| OUR CHRISTIAN BELIEFS |
When we refer to the Church, we aren’t talking about physical buildings, but a community of believers. We believe the church exists to be the body of Christ — the physical presence of Jesus Christ in the world. Every believer is a part of the body of Christ. Our primary aim is to do God’s will, and we strive to follow Jesus’ commandments to love God and to love our neighbors. We readily acknowledge that we are imperfect, but that through God’s forgiveness and grace, we can experience lives led with hope and joy.
We believe that God is a loving, forgiving parent, always waiting patiently to welcome us back when we stray. We believe that Jesus is the beloved Son of God who lived and died to show us how to live as children of God. We believe that the Holy Spirit is our constant link to God, offering support and guidance throughout our lives. We, as children of God, aim to welcome all, wherever they may be on their spiritual journeys. We invite all to grow together through reading scripture, worship, prayer, music, and service.
| OUR METHODIST HERITAGE |
We are proud to be part of the United Methodist Church. Methodism traces its roots back to John Wesley, an Anglican priest in the Church of England in the 1700s. John and his brother Charles intended to revitalize the church by forming small groups that met together regularly and followed a “methodical” pursuit of personal spiritual growth and a radical love of neighbor. Methodism first spread to Ireland and then to America where it officially became its own denomination in 1784. Methodists, as we are today, formed in 1968 after the merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church to become the United Methodist Church. Today, United Methodist membership stands at over 10 million worldwide.
United Methodists are evangelical, but moderates rather than fundamentalists. We value the intellect and modern science, while viewing the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith. Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but we also recognize the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, wrestle with difficult issues and do so with grace and compassion. We don’t always agree on the answers, and that’s okay.
United Methodists have long been known for our emphasis on personal faith, lived out in concrete ways in the world. For United Methodists, social consciousness has always gone hand in hand with faith. We support mission and justice work locally, regionally and
around the world.
As United Methodists, we celebrate two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. These are the two sacraments that Jesus instituted in the gospels.
Our United Methodist Emblem is the cross and flame logo, officially known as the denomination’s insignia. This symbol relates our church to God by way of the Trinity:
Christ (the cross) and the Holy Spirit (the flame). The flame has two other connotations: it suggests Pentecost when witnesses saw “tongues as of fire” on the day the church was born in Acts 1.