United Methodists use four sources to guide us:
- Scripture – the writings of the Bible.
- Tradition – writings and practices of Christians throughout centuries.
- Experience – our own lives, what we have felt and known.
- Reason – rational thought, ways we make sense of things.
These four are interdependent, and allow for variety in beliefs.
United Methodists do not all think alike! United Methodists do know we are called to LOVE ALIKE: to love God and all people.
United Methodists are committed to the basic beliefs of Christianity:
- We believe God created all that exists and loves all creation and all people.
- We believe God came to us in the flesh: in Jesus of Nazareth.
- We believe that Jesus, through his life, his death and his resurrection has opened a door to a new way of life: abundant life here, and eternal life beyond this world.
- We believe that God, made known in Jesus Christ, is with us now and always, through the Holy Spirit.
- We believe that God sent us into the world with a mission: to be his agents in the transformation of the world.
“I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.”
– John Wesley
The United Methodist Church was officially born in 1968, with a merger between the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The Methodist movement has its roots in the 18th century in England, with two brothers named John and Charles Wesley.
The Wesley brothers were preacher’s kids, who, as students at Oxford University, formed what they called a “Holy Club.” They devoted themselves to prayer and Bible study (acts of “personal holiness”), but also to the work of “social holiness” (visiting the imprisoned, giving money to those in need, teaching poor children to read).
Since that time the Wesleyan movement, and the various forms of the Methodist church, have devoted themselves to this marriage of personal and social holiness, leading today to a denomination that is dynamic and diverse, bound together in our mission to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.”
The Evangelical United Brethren Church was formed in 1946. Its roots were in the Church of United Brethren in Christ, founded in 1815 by Phillip Otterbein and Martin Boehm, as well as the Evangelical Association, founded in 1816 by Jacob Albright. Those German-language churches embraced similar emphasis on personal and social holiness as found in the Methodist movement.
“Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.”