We at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church are called by God’s grace to exist in the world as a community of faith grounded in Jesus Christ. In our corporate and personal life, we are called to bear witness to the transformative power of the Holy Spirit wherever we see it at work—in our personal lives, in our church, and in the life of the world. As a community formed by God’s grace, claimed by Jesus Christ, and sent by the Holy Spirit, we seek to support one another in love, live with joy, foster belonging, build community, practice hope, and offer healing in Christ’s name, to each other and to the world around us, near and far.

Our Vision

Worship is central to who we are as a Christian community, sustaining us, shaping us, nourishing us, and forming us as disciples of Jesus Christ for service in the world. As we continue to grow in membership and stewardship and as disciples and human beings, we will pursue a greater sense of inclusivity and belonging within this congregation and alongside our partners in ministry. We will actively encourage increased involvement in the spiritual formation, programmatic, and affinity group ministries of the church. We will actively encourage increased involvement with measurable growth in congregational participation and measured impact through our community and global outreach and mission. We will pursue and seek ministry initiatives that impact the common good and build up our community. We will be a mission church, building meaningful partnerships outside our walls and seeking to make an impact near and far for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Our Strategic Plan

In 2023, a Strategic Planning Committee was formed to compose a set of goals and strategies to guide our church over the next several years. In developing a plan, members of the congregation were challenged to reflect on where the church has been, where it is now, and where it should and can be over the next five years. The committee has been impressed by, and grateful for, the ways the congregation has celebrated the church’s strengths, identified challenges and opportunities with candor, and shared wonderful ideas for a bright future. From your input, a new mission statement was created (see above), and from that statement the following plan was derived.

What We Believe

Our identity is shaped by our faith in the Triune God, our reliance on Holy Scripture, our Reformed and Presbyterian heritage and our place in New Orleans. Our faith in Jesus Christ and reliance on Scripture is the foundation for the following beliefs:

• We believe worship is the central act of the people of God. Worship is highly participatory and is the hub from which prayer, study, service, stewardship, care for one another, fellowship, evangelism, and servant leadership emerge.

• We continually seek the will of God, believing that God is always offering people creative ways to serve in the church and in the world. We believe we must take risks as we respond to God’s challenges.

• Following the guidance of the Westminster Confession, we affirm that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience. We acknowledge that the Bible is a record of God’s continuing loving relationship with humanity, as well as a rich source of guidance for our lives.

• We believe that prayer is a dialogue with God that provides nourishment and strength for living. As we respond to God’s activity in the world and in our lives, we bring to God our deepest concerns and submit them to God’s sovereign will.

• We believe in a strong Christian Education program that will provide every child, youth and adult with a foundation in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, by which they can apply the teachings of the Bible to the practical situations of their lives, growing towards Christian maturity.

• We believe that every Christian is called to worship God regularly, to discover God’s love and God’s will and to demonstrate God’s love to others.

Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: they adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members. 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. Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these beliefs are:

• The sovereignty of God

• Justification by grace through faith

• The authority of scripture

• The priesthood of all believers

Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Click here to learn more about the theology of the Presbyterian Church (USA).