There is no perfect or complete description of God. So we try to put into words what God does and how we experience God’s action in our lives. We understand that:
GOD CREATES. In the beginning God created the universe. That creative power never stopped. We are part of God’s creative energy in the world today.
GOD SUSTAINS. God is involved in our lives – past, present, and future
GOD LOVES All of us. Period. No Exceptions.
GOD SUFFERS. God hurts when any aspect of creation hurts. In all violence, abuse, injustice, prejudice, hunger, poverty, or illness God is with us.
GOD REDEEMS. Out of infinite love for each of us, God forgives and renews. God works to put together all that has been torn apart.
We believe Jesus was fully human (like us) and fully divine (the Son of God). We believe that Jesus was raised from the dead and lives today in us. Through Christ we were given new life and forgiveness of sin. We are called to pattern our lives after Jesus, living as he lived in this world.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God’s daily activity in our midst. When we sense God’s leading, God’s Challenge, or God’s support or comfort, it is the Holy Spirit at work in our life. The Holy Spirit, who brought the church into being, is still guiding and upholding us as a community and empowers us for our mission in this world.
We believe that humanity was created in God’s image. Humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God. We believe that when we are in relationship with God we live into being the persons God created us to be.
When we sin, or turn our backs on God and God’s expectations for us, we break our relationship with God. Though we may turn from God, God does not turn away from us. In fact God will continue to work in our lives seeking to restore us and return us to life in God so that we might live fully.
Grace is central to our understanding of Christian faith and life. Grace is the love and mercy given to us by God. Grace is not earned but a gift from God. God’s grace is at work in our lives before we ever know it, stirring up within us a desire to know God. God’s first act of grace is seeking us out to respond to God’s gift of love. Grace leads us to be renewed and brought into a relationship with God. We need only respond and realign our plans with God’s plans for us. Grace leads us towards the ongoing experiences of God’s presence transforming our lives. Through God’s grace we grow and mature in our ability to live as Jesus lived. We deepen our knowledge and love of God.
We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ’s life and ministry in the world today. The mission of the church is to make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We accomplish more in community with each other than we ever could alone. We participate in God’s mission as partners in ministry, recognizing that our God-given gifts, experiences, and resources are of equal value, whether spiritual, financial, or missional.
United Methodists throughout the world are bound together in a connectional covenant in which we support and hold each other accountable for faithful discipleship and mission. We commit ourselves to be in ministry with all people, as we, in faithfulness to the gospel, seek to grow in mutual love and trust.
We believe the Bible is vital to our faith and life. It is God’s Word inspired by the Holy Spirit in times past and in our reading of it today. As we read, preach, teach, and learn from the SCRIPTURE we rely on TRADITION (practices, creeds, hymns, prayers from different times and places), EXPERIENCE (the broad scope of our life’s joys, pains, hurts and yearnings) and REASON (our ability to think and use our intellect) to help us interpret God’s Word for our life today.
Baptism is a symbol of new life and a sign of God’s love and forgiveness of sins. We believe that through baptism we are joined with the church and with Christians everywhere. Persons of any age can be baptized. When an infant is baptized the parents and sponsors take vows on behalf of the child to lead them to know and confirm Christ as Lord and Savior for themselves.
Baptism is the work of the Holy Spirit and never ends. There is never a need to be re-baptized. We reaffirm and remember our baptisms.
Communion is a holy meal of bread and cup. We always use grape juice instead of wine for communion. These elements symbolize the body and blood of Christ. It recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all the members of God’s family. When we share this meal we give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice and are nourished and empowered to go into the world in mission and ministry. We practice an open communion table, welcoming all who love Christ, repent of their sin, and seek to live in peace with one another.
We believe that faith is directly connected to hope. We work to trust and lean into the future that God has promised. Even in the midst of loss, death, disaster, we hold onto the hope that the worst thing is not the last or most powerful thing. In fact, God goes before us and calls us to join in the work of fashioning a better world.