We are the reformed church in america:
members and ministers, elders and deacons. We worship from the pews, from the pulpits, from our radios, and from computers. We come from all backgrounds and walks of life, from across the United States (and its territories) and Canada as well as from missionary locations around the world. We love our denomination and care deeply about its future. Recognizing that the Reformed Church in America has changed and will continue to do so, we commit to a readiness to join in the surprising and new work of the Holy Spirit as we build on the faithful work of our ancestors in proclaiming the Good News to the world, to the glory of God.
Our Mission, Vision, and Values
We are a covenant people whom God calls, claims, and forms within the church of Christ (Acts 3:25). Our mission--the church’s mission--is to glorify God by sharing the grace we have been given and witnessing to the koinonia of the Triune God, a communion that God intends for all people and creation.1
On this basis, we confess the essential unity of all Christians in one body, through one baptism, and in one Lord, and we actively seek the visible unity of the body of Christ, of which the RCA is just a small part (Eph. 4:5, Rom. 12:5).
Our identity as baptized Christians binds us together through the power of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:13). When we baptize a child, it is a moment shared by a community of covenant people. Baptism is a sign and seal of God’s promises to us in Christ and our promise to each other to support one another in fellowship, prayer, and service (Gal. 3:27).2 Through baptism and the Lord's Supper we are reminded that we are loved and we belong. Around Christ’s table, our relationships are strengthened and renewed through the power of the Holy Spirit; we find assurance of reconciliation, forgiveness, and healing as well as a new mandate to join God’s mission by sharing the Good News and inviting all--not least of all, the poor, the weak, the hungry, and the marginalized--to join in the banquet.3
In our mission to the world, we are called to serve through particular vocations--some as Minister of Word and Sacrament, some as Elder, some as Deacon, and all people through the diverse gifts that the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us for the common good. We are persons of various races and ethnicities, cultural and economic backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities, and diverse political perspectives, entrusted with a variety of gifts with which to serve the church and the world (I Peter 4:10).
We engage in the orderly mission and ministry of the church through our presbyterial polity, liturgy, shared confessions (Heidelberg, Dort, Belgic, and Belhar), and the Book of Church Order.4 Seeking to love God with our hearts, souls, and minds (Mt. 22:37), we actively engage in the deepening of our spiritual life and spiritual renewal so that the church can more effectively bear witness to God’s vision of abundant life for all (Jn. 10:10). In a world that is rife with division, we affirm the gift and obligation of working together to proclaim the gospel in word and in deed.5 As a church we commit to being the prophetic sign of the reign of God, a force for reconciliation, unity, justice, love, and God’s extravagant welcome.6
1 The Church: Towards a Common Vision, World Council of Churches (2013), 11.
3 Wording here is drawn from the 1988 consultation on Mission and Unity of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
6 That the church is “the prophetic sign of the kingdom of God” is made clear in the ecumenical (Reformed-Roman Catholic) statement The Church as a Community of Common Witness to the Kingdom of God, Report of the Third Phase of the International Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (1998- 2005).
Learn about who we are, how we came to be, and how you can add your name to the list of those who want to help move the Reformed Church in America forward.