Normally in a church's website, this is where a church puts down their dogmas and beliefs. They want to make sure that you know that they pass the doctrinal litmus test.
We do things a little bit differently in the United Methodist Church.
Some of the things we believe in:
- That God never ever gives up on us.
- Amazing grace x 3
- That we are better working together
We believe that everybody is welcome, no matter what. You don't have to sign in blood on the dotted line. You don't need to pretend that you agree with everything 100%.
We believe in celebrating all of everybody, including their doubts. No matter how staunchly you disagree with us, you are welcome.
That's how we do it as Methodists. We welcome everyone to the table. Period.
That being said...
As Methodists, we do have some things that we collectively affirm about the divine and that of ultimate importance. Not everybody is always completely on board with everything, but as a group, we stand behind some things:
We believe that God is a loving God, not the God of wrath you grow up fearing. We are all about grace—God loving us so much, regardless of whether or not we deserve it.
We believe in Jesus the Christ. Along with being a pretty great role model, we believe that he can teach us in some unique way what it means to follow God faithfully.
We believe in the Holy Spirit—God at work in the world. We believe that God is not just quarantined to the olden days of the Bible. Rather, God is hard at work in the world, attempting to move a stubborn world toward being "on earth as it is in heaven." If we are attentive, we too can join in that world-changing work.
While some people may have specific moments when they experience "being saved," we are worried just as much about how God helps you continue to grow. This can be whether you have been in the church for your whole life or are a newbie. This process of becoming more holy/righteous/just is an ongoing one—one where there is always room for progress, but in which we can also make real gains.
We believe that Christians should not cloister themselves away, trying to be the "pure" group over and against the "wicked" world. Rather, we see God working in and among the world, so that's where we work as well. That is why Methodists have always been active in starting schools and hospitals, engaging in political movements, and fostering social change.
We believe that one can't follow God alone. In the Methodist church, we appreciate the value of having a group of support. We gather as a church—a group of folks trying to follow God, who can support each other and work together. But we also gather as larger and larger groups, making Methodists truly a global church. That is one thing we try to never lose sight of: we are all interconnected in this gigantic, beautiful, diverse web of people trying to live life faithfully. When we work together, we are better than the sum of our parts. We can do incredible things in our lives and in our world.