Darnestown Presbyterian Church is a founding member of the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington, launched by several Presbyterian churches as a means of promoting understanding and deepening appreciation of the Reformed tradition. The Institute seeks to support churches and all those studying this tradition through its educational offerings and diverse programs. Its company of Teachers provides a rich resource for our region, and DPC continues to participate in the Institute’s work as a sponsoring member. As stated on the Institute’s web site, http://www.reformedinstitute.org,
Believing that God gives human beings minds to develop to the fullest of their ability, Reformed Christians have always prided themselves on their respect for knowledge and learning. But they have also believed that God expects human beings to use the knowledge and skills they acquire to be of service in the world. In keeping with those convictions, the Institute seeks to fulfill its mission in a way that combines reliable, up-to-date information about the history of the Reformed tradition with a concern for the challenges currently facing Christians in the performance of their ministry. The Institute aims to equip those who make use of its offerings with a clear understanding of what it means to be Reformed, and to help them make creative use of the Reformed tradition's resources in addressing contemporary problems and concerns.
Although the Institute was founded by churches of the PCUSA, its work is not premised upon any single view of the nature of Reformed belief and practice. Thus, the Institute states that it “is committed to making its audience aware of the fullness of the Reformed tradition, and in the process, enabling them to appreciate that mainstream American Presbyterianism in its current form is part of a much larger -- and quite diverse -- movement with a global reach. One goal of the Institute is to make clear that the Reformed tradition has to do with much more than just matters that are of ecclesiastical concern. Thus, the Institute states, “The worldliness of Reformed Christianity means that the tradition it has spawned has to do every bit as much with worldly concerns -- politics, economics, culture, etc. -- as it does religious ones, and the Institute aims to do justice to that part of the Reformed heritage as well in its work.” In supporting the Institute’s objectives, DPC’s pastor and one elder sit on the Board of the Institute, and DPC members have participated in several of the Institute’s year-long lay theological colloquies. We invite all who are interested in learning more about this rich heritage to explore the Institute’s website, to take advantage of its programs and attend courses or the annual convocation. For further information about DPC’s involvement in the Institute, contact the church office or a pastor.