Our parishes are part of the Church of Scotland, which in turn is part of the universal church. Our beliefs are sometimes expressed in the words of the creeds, which are simply statements of belief that have been crafted down through the ages. Though their actual words may vary, the core remains the same.
We believe in God the Creator, who made all things that exist, and made humankind to take care of everything else. He wanted to have a happy and fruitful relationship with the people he had made, asking them to see him as a loving parent and to relate to him as responsive children. The Garden of Eden and other early stories in the Bible tell us that human beings disobeyed God and decided to go their own way. That resulted in separation between human beings and between humans and God.
God tried in many ways to bring his people back into the loving relationship he had intended. Finally he sent Jesus, his Son, into the world as a human being, born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. Jesus’ purpose was to save the world and all its people by taking on himself the punishment due for their wrong-doing, thus setting them free to come back to God. The ‘punishment’ was death on a cross. This is called the Crucifixion. Jesus is often called ‘Christ’ or ‘the Messiah’, which means that he was the one God chose for this unique purpose, but as a human being, he was constantly misunderstood, rejected, reviled and finally was subjected to a humiliating criminal’s death.
During his life on earth, however, Jesus had attracted a good following of people, because of his teaching and his miracles. These people are called disciples of Jesus. They were grief-stricken at his death, but overjoyed when they saw him alive again three days later after what is called the Resurrection, when he rose again from the grave. Forty days later, after many people had seen him alive, Jesus finally left this world and went back up (ascended) to be with God in heaven. This is called the Ascension.
Ten days later, the disciples were hiding in Jerusalem, when God sent his gift of the Holy Spirit in the form of wind and tongues of fire; amazing power was breathed into the disciples, and they went out to do Jesus’ work - healing people, reconciling those whose relationships had broken down, speaking courageously to people about God’s love and how he wanted them to live. This was the birth of the Church.
We believe that Jesus gives all who follow him a rich, meaningful new life and we acknowledge that he is Lord (in charge of our lives) and Saviour (setting us free from all that can harm us). This is called the Good News (Gospel).
We believe that all Christians are organically one in that they serve the same Lord Jesus Christ.
Ultimately, we believe that death is not the end of life, but that God is preparing a wonderful new life for all believers that will last forever - better than anything we have yet experienced - in which we shall enjoy the happy relationship with him that he wanted us to have in the first place, in company with all our loved ones who have gone before us in the faith.