|FPC, Lowville, NY|
So, in bringing this series to a close, I thought it might be helpful to take a peek at the official Presbyterian understanding of the church. The following paragraph is taken from our denominational constitution, the Book of Order. Under the heading of "The Great Ends of the Church," it says,
"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." (Book of Order 2009/2011)The church has five tasks: evangelism, fellowship, worship, teaching, and service—all directed to the end that we might show our neighbors what it means to live in faith, what the world might be like if we all did. That is a pretty good list and a worthy reason for churches to be. They might even give reason for another series of postings on what it means to be the church—eventually.