What We Believe

The Trinity
We believe God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that God is a being of unimaginably wonderful power, goodness, and love. Psalm 118:1, Psalm 145:1–9, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14


We believe the world exists because God created it, that it belongs to God and therefore we should cherish and care for it. Genesis 1:1, Psalm 24:1–2, Isaiah 40:25–26, 1 Corinthians 10:26


We believe all human beings have dignity because they were created by God in God's own image, and great worth because they are valued by God beyond our ability to measure. 

Genesis 1:27, 31, Psalm 8:3–6, John 3:16, Romans 5:8


We believe this world also has pain and suffering because human beings have fallen and sinned, and are estranged from God, from each other, from ourselves, and from creation. 

Genesis 3:17, Romans 3:23, Colossians 1:21, Titus 3:3


God's Redemptive Plan
We believe God does not intend for sin and suffering to get the last word, but is at work to redeem and reconcile what God has made. Isaiah 11:6–9, Colossians 1:21–23, Revelation 21:1–5


We believe God is expressed uniquely in Jesus Christ, God's Son, who lived, taught, died, and rose again for our sake. Jesus is our master, teacher, savior and friend, and now reigns forever with God. 

John 14:6–7, Acts 2:32, 1 Corinthians 15:3–4, Ephesians 2:13,Colossians 1:15–20, Philippians 2:5–11, 1 Timothy 2:5–6

The Bible
We believe God is revealed in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, which are our unique and authoritative guides in faith and action. Matthew 4:4, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16–17


The Holy Spirit
We believe the Spirit of God is now available so we can be closer to God than the air we breathe.

John 14:26, Acts 1:8,Romans 8:26, Galatians 3:14, Ephesians 1:13–14


The Church
We believe the Church is the community through which God wants to bring love, healing, and growth to the human race, to which God invites everyone who is willing to follow Jesus to join. Matthew 18:18–20, John 1:12–13, Acts 1:8, Galatians 3:28, 1 Peter 2:9


We live in hope because one day Jesus will return, love and justice will prevail, and God will set the world right. Matthew 24:30–31, Luke 12:40, Romans 8:37–39, Revelation 21:1–5

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

The word "Presbyterian" comes from the ancient New Testament Greek word for "Elder" (presbuteros).  We are a church governed by volunteer church members who are elected by the congregation to lead the church along with the pastor.  This system is in contrast to Roman Catholic, Episcopal and Methodist churches which have professionally educated bishops who direct the local churches.  Local Presbyterian churches are free to hire and change their own pastors at their discretion.  

There are many Presbyterian denominations in the world but MPC belongs to America's oldest, the Presbyterian Church USA which is intentionally divided into regions called Synods.  Synods are further broken down into local Presbyteries which are like districts.  MPC belongs to the Synod of the Pacific and the Presbytery of Stockton.  

Our theology is based on the Bible, and also how people throughout history have applied the Bible to their lives.  During the 1500's when various groups were reforming the medieval Catholic practices, John Calvin was often credited with writing his understanding of the Bible that came to be known as "Reformed" theology.  His knowledge of the Bible and church history became a watershed moment for the church.  Later in Scotland, John Knox help solidify the theological ideas into a practical working system of checks and balances that was brought to America with Scottish immigrants. 

Our theological tradition is overwhelmingly compatible with most other Christian traditions.  We practice only two sacraments, baptism and communion.  In the few places that the PC(USA) may differ from other traditions, our congregation would rather have open doors with safe discussion, than cloister ourselves away or retort with condemning language those with whom disagree with us.  We hold our tradition loosely, always appreciating the uniqueness of our history, but being open to the Holy Spirit's guiding us today in Manteca.