To be an inclusive community of faith, learning and serving for the glory of Christ.
A lawyer, asked Jesus a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matthew 22: 35-40
Methodism has it’s roots in the teachings of the 18th century Anglican pastor John Wesley. He and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
As United Methodists, we have an obligation to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, the living reality at the center of the Church’s life and witness. To fulfill this obligation, we reflect critically on our biblical and theological inheritance, striving to express faithfully the witness we make in our own time.
Faith is the basic orientation and commitment of our whole being—a matter of heart and soul. Christian faith is grounding our lives in the living God as revealed especially in Jesus Christ. It’s both a gift we receive within the Christian community and a choice we make. It’s trusting in God and relying on God as the source and destiny of our lives. Faith is believing in God, giving God our devoted loyalty and allegiance. Faith is following Jesus, answering the call to be his disciples in the world. Faith is hoping for God’s future, leaning into the coming kingdom that God has promised. Faith-as-belief is active; it involves trusting, believing, following, hoping.
In our theological journey we study the Bible within the believing community. Even when we study it alone, we’re guided and corrected through dialogue with other Christians. We interpret individual texts in light of their place in the Bible as a whole. We use concordances, commentaries, and other aids prepared by the scholars. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we try to discern both the original intention of the text and its meaning for our own faith and life today.
As disciples of Jesus Christ we seek to follow Jesus’ instructions and example. When asked what was the most important command in the Bible Jesus said love. Loving God and your neighbor. As an inclusive community of faith we believe neighbor applies to everyone. We are called to act out our faith by sharing God’s love in real and practical ways just as Jesus did in his ministry and commands us to do still today.
As disciples of Jesus Christ we humbly acknowledge that we are imperfect and fall short of the potential God has put into us. Through the sacrament of Communion we open our hearts to receive forgiveness for our times of weakness, and strength to go forward as stronger more devoted followers.
As disciples of Jesus Christ we live as the body of Christ. In our spiritual gifts we are able to be a reflection of the light and love of Jesus Christ to every corner of the world in which we live. Our membership vows consist of four basic questions. Their wording is a little dated, but we keep them as a connection with our long tradition.
- Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of your sin?
- Do you accept the freedom and power God give you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
- Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as you Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?
- According the grace given to you, will you remain a faithful member of Christ’s holy church ans serve as Christ’s representative in the world?
Many churches have a specific creed or statement of faith which is required for membership. These primarily involve a specific statement of the Trinity and their relationship to each other. While we believe in the Trinity and on occasion recite one of the many different creeds in our worship, we do not require that our members pledge adherence to a specific creed. In this way, our church has a wide variety in our expressions of faith beyond our unity in the four questions above.
If you have more questions you are welcome to contact pastor john through the church office or stop by on a Sunday morning and see what it looks like as our community lives out these beliefs in their daily lives.