Beliefs of the United Methodist Church

UMC logo: open hearts, open minds, open doors

United Methodists profess the historic Christian faith in God as Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We know God as Creator/Provider, Redeemer/Savior, Sustainer/Comforter. 
  • We affirm that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Lord of all.
  • We experience the Holy Spirit as God's presence with us.

The Mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by proclaiming the good news of God's grace and by exemplifying Jesus' command to love God and our neighbor in all that we do. In carrying out this mission, we are seeking the fulfillment of God's reign in the world.

We make disciples as we:

  • proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ;
  • lead persons to commit their lives to God through baptism by water and the spirit and profession of faith in Jesus Christ;
  • nurture persons in faith and Christian living through worship, the sacraments, spiritual disciplines, and other means of grace, like Christian fellowship, study and prayer; and
  • send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ.

As United Methodists, we believe it is critical not only to believe, but to live out our faith in our personal lives, our communities and the world. In order to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, we believe we must reflect critically on our biblical and theological inheritance, striving to express faithfully the witness we make in our own time.

The way we reflect critically on matters of faith is somewhat unique. Our primary source for encountering God and understanding faith is Scripture. If our beliefs or understandings of God's activity in the world run counter to Scripture, they cannot be sustained. Although Scripture is primary and authoritative, it is not the only way to encounter God or to come to an understanding of faith. We begin with Scripture and also use the Christian tradition (creeds, affirmations of faith, belief statements, hymns), our own experience (personal and collective) as well as our ability to reason (think). All of these sources work together to help us decide matters of faith.

Scripture, tradition, reason and experience also serve as ways we can encounter and know the living God. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, we can encounter the Risen Christ in so many ways - worship, the sacraments, bible study, prayer and Christian fellowship, to name a few.

Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life. By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

United Methodists believe that we are saved by God's grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is both a moment and a process. We are saved from our sins and given the assurance of eternal life when we profess our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. This moment begins a lifetime of growing more Christ-like and becoming more and more able to truly love God with our heart, mind, soul and strength and our neighbor as we love ourselves.

The United Methodist Church practices two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion.

Methodism 101 covers the history and beliefs of the UMC. It is offered at FUMCR each fall and spring and online through United Methodist Communications.