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.
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, Casa Esperanza (a low-cost housing HUD project), Blood Bank, Isla Vista Youth Project, and Habitat for Humanity, and Alzheimer’s Walk. We have participated in Amor Ministries’house-building projects in Mexico. 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