What We Believe


United Presbyterian Of Hornell

The Hornell United Presbyterian Church seeks to provide a nurturing, caring fellowship that promotes and celebrates the teachings of Jesus Christ through worship and action.  We seek to be a welcoming community of faith, open to all, reaching out to believer and non-believer alike.  We strive to use our diverse talents to spread the Good News, and to help those in need in our community and in wider world.


Presbyterians Principles

Presbyterians believe in a sovereign God.
Our worship is reverent and seeks to focus our hearts and minds on God. We believe God works in peoples’ hearts in God’s own timing and therefore we do not try to orchestrate the when’s and how’s of people’s salvation.
 The belief in a sovereign God is also foundational to the difficult and often misunderstood doctrine of predestination. God chooses us first and his choice and our response complete our salvation.

Presbyterians are formed and reformed by the Bible.
We believe in the Bible and use it as the unique and authoritative guide for how to live and what to believe. The sermons on Sunday try to explain and interpret the Bible 
with encouragement to read the Bible in one’s own devotional times as well as participation in group settings such as Sunday School and group Bible studies.

Presbyterians are a people of community.
We believe that you cannot live the Christian life effectively apart from other people. God has given us the church for our mutual support, correction, and encouragement. We need a relationship with other Christians in order to be all that God intends us to be. We want to do the work of Christ with other people. We believe God calls people to be connected with a local congregation and church membership is the way we recognize and celebrate that calling.

Presbyterians are a people of mission.
We believe that we cannot simply live in our own sheltered world. God has called us to take the gospel to the entire world. God has called us to exhibit the kingdom of Christ to our community. The Presbyterian Church sends missionaries into all corners of the globe, through the regular offerings of local churches. Our denomination has been instrumental in taking the gospel to many other countries in this century. Each local congregation participates in mission activities in its specific community, on a national level, and on a global scale. Presbyterians have always looked outside themselves and their own concerns to work to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission. Today the mission field is also in our own backyard as we seek to share the gospel with the almost 50% of Americans not connected with any local church.

Presbyterians are a people of the mind.
We believe that the mind is a terrible thing to waste. God has given us our minds as gracious gifts. Our reasoning faculties ought to be trained for the service of God. This is why ministers in the Presbyterian Church are held to the highest academic standards. It is why the training of elders and Sunday School teachers is so very important in the Presbyterian church. It is why we encourage everyone to grow in knowledge of the Bible, church history, theology, and an understanding of the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life.

Presbyterians have two sacraments.
The Presbyterian Church does not have many ceremonies and rituals.  We do not want to distract from the two most important ceremonies Christ left to the church, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We administer baptism to infants and children in anticipation of their faith and with the promise of parents to raise them in the “training and instruction of the Lord.” We administer the Sacrament of Baptism to adults upon their public profession of faith. The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is repeated often in the Presbyterian Church. Our congregation celebrates it on the first Sunday of every month. This ceremony reminds us, over and over, that we need the spiritual nourishment Christ brings to us and that Christ, our living Savior, is present with us, now and in the future.