Presbyterians share many beliefs with others in Christian denominations. The roots of the Presbyterian Church can be traced to the 16th-century French reformer John Calvin, often called the “father” of Presbyterianism. Among the themes we emphasize are God’s gracious sovereignty, God’s gift of bringing us into right relationship with God by faith alone in Jesus, the authority of Scripture to guide us in the knowledge of God and God’s good purposes for humanity, the importance of every member participating regularly in worship and in the life of the church community, and being good stewards in caring for all God has created.
Grace is a central Christian theme because the gospel story of Jesus is all about living in grace. Grace is God’s surprise gift of unmerited favor toward humankind as shown to us in Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and continuing presence with us through the Holy Spirit. By grace, God’s Spirit assures us that we are beloved children of God, that we have a place of belonging and growth in the Church community, and that we have a mission to become gracious and faithful witnesses in our world. Jesus cared deeply for the people he encountered. In following his way, we seek to make God's grace and good news (gospel) known in gentle and respectful ways.
People of many different cultural backgrounds and languages comprise the over 1000 Presbyterian congregations across Canada. We all look to the Bible to guide us in faith and life, to shine light on our lives so we can be honest and truthful before God and neighbor, and to help us recognize our lives in its pages … that its story is not only God’s story, but somehow our story as well. We celebrate the sacraments of baptism and communion that are visual expressions of the gospel and a reminder of God’s presence with us at all times and in all places.
Life is precious, and the road of life is often complicated and messy, with many voices vying for attention and many difficult choices to make. We desire to create a “safe space” for you during your time at UBC, where you may voice your thoughts, test out what you believe, grow in faith, strengthen friendships, practice love of neighbour, and journey together with those seeking to follow the way of Jesus in everyday life. Everyone, regardless of background, is invited to attend our events.