Becoming a Member of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church
We are so glad you have decided to explore the possibility of joining our church.
We believe church membership is a vital and necessary step in becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church. Membership means professing your faith in Jesus with baptism; committing to worshipping, serving and growing together; participation in church leadership; and supporting our life together with financial giving and prayer.
The process of becoming a member at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church involves reading through this web page, taking your SHAPE assessment, filling out the information form, and attending the New Members Seminar.
This process, including these materials and the seminar, will help you understand and respond to the these four membership questions:
- Trusting in the gracious mercy of God, do you turn from the ways of sin and renounce evil and its power in the world? I do.
- Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Lord and Savior, trusting in his grace and love? I do.
- Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple, obeying his Word and showing his love? I will.
- Will you be a faithful member of this congregation giving generously of yourself and will you seek the fellowship of the church wherever you may be? I will.
Who is Jesus and what does it mean to be a Christian?
Most people today have heard of the name of Jesus. But who is he really? How can he make a difference in your life?
In the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the eternal Son of God uniquely entered human history and became a real human being, fully God and fully human. He is truly the Word of God (John 1:1-3) — that is, the perfect and culminating expression of God’s mind and heart, of God’s will and character — present in the intimate fellowship of the Holy Trinity from eternity and fully engaged with the Father in the work of creation and redemption.
Jesus Christ is God’s only mediator between God and humankind and God’s unique agent for the salvation of the world, accomplished through the death of Jesus on the cross.
In his death Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for sins —“the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
Scripture also describes the death of Jesus as a ransom or redemption from slavery (Mark 10:45); payment of a debt; a shepherd’s life given for his sheep; vicarious satisfaction of a legal penalty; victory over the powers of evil; a sacrificial substitution (Christ’s death for our death); an actual event through which a way is opened for human beings to be reconciled with a holy God; a way in which sins are covered, forgiven, and removed.
The death of Jesus is the historic event through which God has given us “the forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation out of sheer grace solely for the sake of Christ’s saving work.” (Heidelberg Catechism, 4.021)
On the sole basis of the finished work of Christ on the cross, sinners who confess Jesus as Lord are reconciled to a holy God and are participants in the resurrection of Christ.
We have been set free to live for God in holiness and joy.
Jesus is the perfect expression of what humanity was designed to be. Jesus is the supreme authority over every human authority, over the church, and over our individual moral choices. As Jesus said and we confirm: “I am the Way, The Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
The risen Lord Jesus Christ has been exalted to the place of honor beside God the Father. Jesus Christ the eternal Son, now Lord of heaven and earth, now advocating and interceding on behalf of the church.
As we eagerly and prayerfully anticipate that “he will come again to judge the living and the dead,” and to establish God’s righteous kingdom in fullness and perfection, we say, “Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
Do you want to make Jesus the center of your life? You can become a follower of Jesus today!
First, admit that you need Jesus in your life. Second, believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior. Third, commit to following Jesus. When we make this commitment, the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts by faith.
You can do this with a simple prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me. I admit that I’ve gone my own way, trying to control my own life. I need you. Jesus, I believe you died for my sin and rose again. Forgive me and make me your child. I commit my life to you and ask you to come into my heart. Holy Spirit, strengthen me and gift me so that I might become a fully devoted follower of Jesus. Amen.
If you have offered this prayer honestly to God, then you have just begun an amazing journey and are a part of God’s eternal Kingdom! You have been born again! Jesus assures us: “Whoever hears my word and believes in me has eternal life; they have crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).
If you have made this decision to follow Jesus, we’d love to hear from you and rejoice with you! You can contact any of our pastors and they would love to follow up with you.
Pastor Mike McClenahan, 858-509-2580 x1221, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Juan-Daniel Espitia, 858-509-2580 x1230, email@example.com
Pastor Jamie Nelson, 858-509-2580 x1451, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Candice Richey Womack, 858-509-2580 x1211, email@example.com
About Solana Beach Presbyterian Church
We are growing as an intergenerational community, a church of preschoolers to seniors. Our whole church worships together and serves together in local community service and global mission teams. We are inviting, welcoming, and connecting an increasing number of children, students, and their families into faith in Jesus and participation in our church. We want to be the best place for the whole family, especially on Sundays.
We are growing as a formational church. We invite people of all ages on a lifelong journey of becoming like Jesus for the sake of others. The majority of our adults, children, and students are in small groups with integrated sermon-based curriculum, creating natural conversations within families. We believe transformation takes place as we are in relationship with God and each other as family around God’s word.
We are growing as a missional community. Our time in worship, small groups, and service equips us to be sent into the places where we work, live, study, and play to build relational bridges to our life together and to invite others to follow Jesus. We demonstrate the love of Christ through personal relationships in our own neighborhoods, through the Senior Center, Casa de Amistad, Reality Changers, Pathways to Citizenship, and ministries with the homeless, foster families, creation care, international students, through global partnerships, and more.
Thank you for being a part of the family of our church and for supporting the ways that God is on the move at SBPC!
What is a Presbyterian?
HOW WE BEGAN
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him. Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other part of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is currently the largest Presbyterian group in this country.
HOW WE ARE GOVERNED
Presbyterians are distinctive in a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both pastor and church members. Ruling Elders and teaching elders (pastors) elected by the Congregation form Session, the governing body of the local church. Elders from churches in one region form the Presbytery. Elders from presbyteries across the country form the General Assembly. Deacons are members who are elected by the Congregation as officers of the church to lead ministries of care. Both men and women are called to participate in church leadership as ruling elders, deacons and pastors.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Much of what Presbyterians believe unites us with Christians all over the world and throughout history. These ten brief statements reflect our theological convictions based on scripture and our historic confessions within the Presbyterian tradition.
We believe in one God who exists in three persons--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—whom we worship as the living and true God.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:11
We believe Jesus was fully God and fully human and now is head of the Church and Lord over all creation. We believe Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin that separates us from relationship with God. And we believe he will come again to establish a new heaven and a new earth, and to reign for all eternity.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. Colossians 1:15-19
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is the power of God present in followers of Jesus to connect us in relationship with God and each other and to transform us more and more like Christ from the inside out, and empowers followers to continue God’s work in the
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (TNIV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)
We believe the scriptures are the inspired word of God and have authority in all areas of faith and life.
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (TNIV)
Humanity and Sin
We believe human beings were created in God’s own image in true righteousness and holiness, but because of our rebellion against God, we are separated from God’s abundant and eternal life.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. Ephesians 2:1-3 (TNIV)
Salvation by Grace
We believe salvation is a gift of God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus. We are forgiven and brought into relationship with God. We believe our salvation and sanctification are based entirely on God’s initiative and God’s grace--it is not primarily about our choice but God’s choice.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (TNIV)
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:4-7 (NIV)
We believe those who put their faith in Christ are spiritually united with Christ, enter into the new covenant where there is salvation and redemption and become members of the covenant community called the church.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 (TNIV)
Priesthood of all Believers
We believe all followers of Jesus, not just ordained ministers, are called to participate in the work of ministry, using their spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personalities and experiences to communicate the gospel in word and deed.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation… 2 Corinthians 5:18 (NIV)
We believe God has given to us bodies, abilities, gifts, possessions, resources, and money with the responsibility to extend the influence of God in the world.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1 (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1 (NIV)
We believe the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are signs of God’s grace and real presence within the community of faith.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 (TNIV)
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26 (TNIV)