SANCTITY OF LIFE STATEMENT

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1 Community Presbyterian Church Danville, California SANCTITY OF LIFE STATEMENT The Session of Community Presbyterian Church affirms the sacred value and purpose God has for each human life. Our stand for life leads us to deplore injustice of any kind and any practice which devalues human life. We are committed to the sanctity of life of the unborn child; all victims of abortion; the protection of children from infanticide, exploitation, and any other abuse; the homeless and hungry; the mentally ill; the sick, including the neglect and alienation of people suffering with AIDS; victims of substance abuse; neglect and abuse of the elderly; prisoner rehabilitation; and the ultimate issue of salvation for all people through Jesus Christ. We are convinced that the sacred value of the family from its biblical source is essential to recovering respect for the value of individual human lives. God has ordained the family as the basic social unit of human institutions to propagate, protect, and nurture human life. We commit ourselves to the strengthening and support of the family in its important work. To accomplish these ends, we seek to maintain a vital personal relationship with God, our Father, and to live in obedience to the truth revealed in His Holy Word. The Session entreats its brothers and sisters in Christ to join in a season of prayer as we seek renewal and deeper personal and corporate accountability to God and each other. We acknowledge that faithful biblical Christians may differ in opinion on these issues. As we study God's Word and pray for His guidance, may we continue to learn, dialogue, and grow as brothers and sisters in Christ. We desire to maintain an atmosphere of unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness in which spiritual, emotional, and relational healing can occur to the glory of God.

2 Community Presbyterian Church Danville, CA Sanctity of Life References Deuteronomy 30:19; 20:13 Genesis 9:6; Jeremiah 7:6, 22:3, 17; Exodus 20:13, 23:7; Deuteronomy 27:24-25; Proverbs 6:16-17; Amos 1:13-14; Matthew 18:14 Psalm 71:6; 127:3; Matthew 19:14 Exodus 4:11; Isaiah 45:9-11; Romans 9:20-21 Corinthians 1:27 Genesis 2:21-24 Genesis 9: 1,5 II Timothy 2:12 Matthew 5:23-24 John 13: Stated Purpose of Community Presbyterian Church

3 WITNESS FOR BIBLICAL MORALITY SESSION RESOLUTION We, the Session of Community Presbyterian Church of Danville, California, resolve and declare that we seek to be a church committed to follow Biblically revealed standards of moral thought, behavior, and relationships within our homes and church, God helping us. Believing that: "Christian marriage is an institution ordained of God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, established and sanctified for the happiness and welfare of mankind, into which spiritual and physical union one man and one woman enter, cherishing a mutual esteem and love, bearing with each other's infirmities and weaknesses, comforting each other in trouble, providing in honesty and industry for each other and for their household, praying for each other, and living together the length of their days as heirs of the grace of life." (Westminster Confession of Faith); "Because the corruption of man is apt unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage, and because the Church is concerned with the establishment of marriage in the Lord as Scripture sets it forth, and with the present penitence as well as with the past innocence or guilt of those whose marriage has been broken; therefore as a breach of that holy relation may occasion divorce, so remarriage after a divorce granted on grounds explicitly stated in Scripture or implicit in the gospel of Christ may be sanctioned in keeping with his redemptive gospel, when sufficient penitence for sin and failure is evident, and a firm purpose of and endeavor after Christian marriage is manifest." (Westminster Confession of Faith,): and "The relationship between man and woman exemplifies in a basic way God's ordering of the interpersonal life for which he created mankind. Anarchy in sexual relationships is a symptom of man's alienation from God, his neighbor, and himself... The church, as the household of God, is called to lead men out of this alienation into the responsible freedom of the new life in Christ. Reconciled to God, each person has joy in and respect for his own humanity and that of other persons; a man and woman are enabled to marry, to commit themselves to a mutually shared life, and to respond to each other in sensitive and lifelong concern; parents receive the grace to care for children in love and to nurture their individuality. The church comes under the judgment of God and invites rejection by man when it fails to lead men and women into the full meaning of life together, or withholds the compassion of Christ from those caught in the moral confusion of our time." (The Confession of 1967)

4 We do now call ourselves and our congregation to a life that: 1. Respects all family members in an atmosphere of love, forgiveness, and grace and so avoids any kind of abuse of children, spouses, and/or parents; 2. Confirms God's intention for humanity that those who enter into marriage shall seek in mutual love and respect to live, one man and one woman, in Christian fidelity as long as both shall live; 3. Fulfills God's design for the gift of sexuality to be exercised and enjoyed only within the covenant relationship of Christian marriage of one man and one woman; 4. Acknowledges God's expectation that the unmarried shall live a pure and celibate life refraining from sexual intimacy, whether such perceive his/her sexuality to be inclined toward heterosexuality or homosexuality; 5. Obeys the voice of God to extend the privilege of ordination to church office only to repentant sinners, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and to withhold this ordination privilege from the unrepentant whose practice of sexual sin prevents their manner of life from being "a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world"; Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, ruling elders, or teaching elders. 6. Extends to all who sin in failing to keep these revealed standards of God regarding family abuse, Christian marriage, human sexuality, celibate continence, and ordination to church office that same forgiving love that the father extended to the prodigal son, and that same costly grace which Christ himself extended to the woman taken in adultery when he said to her: "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." (Approved by Session 4/11/1991) Revised 5/2013

5 Community Presbyterian Church Position Women and Men Serving Together in Ministry Community Presbyterian Church (CPC), Danville, has long embraced the fact that the Holy Spirit gives Spiritual gifts to women and men equally. For decades women and men have served together in areas of leadership throughout the church, as volunteers leading ministries, as elders and deacons guiding and serving our body and as ordained pastors shepherding our congregation. Through the years CPC has taught and modeled our belief that God expects all believers in Christ to use their Spiritual gifts to further His Kingdom. The basis for CPC s position is biblical, not cultural. Both the Old Testament and New Testament contain significant scriptural examples of women and men serving in ministry in noteworthy leadership positions. Old Testament texts address women and men serving in ministry together 1 New Testament texts present a view about women in leadership that is counter - cultural to the predominant view of women in ancient societies. Jesus' attitude and practice about women was in direct contradiction to that of his contemporaries. 2 The Book of Acts clearly and consistently documents the newfound freedom and role of women in Christ and in the founding of the early Church. 3 The ministry of women is explicit in the writings of Paul with the exception of a few passages that require deeper understanding of their context. 4 While a few scriptures on the surface appear to contradict the position of women in leadership they are not persuasive when examined within the context of the issues of the times that the writer was addressing. 5 These select texts are in direct conflict with the many examples of women in leadership found elsewhere in the Old and New Testament. The Session of CPC maintains that God s calling to ministry and leadership is a privilege to which many, both women and men, are called and we believe and commit to the following values: To provide opportunity for ministry at all levels, including teaching and ruling elders and deacons, based on giftedness, character, and calling without regard to gender. To pursue the kind of purity and loyalty in relationships between women and men that led New Testament writers to describe them in terms of family; brothers and sisters. To be intentional in overcoming sexist elements in our culture and to offer encouragement to women in areas where their giftedness has been traditionally discouraged. To teach and model these values to members of our community, to the church, and to the world at large. To further study about the biblical foundation for CPC s position, refer to our more complete examination of the scriptures found in the attached paper A Biblical & Theological Basis for Women and Men Serving Together in Ministry. 1. Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 38:8 and 1 Samuel 2:1-10; (Exodus 15:20,21 and 2 Kings 22:14-20; Judges 4-5; Joel 2: John 4; Mark 15:40, 41 and Luke 8:1-3; Luke 10:38-42; Matthew 28:7 3. Acts 1: 14; Acts 8:3; Acts 17:12, Acts 2:17-21; Acts 21:9 4. Galatians 3:28; Romans 16:1, 2; Romans 16:3; Acts 18:26; Romans 16:6; Romans 16: 12; Romans 16:7 ; Philippians 4:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 11: Timothy 3:1-7, 1 Corinthians 14:34-36, I Timothy 2:8-11, Approved

6 A Commitment to Maintaining Peace and Unity Within the Leadership and Membership of Community Presbyterian Church As a healing community of forgiven sinners, we love one another toward spiritual, personal and relational wholeness. One way we seek to accomplish this is by our commitment to maintaining a culture of peace within CPC that reflects God s peace and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. We believe the Scriptures call us to live in peace and to practice peacemaking as followers of Christ. We also rely upon the Holy Spirit to guide us as we seek to reconcile broken relationships. In this way we seek to glorify God with our thoughts, feelings and actions and to preserve our witness for Jesus Christ. To further the peace and unity of our church and maintain a culture of peace, we expect that the leadership and members of CPC commit to the following biblical principles of behavior: 1. If we have a problem with someone, or if we think someone may have something against us, we will talk with that individual. We will not talk about them with others. We will refrain from all gossip and talking behind the back of the person with whom we have a problem. (Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 18:15; Proverbs 16:28). 2. We will overlook minor offenses. If an offense is too serious to overlook, or if we think someone may have something against us, we will go promptly to that person to seek reconciliation. (Ephesians 4:32; Proverbs 19:11) 3. When someone comes to correct us, we will ask God to help us see ourselves as others may see us. We will acknowledge our part in the dispute or conflict and resist being prideful and defensive.(matthew 7:3-5; Ephesians 4:2-3; I John 1:8-9; Proverbs 15:32) 4. When others come seeking forgiveness and reconciliation, we will graciously enter into that process and ask God to give us the grace to forgive them as he has forgiven us. (Romans 12:10; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13-14; James 3:17-18; I Peter 3:8-9) 5. When we have attempted and failed to resolve a conflict privately, we will use the conflict resolution and healing resources offered by CPC. We will listen to their counsel and submit ourselves to the discipline of the church. (Matthew 18:16-17) To further the peace and unity of our church and maintain a biblical culture of peace we also expect that the leadership of CPC (pastoral staff, elders, deacons and ministry heads) adhere to the following biblical principles: 1. The goal of church discipline is to build up the Body of Christ, to restore, not to punish its members. (Book of Order, D1.0102; I Corinthians 12:12-26) 2. Leadership is responsible for proactively addressing conflict when it becomes an issue at CPC. (Galatians 6:1; Philippians 2:1,2) 3. When individuals resist reconciliation, as defined by an agreed upon plan, leadership will employ progressive discipline up to and including asking people to step down from leadership. (Galatians 5:19-23; Titus 3:1-2; Romans 13:1) I agree with these commitments to peace and unity and to following the biblical principles that guide them. Signed Date

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