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What do Methodists believe?“Teacher,” he asked, “which is the most important commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”
The Inherent Word of GodWe are a church that believes in the inherent Word of God. We believe that there is one true and magnificent God who exists eternally in relationship as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Since the fullness of God dwells in Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, we can get the most accurate understanding of the nature and character of God through listening to and looking at the Son of God throughout eternity. As a result, the salvation through our Savior Jesus Christ defines and shapes all reality for us.
Purpose of the ChurchWe believe that the Church is built around the reality of who Jesus is. Every member of the body of Christ is indispensable and though every member functions differently, every member has a function in the Body as they are gifted by the Spirit. To bear God’s image most fully is to do so in Christian community, submitting to one another in love as God first loves us. As a result, we don’t just go to church, we are the church that embodies hospitality, courage, health, community, and impact every day and everywhere with everyone as we follow Jesus.
Open Minds.We believe that our primary identity is as children of God. With that identity comes societal and cultural constructions that have both positive and negative impacts on humanity and the Church. Cultural identity evolves through our history, traditions, and experiences. The Church seeks to fully embrace and nurture cultural formation and competency as a means to be fully one body, expressed in multiple ways. Each of us has our own unique identity. We affirm that no identity or culture has more legitimacy than any other. We call the Church to challenge any hierarchy of cultures or identities. Through relationships within and among cultures we are called to and have the responsibility for learning from each other, showing mutual respect for our differences and similarities as we experience the diversity of perspectives and viewpoints.
Open Hearts.We firmly believe in following the example of Christ. The United Methodist Church believes God’s love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. We cannot just be observers. So we care enough about people’s lives to risk interpreting God’s love, to take a stand, to call each of us into a response, no matter how controversial or complex. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The United Methodist Church believes God’s love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. We cannot just be observers. So we care enough about people’s lives to risk interpreting God’s love, to take a stand, to call each of us into a response, no matter how controversial or complex. The church helps us think and act out a faith perspective, not just responding to all the other ‘mind-makers-up’ that exist in our society.”
Open Doors.Jesus was very explicit when He said, ‘Here’s what love of neighbor looks like: You saw me hungry and you fed me. You saw me thirsty and you gave me drink. You saw me sick and you took care of me.’ Those neighbors start right here in our hometown, but it doesn’t stop there; it goes all the way to the ends of the earth. Wherever we see a need, as the church, as United Methodists, we reach out to meet that need and serve as we feel Jesus would. It’s the basis of who we are. That’s why we’re in mission, to bless those around us, to love God by loving our neighbors. The Bible teaches us that everything we have from God is given because of God’s great love for us. Ephesians 2 reads “You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith.”
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