What We Believe
What do we believe?
God – Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
We believe there is one holy and living God and Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We also believe that Jesus was a very real person, who lived, taught, and revealed how much God loved us. He died a very real death and we believe in his resurrection.
We believe in the presence, reality, power and working of the Holy Spirit.
We believe The Bible reveals the Word of God as it gives us what we need for salvation.
We hear the word “sacrament” used in the church. What does it mean?
For us, a sacrament is something that is from God and not something we thought up.
The bread and grape juice of Holy Communion and the water used in baptism are tangible symbols to help us understand and remind us of the awesome love of God.
Every Sunday at our 8:30 service and on the first Sunday of the month at the 11:00 (fall, winter, spring) and 10:00 (Memorial Day to Labor Day) you will see a plate with bread and chalices with grape juice in them. This is called “holy communion”. During this part of our worship services, we think of Jesus Christ and the meaning of his life, death and resurrection upon our own. We cannot make our way to God by our own actions, but it is through Jesus that we can and are forgiven. We believe in an “open” table for the sacrament of Holy Communion in which everyone is invited and welcome to receive the signs of grace in the bread and the cup. In receiving these elements, we intend to become faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. Our church uses grape juice to enable everyone to come and receive the cup.
The second sacrament we believe in is Baptism. It is a means of God’s grace signifying our entrance into the household of faith called the church. Baptism, no matter what particular tradition, is honored and received. We do not rebaptize someone because they have been baptized in another faith tradition. We celebrate the baptisms of infants, children, and adults of all ages.
United Methodist view of mission in the world
One of the distinguishing features of the United Methodist tradition is the commitment that “the World is our parish”. This means we have the responsibility and mandate to be actively present proclaiming the love of God, as well as living out that love in daily acts of compassion and mercy anywhere in the world.
Our churches work together
We are a part of a Connectional system in that we are connected and joined in ministry with other United Methodist churches around the world. More ministry can be accomplished when we work together and pool our resources. For example, the United Methodist churches in Michigan working together support United Methodist ministries on college campuses such as Ferris State University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Albion, Adrian, Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan and West Michigan University. There are many more ministries happening because of such a connection.
This faith tradition has a clear understanding of grace in three ways. Prevenient grace is that love of God that has existed before us and before we even knew it existed. Justifying grace is the realization and acceptance of God’s love through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for us right now. Our lifelong journey of God working within us and our becoming the person God has created us to be is sanctifying grace.
Followers of Jesus are committed disciples
When it comes to living out the faith, this United Methodist tradition has a clear understanding that a follower of Jesus Christ is an active and committed disciple. This is lived out in daily actions: prayer, presence in worship and the life of the church, the intentional returning (giving) of a proportion of our income, and a life of service in the church, community and around the world.
Everyone is in the ministry
Our theology is a theology of equality among men and women in ministry in all levels of the church. We are children of God and thus, have the opportunities to serve where ever God has called us to be.
How we understand being church
Our church has an “inward and outward” vision. The “inward” vision includes our taking care of the people within the church family. We are concerned about our worship together, teaching the faith whether you are beginning the journey or many years down the road. There are social as well as service opportunities as a part of living out that faith. The “outward” vision of our church is that “the world is our parish”. Our church is active in missions within our community, state, country as well as around the world. There is a clear commitment to social action and “each member is called upon to be a witness of Christ in the world, a light and leaven in society; and a reconciler in a culture of conflict. Each member is to identify with the agony and suffering of the world and to radiate and exemplify the Christ of hope.” (paragraph #220 2012 Bk of Discipline)
If you have questions or want more information, please let Pastor Elise Low Edwardson know and we can begin a wonderful journey together.
Click here for more information about “What does it mean to be a United Methodist”
If you are considering becoming an “official” member of our congregation, please contact Pastor Elise Low Edwardson about attending a membership class. You can also learn more about the membership commitments of “prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness” by clicking here to link to GBOD (the General Board of Discipleship).