Our Beliefs

Since its beginnings in 1729, United Methodists have embraced the idea of “the ministry of all believers.” While pastors lead the churches, every United Methodist member is in ministry, supporting Christ and the church with their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

Following the example of their founder, John Wesley, United Methodists believe in “practical divinity,” combining faith with social action in profound and meaningful ways. Like other Christians, we believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and that each person is created in the image of God. United Methodists believe the church is an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today.

United Methodists are distinct in their emphasis on Christian living. We are noted for putting love into action. We embrace grace as the love and mercy given freely to people by God. While the church is governed by a Book of Discipline and guided by Social Principles, many United Methodists do not agree on some of the most pressing social issues of the day. This diversity of thought is often one of the church’s greatest strengths.

To help explore these differences in theology and ways of thinking about God, United Methodists look first to the Bible, then to illumination by tradition, enlivening by experience, and confirmation by reason. We also follow three general rules: do no harm by avoiding evil; do good of every possible sort; obey God by seeking wisdom and justice, and correcting oppression. For United Methodists, church is not a building, nor an event on Sunday morning. Church is a way of life.

 

UNITED METHODISTS BELIEVE

United Methodists affirm the historic Christian faith as summarized in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed.

We Believe in the Triune God, the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit

  • God the Father/Creator, who brings creation into existence, upholds and reveals the ways of life that make for peace and wholeness, and ever works to heal and transform life through the power of love.
  • God the Son, Jesus Christ, the firstborn of a new creation who through his life, death and Resurrection saves us and all creation from the power of sin and death.
  • God the Holy Spirit, who comforts, sustains, guides and empowers us to participate in God's life and mission in the world.

We Believe every person is a beloved child of God

  • Whom God created in God's divine image, with inherent worth and dignity.
  • Who confronts and suffers the distorting and destructive effects of sin in this life.
  • Whom God has reconciled in the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, defeating the powers of sin and death.
  • Whom God seeks to make holy and whole, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, transforming us into Chirstlikeness.

We Believe in the Church as the community called to be instruments of God's presence and coming reign in Jesus Christ

  • Where people worship God joyfully, proclaim God's Word faithfully and share the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion.
  • Where all people are welcomed and nurtured as God's sons and daughters.
  • Where people are initiated into Christ's body and nurtured toward Christian maturity through worship, prayer, study, fellowship and service.
  • Where the light of God's love, justice and peace exposes and overrules evil, injustice and sin.
  • Where we participate in God's mission of inviting, preparing and enlisting disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world and to follow the risen Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, into the hurting places of the world and among the outcasts and the forgotten.

We Believe in the Bible as God's revealed Word

  • Authoritative in matters of faith and practice.
  • Containing the story of God's mighty acts of salvation in creation, in faithful engagement with people through the ages and supremely in Jesus Christ.
  • The primary source for understanding the nature and purposes of God.
  • Interpreted in the power of the Holy Spirit present in the community of faith.

We Believe in the final triumph of God's reign of compassion, justice, generosity and peace

  • Anticipating the firstfruits made possible today through the power of the Spirit and the reign of Christ.
  • Discovering a renewed creation where sin, suffering and death are overcome and God's victory is complete.
  • Celebrating with all the faithful who are raised to live eternally in God's loving presence.
  • Extending God's love to the whole creation, with God's mercy redeeming all of God's works, all that God loves.

Bishop Kenneth L. Carter

 

 
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