Why A New Church for Oneonta?
Jesus Christ has commissioned his people everywhere to work together to proclaim the good news of his victory over death through his resurrection, and to help people become his followers. The most effective way to do this is in the context of a local church full of people that love God, love each other, and love their neighbors. This is precisely what we intend to build here in Oneonta.
While we are passionate about maintaining unity with Gospel-centered churches in the area, we seek to press into our distinctives in order to build a different kind of community and worship experience. Honestly, we seek to return to Christianity's most basic and historical worship style.
At first, visitors will notice that our worship services are simplified and stripped down in order to facilitate Godly worship as instructed in the Bible. We are intentionally minimalistic and cut everything down to the bare essentials of Christian worship.
No more, no less.
So, together we read the Bible, sing the Bible, preach the Bible, pray the Bible, see the Bible (in the sacraments of baptism and communion), and give according to the teachings of the Bible. During the week, we study the Bible together. This is all because the Bible is the very Word of God, which points us toward the reality of our great need for a Savior, and the provision of the Great Savior for our need.
Furthermore, we are currently Oneonta's only Reformed Presbyterian worship option:
Our theological heritage lies in the work of the Protestant Reformation which spread throughout the world starting in the 16th century.
We uphold the teaching of Scripture as our primary authority, and celebrate the doctrinal priorities set forth by the Reformers:
Scripture Alone. Grace Alone. Faith Alone. Christ Alone. To the Glory of God Alone.
The word, "Presbyterian" refers to the structure of government that our church operates under; namely, a plurality of qualified elders who care for our members. Furthermore, our local session of elders are held accountable by our Presbytery, the Atlantic Presbytery of the RPCNA.
Another major distinctive that we hold as Presbyterians is the baptism of believers in Christ, and their children (Acts 2:38-39).
The Church is the gathering of followers of Christ throughout all times and places. We are a local expression of this gathering in Oneonta, NY as we assemble for weekly worship, Bible study, outreach efforts, fellowship opportunities and more.
Our goal is to "stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
FOR CHRIST'S CROWN AND COVENANT
Our logo design is an attempt to pay homage to our unique theological heritage with the Scottish Covenanters, who marked themselves by a blue banner inscribed with the words: "For Christ's Crown and Covenant".
"The Blue Banner dates back to our spiritual ancestors of the Protestant Reformation. Reformed believers (known as Covenanters) insisted on “the crown rights of King Jesus,” which brought them into conflict with those who supported “the divine rights of kings.” The blue banner bearing the motto “For Christ’s Crown and Covenant” originated in 1639 as a battle flag for these Covenanters.
During the period of most intense persecution (1680-1688), some 18,000 men, women, and children died in battle, were executed, killed without process of law, or exiled, for their faithfulness to ‘Christ’s Crown and Covenant.” Since the end of “the killing time,” the Blue Banner has continued to serve as a symbol of the Reformed faith. The Reformed Presbyterian Church is the continuation of the Covenanter church in Scotland, and treasures the testimony and heritage which God has given to it. The banner itself has no theological significance, but serves as a reminder of our commitment to the great truths of the Word of God."
source: Reformed Presbyterian Church of Shawnee