Presbyterian Beliefs

Our Presbyterian Identity

At PCUM, our calling as a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is to tell and show — through worship, learning, mutual care and service to others — the Good News that, in Jesus Christ, a God whose identity is love comes close to all who struggle with isolation, injustice and questions of self-worth.


For our Reformed branch of Protestant Christianity, the God who created everything takes the initiative by reaching out in Christ to each of us and to a broken world.  The gifts God offers are salvation abundant life that come from being in relationship with God, as well as the vision of peace and justice for all people. For Presbyterian Christians, living a "good life," believing the right way, or even working for a better world do not provide the relationship with God that gives human life meaning and purpose. Only God can do that, and that is exactly what God does!

At PCUM, our entire life of faith and ministry is simply our grateful, committed response to that reality. To follow and grow closer to God, Presbyterians value education and an informed, lovingly-critical engagement with the real world and with God's authoritative Word in the Bible's Old and New Testaments.

Member of the Presbytery of Northest New Jersey

The Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair (PCUM) is a member of the Presbytery of Northeast, NJ, a collaborative and mutually-supportive group of urban and suburban Presbyterian congregations serving Jesus Christ in the Greater Newark, New Jersey area.


Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

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The Lord's Supper

At PCUM the Lord's Supper, or Communion, is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month and at other special times in the church's life.  One of two sacraments (the other is Baptism), the Lord's Supper is an outward sign, in broken bread and poured-out cup, of Christ's gift of love to the world in his broken body and shed blood on the cross, and of the victory of that love on Easter Sunday.

communion - Advent

In the Presbyterian tradition, trust (faith) in that love above all else and the desire to be reconciled to God and neighbor are all that are necessary to come into Christ's real spiritual Presence at the Lord's Table.  Thus Communion is normally open to anyone who has been baptized, in any Christian faith tradition.  And because none of us is able to understand or earn what God offers us freely, baptized children of any age, who are being nurtured in the significance of the Lord's Supper at their level of understanding, are invited to take their rightful place at the Table.

We Presbyterians believe that the Lord's Supper is a joyous family meal presided over by Christ, who loves and welcomes us as we are.  What a great message of Good News for us--at any age!  At PCUM, appropriate instruction in the meaning of Communion is provided to children of all ages in our vibrant Church School program.  With that support, parents determine the best time for their child(ren) to begin participating in the Lord's Supper with their wider church family.