What We Believe“Best of all, God is with us.” — John Wesley
We are a United Methodist Church, with foundational beliefs similar to most Christian communities. At the same time we have distinctive Methodist understandings and local values that are important to us. This short publication is meant to give you an overview, but the best way to understand what we believe is to get involved in worship, fellowship, small groups, and service. If you read this and have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. No question is too big or small.
You may also want to go to www.umc.org to explore further about The United Methodist Church.
BELIEFS WE SHARE WITH MOST CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES
God. We affirm that God is One and indivisible, yet we also experience God as being revealed in three distinct ways traditionally called the Trinity. The traditional words are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We also use the words Creator, Spirit and Savior. God is over and beyond all, and yet also here with us. God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and yet allows humans to make their own choices. God is infinite, forgiving, just, loving, merciful…and more. Sometimes we use metaphors from the Bible: God is Father, Shepherd, Judge, and Light. In truth, we realize that God is beyond our ability to fully know or fully describe.
JESUS. We believe that Jesus is God’s Son who is sent to bring all people into relationship with God. In Jesus we see that God’s love is sacrificial, forgiving, inclusive, and un-ending. Through Jesus, our sins are forgiven and we receive salvation.
THE BIBLE. We believe that the Bible is the revealed Word of God and as such we seek to put it to work in our lives. We read it, study it, discuss it, and prayerfully ponder it as a means of understanding God’s desires for us today. The Bible is our primary source for faith understanding. We also utilize the tools of reason, experience, and tradition to help us live faithful lives.
DISTINCTIVE UNITED METHODIST UNDERSTANDINGS
Grace: We emphasize the grace of God. We believe that God desires to be in relationship with all people. When we respond to God’s invitation, or to the spiritual nudges that bring us to explore faith, we grow in understanding and love of God. We also grow in understanding and love of ourselves, others and the whole created world. Through God’s grace we are able to live life abundantly today, grow in faith and love throughout our lives, and be assured that we will receive eternal life after death.
The invitation to relationship with God is never withdrawn, no matter how long we wait to respond and no matter what we have done in our lives.
• Lifestyle. We believe that our faith affects the way we live. We are called to love all people, we are to live in ways that uphold the common good, and we are to work together for justice and mercy. We are to be good stewards of the earth, its resources, and all living things. We are not expected to be perfect, rather we are called to grow in our faithfulness throughout our lives.
• Science: We believe that reason is a good gift from God so that science and faith are not opposed to one another. In fact, they inform one another and help us to see the wonder of God’s world and how it came to be.
• Baptism. Through Baptism we are initiated into the family of Christ. This once in a lifetime gift marks the official beginning of our journey of discipleship and is open to people of all ages. When we are baptized God gives us the gift of the Spirit to dwell within us. As a Christian church, we recognize the baptisms of all Christian traditions and do not practice re-baptism.
• Communion. We understand the communion table to be Christ’s table open to anyone who seeks to receive his grace. Our cups are filled with grape juice so no one is excluded. If parents prefer, children can come forward for a blessing from our pastor. Gluten-free communion wafers and juice are available for those with special dietary needs.
OUR LOCAL VALUES
We seek to be a traditional church for this modern world, much as the first disciples formed the church for the ancient world. As such, we believe that the Christian faith is something to be excited about and engaged in practicing. We believe that the faith community plays an important role in helping us grow in faith and provides opportunities to serve together as the Body of Christ in the world. We believe that we are called to love and serve others here, near, and around the world.
You are invited to be a part of this Christian community. We welcome all people as occasional visitors, friends who visit regularly, and as members.
“I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.”