Who We Are
The First Presbyterian Church of Ithaca is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It belongs to to the Reformed tradition of Christianity, which means we are always trying to be open to the new ways God is calling us to respond. It means we want to keep up with what God is doing in the world and be a part of it.
We believe our congregation’s ministry is to share the Good News of God’s love in Jesus Christ, to nurture persons along their spiritual journey, to worship and learn together, and to seek peace and justice in the world in as many ways as we can.
Presbyterians believe more heads are better than one and God’s spirit has a chance to move more often and more clearly as people work together to lead the ministry of the church. We elect elders to a Session, which is the body that sets policy in a Presbyterian church (like the representative government of the USA). Our Session convenes committees to accomplish the work of the church. Some address core ministries; others are responsible for ministries that address current, short-term concerns, and interests of our congregation. In addition, the congregation also elects the Deacons (the serving, shepherding ministry), and “calls” (selects) its pastors.
We are a connectional church. That means we are part of the larger church organized into presbyteries (churches in a geographical area that do mission together and support one another), synods (groups of presbyteries for mission), and a general assembly of all Presbyterian (USA) churches (for mission, social witness, and oversight of the ministries of all the above).