The Faith and Character of a United Methodist
The Church of the Resurrection is a United Methodist Church. We expect our leaders to honor our denominational heritage and to pursue ministry in keeping with our tradition. United Methodists are people who seek to love and serve God with our head, our heart and our hands. They are
orthodox in faith, liberal in spirit, passionate and deeply devoted to Christ, and desire to be wholly surrendered to God.
They bring together both the evangelical and social gospel – inviting people to a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, and then equipping and challenging them to live their faith in the public sphere, being engaged in the issues of our time and seeking to shape a world that looks more like the Kingdom of God. Methodists have been known as “reasonable enthusiasts” – valuing both a personal, passionate faith and one that is intellectually informed.
Methodists are constantly looking to connect our faith to the world in meaningful, relevant ways. Methodists value spiritual disciplines and a “methodical” approach to growing in the faith. They strive for both personal holiness and social holiness.
United Methodists are not afraid to ask difficult questions, to take on tough subjects, and to admit that they do not always understand the answers. They are “people of the Book” - holding the Bible to be the inspired Word from God and encouraging people to read, study and live by its words. “While we acknowledge the primacy of Scripture in theological reflection, our attempts to grasp its meaning always involve experience, tradition and reason. Like Scripture, these become creative vehicles of the Holy Spirit as they function within the church.”1 Methodists also believe the Bible came to us through people who heard God’s Word in the light of their own cultural and historical circumstances. And hence, they study the scriptures carefully, making use of scholarship and asking critical questions.
And, as Methodists encounter theological differences amongst Christians, they bear in mind John Wesley’s approach, “in essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”2
Methodists are people who love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and love their neighbors. They pursue acts of piety toward God and acts of mercy toward others. They value passionate worship, relevant preaching, small groups to hold Christians accountable to one another, the need to address the social issues of our time, and the need to be people whose faith is firmly rooted in and built upon the scriptures. Methodists value the full participation of women and men, people of all races, classes and backgrounds in all facets of fellowship and leadership within the
church and society.
This is our heritage, and it continues to shape the Church of the Resurrection in every area of our ministry.
We might just start this party by doing one of the Disciple classes, if I can fit it in somewhere. Praying about it more is needed--don't want to react emotionally to a need that is inside of me--but to minister to others out of my strength--the strength of my gifts, graces, real compassion, and talents--not to patch the weakness of my needs.