What We Believe

United Methodists believe in God, the divinity of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In these three respects we are the same as many ‘mainline Protestant’ churches.

Here are a few distinctly United Methodist beliefs:

  • Our belief in the Bible is central to our faith.  The Bible is the record of God’s people living out God’s promise. The Bible is the “living word” of God. Through scripture God continues to speak to each generation anew.  
  • As United Methodists we are inclined to take the Bible seriously, but not necessarily literally in every instance.  
  • The 18th century founder of the Methodist movement in England, John Wesley, suggested that the Bible is the primary source of God’s revelation. He said that we also rely on the lens that reason afford us, on church tradition and on personal experience as we read and interpret scripture.  All of these means together will reveal who God is and what God wills for us today.  
  • Each person’s faith is personal, but not private.  There is a link between one’s personal spirituality and one’s social responsibilities.  How we live our lives in relation to others matters.  John Wesley saw each person’s responsibility in the simplest of terms:  “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.”  
  • Wesley recognized strength and vitality in the diversity of people’s religious opinions and theological perspectives.  He wrote that it is important to ‘think and let think’. United Methodists—even within the same congregation—may agree to disagree on some matters, yet remain steadfastly united in their convictions that translate our faith into action and our love into service.  Wesley wrote, “In essentials, Unity; in non-essentials, Liberty; and in all things, Charity.”  
  • We believe, as the United Methodist mission statement proclaims, that it is our purpose as a community of faith to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” It is our understanding that this transformation of the world begins with our own willingness to allow the transforming love of God to work within the context of our own lives.
  • We are an ‘open communion’ church where all people regardless of church membership are welcomed to receive the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, along with the other programs and ministries of the church. 
  • We are a connectional church:  We are connected by a common mission and network of resources with thousands of United Methodist churches in North America and with  many more around the globe. 

More about the Sacraments:  United Methodists recognize only those sacraments in which Jesus participated—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. More information on sacraments, and general questions.

For United Methodists, baptism is a symbol of new life and a promise of God’s saving love.  Both infants and adults can be baptized. A person receives the sacrament only once in his or her life. Water is the special symbol of baptism.

The Lord’s Supper  or Holy Communion is a holy meal of bread and wine that symbolizes the body and blood of Christ. By sharing this meal, United Methodists give thanks for Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. The Lord’s Supper recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all the members of God’s family. More information on Communion

More about our faith can be found on the United Methodist website