sharing the faith and creeds of the “Holy Catholic Church.”
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is a national church with congregations in every state. It was brought to this country in the colonial period by Puritans from England and Presbyterians from Scotland and Ireland. Through the centuries adherents from every nation have been welcomed and the church values the inclusive witness to God’s grace without regard to race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation.
Presbyterianism emphasizes the responsibility of each individual for his or her own faith, guided by scripture and the church’s creeds. It is a “connectional church” in which decisions are made democratically through a series of representative governing bodies: the Session (a local congregation) Presbytery and Synod (regional) and the General Assembly (national).