Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.
J o h n W e s l e y / 1 7 0 3 - 1 7 9 1
We believe the Bible tells the true story of God’s love for God’s creation and gift of salvation shown through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and serves to guide our lives as followers of Jesus. The Bible is God’s Word and reveals God’s will for salvation. It is the clear and accessible authority for faith and practice of the Christian life. We worship God with the wisdom and daily application of the Bible as the foundation of our faith. Through the teaching of God’s Word, we are equipped with the knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures in order to strengthen and mature our walk with Christ. A biblically based church is called to be a loving, nurturing community that provides an environment for Christian growth and maturity.
TIMOTHY 3:16-17 / All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. (NRSV)
We believe that worship is essential for connecting with God, praising God and through the Holy Spirit, growing deeper in our faith in Christ. While worship comes in various forms and includes few or many participants, all vital worship includes common elements such as praise to God, prayer, confession, teaching and sacraments, all of which express our willingness to offer ourselves as living sacrifices in response to God who shows us love and mercy. Vital worship requires the active participation of all involved. While some are called to be worship leaders, all believers are invited to participate through preparation, prayer, receptivity and commitment to reflect and act upon God’s Word spoken to God’s people. The language and format of worship must make God’s word accessible and relevant to all who desire to hear it.
JOHN 4:23-24 / But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. (NLT)
We believe that small groups build true Christian community and help people walk with Christ. Since humans are made for relationships, personal interaction is essential for individual and spiritual growth. Small groups provide an atmosphere of acceptance, affirmation and confidentiality where participants can develop trust relationships and be challenged to grow in Christian discipleship. During life’s transitions and challenges, small groups can provide a ministry of care and support for participants. Small groups are a vital way for Christians to discover and develop their own spiritual gifts, find a place of ministry within the Body of Christ, grow in their understanding and appreciation of scripture, and provide a way for people to explore the Christian faith.
ACTS 2:46-47 / Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (NIV)
We believe outreach is our willing response to God’s grace as we share God’s love in tangible ways. Christians are called by God to show love and concern for all people, regardless of their connection with the church. As an expression of gratitude for God’s care and salvation, we extend that love to those who have both physical and spiritual needs. Outreach is an ongoing expression of the life of a follower of Jesus who is genuinely concerned for those in need through a personal presence. Sometimes this requires a willingness to step out of comfortable surroundings and stand with those who need Jesus’ love. Outreach can happen across the street or across the world. Our actions of love testify to our faith in Christ and our commitment to celebrate the image of Jesus in everyone we meet.
MATTHEW 25:34-40 / Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. (NIV)
We believe that God calls and equips all Christians, clergy and laity, to be in ministry together in the church and in the world. Laypersons are gifted by God for ministry and should discover their own spiritual giftedness and place for ministry within the Body of Christ. They can serve in ministry in a variety of ways, including pastoral care (through small groups), hospitality (helping new people feel welcome and helping to assimilate them into the life of the congregation) and teaching. Laypersons are God’s primary means of witnessing Christ’s love to the world. The ordained pastors are the primary spiritual leaders of the congregation, and have a central role in teaching God’s Word and communicating God’s vision for the congregation. The pastors also develop leaders and foster an environment for collaboration and team ministry. As the primary worship leader, the pastor provides the sacramental and liturgical ministry of the church. The pastor encourages spiritual growth in believers and seekers.
EPHESIANS 4:11-13 / The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. (NRSV)
To learn more about the United Methodist Church, visit www.UMC.org