Respect Across Differences
We have a long-standing tradition of mutual respect for and by people all across the conservative/progressive spectrum, meeting one another wherever we are on our faith journeys and seeking to grow in communion together. In our Sunday worship, small groups and personal relationships we challenge and support one another as we seek to become mature Christians. Our congregation includes a number of teachers, engineers, musicians, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, tradespeople and professionals, along with members with rich life experience in community service, charitable work, and raising families. We cherish the hospitality our members display toward one another and toward visitors. We support one another both in times of challenges and celebration. We take seriously our mission of doing Christ’s work in the world. Our Sunday worship is built on Presbyterian traditions and liturgy, with diverse and blended features. Preaching, scripture reading and music are vital parts. Our choir, our praise band and various musicians bring energy and inspiration to worship. In addition to our Christian Education programs, small groups participate in Bible study, life-story sharing book discussion and other activities.
A former temporary pastor declared us "the kindest church in the Santa Barbara area." Come see!
Mission - Oriented
We are a mission-oriented church and seek to maintain a critical awareness of how well the church and the wider society serve “the least of these.” Locally we are active with Transition House, Community Kitchen, Isla Vista Youth Project, and Alzheimer’s Walk. For over 20 years we have offered a semi-annual "Love of God" retreat for youth from our church and wider community. We have a sister relationship with a Presbyterian church in Patriensa, Ghana. Donations from GPC helped build a bakery there, where a number of people are employed and which serves not only the local community but surrounding communities as well. Members of the Patriensa church have visited with us here more than once, and members of GPC have visited them in Ghana.
When we built our new sanctuary we sold a portion of our property at a below-market price to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Thirteen permanent housing units were built where a number of CP-affected people have found homes. Several of these residents have become active participants in our church.
We are a community of faith seeking to know and serve Jesus Christ and to do His work in the world with committed hearts, open minds and willing hands. We affirm these objectives:
- To create worship services that change lives by bringing the truth and power of God into everyday life through word, music, and prayer
- To touch children’s lives with the love and teachings of Christ through nursery care, Christian education, and the opportunity to participate in worshipful music, arts and service
- To offer Junior and Senior High youth joyful, engaging, and meaningful experiences that will give them a life-long Christian foundation
- To help people of the Congregation identify and use the gifts God has given them
- To inform, educate, and challenge the Congregation through classes and learning opportunities
- To care for each other especially in times of need and to celebrate with one another in times of joy
- To enrich our Christian identity by participating in dialog, community service and educational activities with members of other faiths and communities
- To be a Christian witness to our local community by participating in programs to provide food, labor, hospitality, and social services
- To share our faith with others through example and respectful evangelism, and to welcome them warmly to our church family
- To support mission causes around the world dedicated to peace, justice, healing, and social wellness.
We acknowledge that we are created in God’s world and that we are to be stewards of creation, for ourselves and for generations to come. We come from a wide array of theological backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives. Our common thread is that we have chosen to worship the Triune God together; to call each other family regardless of differences; to live and pray together and seek a common path forward as one body under Christ.