When It’s Time to Confess – Led by Pastor Dan

Beginning February 19th
Emmaus Classroom @ 9:00am

Confessions aren’t always about owning what we’ve done wrong. Sometimes in the Christian church, they’re about confessing (or professing) what we believe to be true. When the church faces particularly acute challenges, it sometimes identifies the moment as a “status confessionis” —a time when the church feels the need to clarify something essential about what it means to follow Christ or be the church. In such settings, a statement may be written to share such essential truths the church “confesses” to believe.

Confessions of Faith can take many forms: brief and poetic (Brief Statement of Faith, 1983), long and systematic theology (Westminster Confession of Faith, 2nd Helvetic Confession of Faith, etc.), or relatively brief affirmations and denunciations (Theological Declaration of Barmen). Whatever its form, to become an official confession of the PCUSA, it must go through an arduous and multi-year process, somewhat akin to passing an amendment to the US Constitution. Thus, the confessional statements in our Book of Confessions are ones that have gotten broad support over a broad swath of the church.

This class will draw from the book Presbyterian Creeds: A Guide to the Book of Confessions by Jack Rogers and from Dan’s travels to the European cities where seven of our twelve confessional documents were written.

The schedule will be as follows:

  • 2/19 – Session 1: What is a confession of faith?
  • 2/26 – Session 2: The Heidelberg Catechism (1563)
  • 3/5 – Session 3: The Second Helvetic Confession (1566)
  • 3/12 – Session 4: The Scots Confession (1560)
  • 3/19 – Session 5: The Westminster Confession of Faith & Catechisms (1647)
  • 3/26 – Session 6: The Theological Declaration of Barmen (1934)
  • 4/2 – NO CONFESSIONS CLASS (Palm Sunday Special Event)
  • 4/9 – NO CONFESSIONS CLASS (Easter Sunday)
  • 4/16 – Session 7: 20th Century Confessions – Confession of 1967, Belhar, Brief Statement of Faith
  • 4/23 – Session 8: 20th Century Confessions continued
  • 4/30 – NO CONFESSIONS CLASS (Mission Sunday)
  • 5/7 – Session 9: Is now a “Status Confessionis”? If so, what does the church most urgently need to say?

We invite you to join us for this study on Sunday mornings at 9:00am either in person or via the Zoom link below:

Meeting ID: 912 3591 2696

Password: 723266