THE HISTORIC PARSELLS CHURCH  P. O. Box 10670  Rochester, NY 14610 

American Baptist Identity Statement

“We Are American Baptists” An   Expression   of   Christian   Faith   representative   of   American   Baptists   adopted   by   the   General   Board,   American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., June 1998 American   Baptists   worship   the   triune   God   of   the   Bible,   who   is   eternally   one   God   in   three   persons.   This   one, true God is most clearly revealed to us in the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. American   Baptists   proclaim   the   Good   News   of   the   atoning   death   and   resurrection   of   Jesus   Christ,   knowing that   salvation   (forgiveness   of   sins,   release   from   guilt   and   condemnation,   reconciliation   with   God)   and   eternal life   are   granted   in   grace   to   all   who   trust   Jesus   Christ   as   Savior   and   Lord.   This   Gospel   is   the   central   message of the Bible. American   Baptists   believe   that   the   Bible,   composed   of   the   Old   and   New   Testaments,   is   the   divinely   inspired Word   of   God,   the   final   written   authority   and   trustworthy   for   faith   and   practice.   It   is   to   be   interpreted responsibly   under   the   guidance   of   the   Holy   Spirit   within   the   community   of   faith.   The   primary   purpose   of   the Bible is to point to Jesus Christ, the living Lord of the Church. Although   Baptists   have   produced   numerous   confessions   to   express   our   common   understandings   of   Christian faith,   we   hold   the   Scriptures,   the   Old   and   New   Testaments,   as   our   final   authority.   We   accept   no   humanly devised confession or creed as binding. American   Baptists   affirm   that   God   is   sovereign   over   all   and   that   this   sovereignty   is   expressed   and   realized through   Jesus   Christ.   Therefore,   we   affirm   the   Lordship   of   Christ   over   the   world   and   the   church.   We   joyously confess   that   Jesus   Christ   is   Savior   and   Lord.   We   are   called   in   loyalty   to   Jesus   Christ   to   proclaim   the   power   of the   Holy   Spirit,   the   Good   News   of   God’s   reconciling   grace,   and   to   declare   the   saving   power   of   the   Gospel   to every   human   being   and   to   every   human   institution.   We   celebrate   Christ’s   charge   to   “make   disciples   of   all nations” and to bear witness to God's redeeming reign in human affairs. American   Baptists   are   summoned   to   this   mission   in   common   with   all   Christians.   With   the   whole   body   of Christ,   we   also   believe   that   God   has   been   revealed   in   Jesus   Christ   as   in   no   other,   and   that   “God   was   in   Christ reconciling   the   world   to   Himself”   (2   Corinthians   5:18).   We   anticipate   the   day   when   every   creature   and   all creation,   on   earth   and   beyond,   will   confess   that   Jesus   Christ   is   Lord   (Philippians   2:10-11).   God   has   given   this particular   community   of   believers   called   Baptists   a   distinctive   history   and   experience.   As   we   share   in   common with Christians everywhere, so Baptists everywhere celebrate a common heritage. THEREFORE With Baptist brothers and sisters around the world, we believe: That   the   Bible   is   the   final   authority   and   trustworthy   for   faith   and   practice.   It   is   to   be   interpreted   responsibly under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit within the community of faith; That   the   Church   is   a   gathered   fellowship   of   regenerated   believers,   a   sign   of   the   coming   universal   reign   of God; That   the   freedom   to   respond   to   the   Lordship   of   Christ   in   all   circumstances   is   fundamental   to   the   Christian gospel and to human dignity; and That witness to Christ is the ongoing task of every Christian and of every church. Within   the   larger   Baptist   family,   American   Baptists   emphasize   convictions   which   direct   our   special   task   and ministry. We affirm that God through Jesus Christ calls us to be: A   Redeemed   People   who   claim   a   personal   relationship   to   God   through   Jesus   Christ;   who   follow   the   Lord   in believer’s   baptism;   who   gather   as   a   believer’s   church;   who   share   in   the   meal   of   the   kingdom   known   as   the Lord’s Supper; who honor the priesthood of all believers; and who live their faith as visible saints. A   Biblical   People   who   affirm   the   centrality   of   Scripture   in   our   lives;   who   pursue   the   study   of   God’s   inspired Word   as   a   mandate   for   faith   and   practice;   and   who   seek   the   guidance   of   the   Holy   Spirit   for   the   understanding of Scripture, while respecting the common interpretation of Scripture within the community of believers. A   Worshiping   People   who   gather   regularly   to   praise   God;   who   receive   nourishment   by   communion   with   the Risen   Christ;   who   share   an   open   and   public   confession   of   faith;   and   who   believe   that   personal   devotion   brings vitality to corporate celebration. A   Mission   People   who   strive   to   fulfill   the   Great   Commission   to   make   disciples;   who   invite   persons   to   receive salvation   and   follow   Christ;   who   engage   in   educational,   social,   and   health   ministries;   who   seek   justice   for   all persons; and who provide prayer and financial support to sustain a worldwide mission outreach. An   Interdependent   People   who   affirm   the   Church’s   unity   as   given   in   Jesus   Christ;   who   gladly   embody   in   our practice   the   ministry   of   the   whole   people   of   God;   who   recognize   God’s   gifts   for   ministry   and   honor   all   offices of   pastoral   ministry;   who   live   and   work   together   “in   association”;   and   who   bring   the   free   church   tradition   to cooperative and ecumenical Christianity. A   Caring   People   who   care   for   the   needy,   the   weak,   and   the   oppressed;   who   care   for   the   earth   and   for   all   its creatures. An   Inclusive   People   who,   gifted   by   a   variety   of   backgrounds,   find   unity   in   diversity   and   diversity   in   unity;   who embrace   a   pluralism   of   race,   ethnicity,   and   gender;   and   who   acknowledge   that   there   are   individual   differences of conviction and theology. A   Contemporary   People   who   have   a   remembrance   for   the   past   and   a   vision   for   the   future;   who   are   committed to   religious   liberty   and   to   the   separation   of   church   and   state;   who   call   our   present   world   to   make   Jesus   Christ Lord of all life; and who trust the Holy Spirit for insight and power to live in the present age. We further believe That God has called us forth to such an hour as this; That we live with a realizable hope; That all things are held together in Christ; That all creation will find its ultimate fulfillment in God; That we shall see the One whose we are; and That Jesus shall reign forever and ever.

Our Beliefs

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The Historic Parsells Church P. O. Box 10670  Rochester, NY 14610

American Baptist Identity Statement

“We Are American Baptists” An   Expression   of   Christian   Faith   representative   of American   Baptists   adopted   by   the   General   Board, American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., June 1998 American    Baptists    worship    the    triune    God    of    the Bible,   who   is   eternally   one   God   in   three   persons. This   one,   true   God   is   most   clearly   revealed   to   us   in the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. American   Baptists   proclaim   the   Good   News   of   the atoning    death    and    resurrection    of    Jesus    Christ, knowing   that   salvation   (forgiveness   of   sins,   release from    guilt    and    condemnation,    reconciliation    with God)   and   eternal   life   are   granted   in   grace   to   all   who trust   Jesus   Christ   as   Savior   and   Lord.   This   Gospel   is the central message of the Bible. American   Baptists   believe   that   the   Bible,   composed of    the    Old    and    New    Testaments,    is    the    divinely inspired   Word   of   God,   the   final   written   authority   and trustworthy    for    faith    and    practice.    It    is    to    be interpreted   responsibly   under   the   guidance   of   the Holy    Spirit    within    the    community    of    faith.    The primary   purpose   of   the   Bible   is   to   point   to   Jesus Christ, the living Lord of the Church. Although      Baptists      have      produced      numerous confessions   to   express   our   common   understandings of   Christian   faith,   we   hold   the   Scriptures,   the   Old and    New    Testaments,    as    our    final    authority.    We accept   no   humanly   devised   confession   or   creed   as binding. American   Baptists   affirm   that   God   is   sovereign   over all    and    that    this    sovereignty    is    expressed    and realized   through   Jesus   Christ.   Therefore,   we   affirm the   Lordship   of   Christ   over   the   world   and   the   church. We   joyously   confess   that   Jesus   Christ   is   Savior   and Lord.   We   are   called   in   loyalty   to   Jesus   Christ   to proclaim    the    power    of    the    Holy    Spirit,    the    Good News   of   God’s   reconciling   grace,   and   to   declare   the saving   power   of   the   Gospel   to   every   human   being and    to    every    human    institution.    We    celebrate Christ’s   charge   to   “make   disciples   of   all   nations”   and to   bear   witness   to   God's   redeeming   reign   in   human affairs. American   Baptists   are   summoned   to   this   mission   in common   with   all   Christians.   With   the   whole   body   of Christ,   we   also   believe   that   God   has   been   revealed in   Jesus   Christ   as   in   no   other,   and   that   “God   was   in Christ     reconciling     the     world     to     Himself”     (2 Corinthians   5:18).   We   anticipate   the   day   when   every creature   and   all   creation,   on   earth   and   beyond,   will confess   that   Jesus   Christ   is   Lord   (Philippians   2:10- 11).    God    has    given    this    particular    community    of believers    called    Baptists    a    distinctive    history    and experience.   As   we   share   in   common   with   Christians everywhere,    so    Baptists    everywhere    celebrate    a common heritage. THEREFORE With   Baptist   brothers   and   sisters   around   the   world, we believe: That   the   Bible   is   the   final   authority   and   trustworthy for    faith    and    practice.    It    is    to    be    interpreted responsibly   under   the   guidance   of   God’s   Holy   Spirit within the community of faith; That     the     Church     is     a     gathered     fellowship     of regenerated     believers,     a     sign     of     the     coming universal reign of God; That    the    freedom    to    respond    to    the    Lordship    of Christ   in   all   circumstances   is   fundamental   to   the Christian gospel and to human dignity; and That   witness   to   Christ   is   the   ongoing   task   of   every Christian and of every church. Within   the   larger   Baptist   family,   American   Baptists emphasize   convictions   which   direct   our   special   task and ministry. We   affirm   that   God   through   Jesus   Christ   calls   us   to be: A     Redeemed     People     who     claim     a     personal relationship   to   God   through   Jesus   Christ;   who   follow the    Lord    in    believer’s    baptism;    who    gather    as    a believer’s    church;    who    share    in    the    meal    of    the kingdom   known   as   the   Lord’s   Supper;   who   honor   the priesthood   of   all   believers;   and   who   live   their   faith as visible saints. A    Biblical    People    who    affirm    the    centrality    of Scripture   in   our   lives;   who   pursue   the   study   of   God’s inspired   Word   as   a   mandate   for   faith   and   practice; and   who   seek   the   guidance   of   the   Holy   Spirit   for   the understanding    of    Scripture,    while    respecting    the common     interpretation     of     Scripture     within     the community of believers. A   Worshiping   People   who   gather   regularly   to   praise God;   who   receive   nourishment   by   communion   with the    Risen    Christ;    who    share    an    open    and    public confession   of   faith;   and   who   believe   that   personal devotion brings vitality to corporate celebration. A    Mission    People    who    strive    to    fulfill    the    Great Commission   to   make   disciples;   who   invite   persons   to receive   salvation   and   follow   Christ;   who   engage   in educational,   social,   and   health   ministries;   who   seek justice   for   all   persons;   and   who   provide   prayer   and financial    support    to    sustain    a    worldwide    mission outreach. An   Interdependent   People   who   affirm   the   Church’s unity   as   given   in   Jesus   Christ;   who   gladly   embody   in our   practice   the   ministry   of   the   whole   people   of   God; who   recognize   God’s   gifts   for   ministry   and   honor   all offices    of    pastoral    ministry;    who    live    and    work together   “in   association”;   and   who   bring   the   free church    tradition    to    cooperative    and    ecumenical Christianity. A   Caring   People   who   care   for   the   needy,   the   weak, and   the   oppressed;   who   care   for   the   earth   and   for all its creatures. An    Inclusive    People    who,    gifted    by    a    variety    of backgrounds,   find   unity   in   diversity   and   diversity   in unity;   who   embrace   a   pluralism   of   race,   ethnicity, and   gender;   and   who   acknowledge   that   there   are individual differences of conviction and theology. A   Contemporary   People   who   have   a   remembrance for   the   past   and   a   vision   for   the   future;   who   are committed   to   religious   liberty   and   to   the   separation of   church   and   state;   who   call   our   present   world   to make   Jesus   Christ   Lord   of   all   life;   and   who   trust   the Holy    Spirit    for    insight    and    power    to    live    in    the present age. We further believe That God has called us forth to such an hour as this; That we live with a realizable hope; That all things are held together in Christ; That   all   creation   will   find   its   ultimate   fulfillment   in God; That we shall see the One whose we are; and That Jesus shall reign forever and ever.

Our Beliefs