Our

Beliefs

 

If you have any questions about anything you read here, we’d love a chance to talk about it and help you understand what we believe.

God

There is one, true, holy God, who exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (We use the word “Trinity” to describe the three in one nature of God.) In the beginning, God created the universe out of nothing. By God’s sovereign power, creation is continually sustained, and God’s redemptive purposes are being fulfilled. He created us to love us and be loved by us.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary by miraculous conception, lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on the cross because of God’s love for us. He physically rose from the dead after three days, demonstrating God’s power over sin and death. He ascended into heaven, where He rules as our Lord and mediates between God and people. He will return again to earth in the future to establish God’s perfect peace and justice for all time.

Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and Son, and is present in the world to make people aware of their sin and their need for Jesus Christ. Jesus called Him the Counselor, and the Advocate, describing how the Holy Spirit teaches and helps the believer. The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation, providing the Christian with power for living, knowledge of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing God’s will. The Holy Spirit is involved in progressively transforming each follower into the image of Christ, and is actively working within the Christian community to bring about God’s plan of redemption for all people and all creation.

Humanity

Human beings are the supreme object of God’s creation, made in the image of God to be like God in character. God made us because God wanted to be in relationship with us, wanted to love us and be loved by us in return. Having given us free will so we can love Him freely, we have the ability to turn from God. This attitude of rebellion toward God is called sin, and sin separates people from God.  We need God’s saving grace to restore our broken relationship.

Salvation

Salvation is a gift from God to all people. Human beings can never make up for their sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can a person be saved from sin’s penalty and enjoy the blessing of a personal relationship with God. God has done everything necessary for our salvation because of His limitless love for us.

Eternity

People are created to exist forever. Every person will either exist eternally in union with God through the salvation offered through Jesus Christ (heaven), or exist eternally separated from God by sin (hell).

Bible

The Bible, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s Word to all. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures are inspired by God, and they are infallible in the original manuscripts. They describe the relationship God wants to have with humanity, contain the blueprint for the Christian life, and they are the unique and final authority on all matters of faith and practice. There are no other writings similarly inspired by God.

Church

The Church is the Body of Christ present in the world today, comprised of all those who have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church. The mission of the Church is to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, through glorifying God, sharing the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ, edifying believers, and declaring and demonstrating God’s justice and mercy for all. In community we grow closer to God, and encourage one another to fulfill God’s calling on our lives. Every believer is equipped with at least one spiritual gift, and is called and empowered to serve in God’s mission to the world.

Faith and Practice

Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Holy Spirit, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to whom the believer is ultimately responsible.

Sacraments

We believe in two sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper), which were both practiced by Jesus. The sacraments are to be celebrated within the gathered Church. Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are both signs and means of God’s grace, meaning that they help us remember and experience the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ.

Holy Baptism is the sacrament a believer receives once during his or her life. Baptism connects us with God’s mighty acts of salvation and His Church. We are not “saved” at the moment of Baptism; rather, salvation happens when we invite Jesus into our life as our personal Savior and Lord. The United Methodist church affirms infant baptism, acknowledging the prevenient grace (grace that goes before a decision for Christ) at work in the life of the child, or believer baptism, when one has made the commitment to accept Christ as their Savior. We do not need to be re-baptized even though we will still sin after Baptism. Rather, we renew our faith by confessing our sins to God, turning away from that sin, and reaffirming our faith in Christ alone. We affirm the practice of baptism by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion.

Holy Communion is the sacrament we participate in regularly. Communion reminds us of the Last Supper Jesus shared with His disciples in the Upper Room as He prepared them for His death on the cross. The bread and fruit of the vine (we use grape juice out of respect for those in recovery) are symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, which were broken and shed for our sin. Communion is not only a time to remember Christ’s death, but it’s also an anticipation of the time when we will sit at His table and enjoy fellowship with Christ and His Church in the Kingdom of Heaven. Furthermore, in Holy Communion, the Holy Spirit meets us where we are and administers grace—forgiveness, mercy, and the power to be God’s people in the world.  Holy Communion is open to anyone, regardless of church membership, with these two guidelines: (1) a personal confession of sin in the name of Jesus (in private, silent prayer) and (2) the desire to take one step closer to Jesus Christ, wherever you are on your spiritual journey.