What We Believe

We believe in the Holy Trinity
God is real in three persons.  God the Father is the creator of the world.  God’s Son, Jesus Christ is the second person of God, who is our Savior and Redeemer.  And God, the Holy Spirit, is our sustainer and comforter.
The Christian faith is more than doctrines or a list of do’s and don’ts, or even profound emotions. The faith is first a vital relationship with God through Christ made real in us by the Holy Spirit. This relationship of love transforms us and make us know that we are worth something.
We believe in God and God’s love
God is a loving Heavenly Father who is the source of all love.  God’s love is given first as a gift that is free rather than a wage that is earned by being good;” then as a calling to which we must respond by loving God in return and loving our neighbor as ourselves; and finally as a source of strength to become more like Jesus.
We believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord
Christ is God who became human, and lived among us on earth.  He not only saves us from the sinful nature that we all experience, but he is also our “shepherd” who guides and directs us in a loving way in things that lead to ABUNDANT life.  As we submit to this loving Shepherd, our lives are transformed, renewed and empowered for Christian living.
We believe in the Holy Spirit
This is the presence of God in our daily living.  When Christ ascended into heaven God sent the Holy Spirit as a comforter and presence in our lives to keep us connected to God in a vital way.
We believe in a balance of heart and head
The love of God does touch us deeply and move us emotionally. At the same time, we do not accept everything that “feels good” or gets us caught up in the moment, nor are we asked to believe in nonsense. God gave us a heart and brains, We strive to use both.
We believe in the Bible
The Bible is God’s Holy Word, and is the guide and “measurement” of our beliefs and actions. We have different ideas about how the Scriptures are divinely inspired. But whatever we believe, we are not satisfied until the Bible connects with THE Word of God — Jesus Christ. We have found that theories do not save, Christ does.  And the Bible is the first and best source of learning about faith in Jesus Christ.
We believe in grace
Grace is the cornerstone of the United Methodist Church.  God’s grace is equal to our every need.  It sustains us in troubled times, it brings forgiveness when we have done wrong.  It brings unity to the brokenness of life and it brings strength when we are weak.
We believe in three means of grace

Prevenient Grace

Wesley understood grace as God’s active presence in our lives. This presence is not dependent on human actions or human response. It is a gift — a gift that is always available, but that can be refused. God’s grace stirs up within us a desire to know God and empowers us to respond to God’s invitation to be in relationship with God. God’s grace enables us to discern differences between good and evil and makes it possible for us to choose good…. God takes the initiative in relating to humanity. We do not have to beg and plead for God’s love and grace. God actively seeks us!

Justifying Grace

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). And in his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul wrote: “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). These verses demonstrate the justifying grace of God. They point to reconciliation, pardon, and restoration. Through the work of God in Christ our sins are forgiven, and our relationship with God is restored. According to John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, the image of God — which has been distorted by sin — is renewed within us through Christ’s death.

Sanctifying Grace

Salvation is not a static, one-time event in our lives. It is the ongoing experience of God’s gracious presence transforming us into whom God intends us to be. John Wesley described this dimension of God’s grace as sanctification, or holiness. Through God’s sanctifying grace, we grow and mature in our ability to live as Jesus lived. As we pray, study the Scriptures, fast, worship, and share in fellowship with other Christians, we deepen our knowledge of and love for God. As we respond with compassion to human need and work for justice in our communities, we strengthen our capacity to love neighbor. Our inner thoughts and motives, as well as our outer actions and behavior, are aligned with God’s will and testify to our union with God.
We believe in tradition
The Church has learned deep truths over the centuries and we receive these lessons gratefully. At the same time, though, we are called to interpret the “old story” in new ways for today.  God’s love stays the same, but the world is changing.  We must keep the lessons of faith and apply them in ways that relate to a changing world.
We believe in disciplined living
We “press on” to ever more faithful and courageous lives. This does not happen if we pay attention to God only when the mood hits us.  If we fail to be committed, we remain shallow in our personal lives and fearful in our public witness.  Disciplined living keeps us on course and grounded in the ways of God.