What We Believe as United Methodists
Since the time that the Rev. Francis Asbury, the famed Circuit Rider, rode his horse through these hills proclaiming God’s grace, the people called Methodist have lived in the blessing of Divine Grace and sought to grow in faithful discipleship. Discipleship has a two-fold character: Love of God and Love of Neighbor as defined by our Lord Jesus Christ.
The blessing of Divine Grace is God’s wonderful gift for humanity through which we experience the incredible love God has for each of us. Grace is defined as God’s unearned, unmerited, and unrepayable love for humanity. In the Wesleyan Doctrine of Prevenient Grace, God is always seeking a relationship with each of His children. No one is excluded, for all persons are of sacred worth. As we accept God’s love and grace, we are justified by grace and reborn to eternal life. Through sanctifying grace, we grow more and more into the image of Christ, striving for the ultimate goal of perfection. It is in Sanctifying Grace that we grow in Christian service and our good works take on meaning and purpose because they are motivated by the love of God and not by our desire to achieve grace, because grace has already been given to us; it is God’s gift.
Following the teachings of Rev. John Wesley, the father of Methodism, we believe in Acts of Piety and Acts of Mercy to fulfill our Christian growth and fruits of salvation. Examples of Acts of Piety are simple worship, scripture reading, prayer, and fasting. Acts of Mercy include feeding the poor, caring for the least of our brothers and sisters, and other acts of charity and mission.
That said, we understand further the words of John Wesley, that “the world is our parish.” The church is not contained by four walls, but takes the love of Christ to the community and to the world in mission and evangelism. This may be as simple as singing at the local nursing home or as involved as sending teams to the coast to rebuild homes destroyed by hurricanes or to areas ravaged by tornadoes.