Whats Presbyterian ?

What it means to be Presbyterian?


We believe we are claimed by love by the living God and called to be disciples by the Holy Spirit, and we are committed to making an effective witness in the name of Jesus Christ.


Grounded in the biblical narrative and nourished by the Reformed tradition, we are challenged by the urgent and continually unfolding needs of our changing world.


Nurtured by the community of faith and empowered through prayer and praise, confession and thanksgiving, we are sent forth to heal the sick, to feed the hungry, to teach the Word of God, and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Our witness is expressed in crowded cities and remote villages, on suburban streets and family farms.

Our ministry is done through congregations where faith is lived out in daily work and worship, nurture and outreach. from the promise of birth to the last breath of the dying, our churches encircle people with care.


Our witness is expressed as we advocate mercy and show compassion, remembering the words of our Lord: Truly, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.

We seek reconciliation in our families, in our communities, among different races and ethnic groups, between women and men, old and young, rich and poor. We promote justice in the halls of government and in economic systems, and we strive for harmony among nations around the world.

Our ministry is shaped as we learn from Scripture and from our historical confessions, by the rich diversity within our family of faith and by examples of sacrifice and celebration in the church universal.

Through listening and learning, we build mission partnerships, sharing mutual empowerment which leads to an authentic missionary presence in today’s world and a prophetic vision of tomorrow.

Our witness is made throughout the whole world as we respond to Jesus Great Commission with new vigor and proclaim with bold actions and creative strategies that the Good News leads to abundant life in Jesus Christ.

We are the Presbyterian Church ( U.S.A. ), a covenant people- a servant people- a mission people. As responsible stewards, we joyfully return to the work of ministry a portion of the many blessings which God has entrusted to us. In doing so, we thankfully reflect upon our past and look with hope to a future when all Gods people will be one.

The Seal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The seal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a registered trademark. The seal is comprised of the symbol, the basic components of which are cross, scripture, a descending dove at the upper part of the cross, and flames on either side of the lower part of the cross, and the name of the denomination, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), encircles the symbol. It was designed by Malcolm Grear and Associates.

Each congregation and governing body may use the seal without receiving prior permission. Any other use requires prior approval by the Office of the General Assembly. Contact Bobbie Montgomery for more information.

If you have permission to use the seal, there are a number of versions available to download.

The seal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a symbolic statement of the church’s heritage, identity, and mission in contemporary form. Its power depends on both its simplicity and complexity, as well as its traditional and enduring qualities.

The basic symbols in the seal are the cross, Scripture, the dove, and flames. The dominant structural and theological element in the design is the cross — the universal and most ecumenical symbol of the Christian church. The cross represents the incarnate love of God in Jesus Christ and his passion and resurrection. Because of its association with Presbyterian history, the Celtic cross was chosen as a model for this contemporary rendering of the ancient symbol.


Integrated into the lower part of the design are flames which form an implied triangle, a traditional symbol of the Trinity. The flames themselves convey a double meaning: a symbol of revelation in the Old Testament when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and a suggestion of the beginning of the Christian church when Christ manifested himself to his apostles at Pentecost and charged them to be messengers of the good news of God’s love.

The triangle also suggests the nature of Presbyterian government, with its concern for Balance and order, dividing authority between ministers of the Word and laypersons and between different governing bodies. This understanding of the church was based in part on an important idea in Reformed theology, the covenant, which God establishes with people to affim God’s enduring love and to call us to faith and obedience to Jesus Christ.


Looking more closely at some of the visual components of the design, viewers may discover elements that seem to fuse with some of the more obvious theological symbols. In the shape of the descending dove, for example, one might also discern in the body of the bird, the form of a fish, an early Christian sign for Christ, recalling his ministry to those who hunger. For some, the overall design evokes the calligraphy of Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Others have seen a baptismal font or a communion chalice (cup).

In experimenting with the basic lines and shapes of the cross, the contour of a book began to emerge in the horizontal section, and the two center lines of the cross became the representation of an open book. This integration of the horizontal dimensions of the cross with the book motif highlights the emphasis which the Reformed tradition has placed on the role of Scripture as a means of knowing God’s word.


The slightly-flared shape of the Celtic cross also makes possible the transforming of the uppermost section into the shape of a descending dove. As a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the dove is intimately tied to the representation of the Bible, affirming the role of the Spirit in both inspiring and interpreting Scripture in the life of the church. The dove also symbolors Christ’s baptism by John and the peace and wholeness which his death and resurrection bring to a broken world.

Beneath the image of the book is the suggestion of a lectem or pulpit, which captures the important role of preaching in the history of Presbyterian worship.

prayer request

Submit a prayer request

Each Monday at 6:30pm, the Prayer Team at First United enters the church sanctuary to pray for the concerns of the people. We urge you to join us in praying for the prayer listing below.

If you would like to submit a confidential prayer request, please submit your request in the prayer request box or send it by email to info@fucprichmond.org

First United does not own the rights to the ecorded music or any music that is played. It is for worship and praise.

First United Presbyterian Church extends a heartfelt welcome to all visitors whether you are a first-time visitor or a regular visitor. Your presence at our worship service is deeply appreciated. We will keep you in prayer, and we extend an invitation to become a member of First United. If you are so led, please contact the Church Office at 804-321-5374. Elder Evalyn Page will connect you
with the Pastor, Rev. Mary Newbern-Williams.