We are an inclusive community of faith, learning and serving for the glory of Christ. With open hearts, we welcome and affirm all people of all ages, appearances, ethnicities, national origins, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, marital status, family configurations, mental or physical health status, immigration status, economic situations, and life experiences.
We strive to be welcoming to everyone who enters our doors. Our Mission Statement above is our sincere attempt to share with the world who we really are and who we hope to be more and more every day. We strive to create a space where all who enter our doors feel welcomed and loved as a child of God. Our goal is to practice radical hospitality. If you visit our church and discover a way that we could be more welcoming and hospitable, we encourage you to let us know.
As United Methodists, we affirm that God is always at work in everyone. We use an old word to describe this called Prevenient Grace. This means God is at work Previous to (before) our knowing it, requesting it, or accepting it. We affirm everyone in their brokenness, because we know that each of us is broken as well. But we are joyful, acknowledging that “…God proves his love for us in that while we still were [broken] Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. This means that you are a part of our community even before you walk through our doors or join us in outreach and service projects.
The categories listed in our Mission Statement apply to each of us. We all can describe ourselves using each of these categories. No matter where you place yourself in the categories of age, appearance, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family configuration, mental or physical health status, immigration status, economic situation, and life experience, you are absolutely welcome to participate as a part of our community in worship, in ministry, and in mission.
Our Greatest Commandment is to Love
A lawyer, asked Jesus a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the greatest 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 greatest 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
When we trying to discern the correct action to take we think of this scripture and let it be our guide. We believe that everyone is our neighbor, and so we are called to love God and everyone. We also believe that part of loving God is loving everyone. The two commandments are intertwined. This is why our mission statement says we welcome and affirm all people.
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.
We study the Bible within the believing community. Even when we study it alone, we seek guidance and correction 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 a welcoming and 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.