As a United Methodist Church:
Experience God as love, acceptance, forgiveness and accountability.
Brothers John and Charles Wesley grew up in England during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. Both were ordained as Anglican clergy.
While at Oxford University, their small Bible study group was called “Methodists” by others because of their methodical schedule of prayer, fasting, and discussion.
John came to believe that God’s saving grace comes from a personal relationship with God, rooted in Scriptures, and was made absolute when Jesus died for the sins of humankind.
In May 1738, John’s heart was “strangely warmed” in what became known as the Aldersgate Experience. It was an experience that helped Wesley recognize and embrace the need for a personal relationship with God and Jesus.
Methodism spread quickly in America, as circuit rider preachers traveled from town to town.
Social distinctions had no place in Methodist doctrine as it was preached in America. Every life had meaning.
Wesley talked about God’s grace in three movements:
Faithful lives are shaped by:
Today the United Methodist Church encourages a personal devotion, connected to social action through compassion and justice. It is a methodical means of working for the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
John Wesley proposed a method by which people can grow in their Christian discipleship. The four areas are:
Today the method is often referred to as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.
Wesley encouraged others to read the Bible for the single purpose of learning the will of God.
Tradition includes both the common history shared by Christians and the various traditions practiced by Christians around the world.
Wesley’s emphasis on reason made him a strong proponent of education for all.
Wesley believed in a living and breathing church made up of committed believers.
Wesley longed for all believers to have a first-hand experience of God. He believed that the presence of God is experienced by the believer in two ways: an inward and outward experience.
A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.
United Methodists believe that grace is available to all and can be sought through many avenues.
Baptism and Holy Communion
Through the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion we open ourselves to God.
Methodist doctrine believes Communion to be a “sign-act.” This means that when you take Communion, it is an outward sign of God’s grace but it is also an act where we inwardly receive this grace.
Baptism is a gift from God that can never be taken away.
United Methodism uses the approach of “connectionalism” to balance the importance of individual action in the local church with a focus on the bigger picture.
The United Methodist Church is continually learning and changing as we seek to become complete in God’s love.
United Methodists are inclusive in our attitudes, because we believe that Jesus died for all people.
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