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Our Beliefs

The People Of The United Methodist Church

The heart of our Christian faith in Christ's ministry of outreaching love.  We are all called to minister wherever Christ would have us work to heal and free others.  United Methodists believe in God's gace, which means the unearned and loving action of God in our daily lives.  In spite of suffering, voilence, and evil in the world, we assert the God's grace exists everywhere.  Despite any circumstance, we remain creatures brought to life by a just and loving God.  The reign of God is both a present and future reality.

Sometimes people call The United Methodist Church "the church of warm heart" because we have a history of caring about and working to create justice for all people.  It all started with founder John Wesley, who felt his own heart strangely warmed nearly three centuries ago.  After this experience he was compelled to reach out to England's poorest citizens, which he did with the help of his brother Charles.  Their work launched a movement that spread to the American colonies and took hold with a fervor that still exists almost 300 years later.

During that time, our hearts have led us to build almost as many schools as churches.  Methodists were among the first to create institutions of learning for settllers, women, and newly freed slaves.  There are now 120 United Methodists institutions, including schools outside the U.S. most notably Africa University in Zimbabwe.

Today United Methodist comprise the second largest Protestant denomination in th United States.  Our churches are connected by a system that guides our work and governs our policies.  We continue to take the lead in social, spiritual, political, and moral concerns.  In the tradition of John and Charles Wesley, our members study Scripture, encourage thoughtful debate, and confront the tough issues of the day.  We still lead with our hearts, keep our minds open, and welcome everyone through our doors.

The director of an orphanage watched one of his children climb a tall tree.  The little girl worked her way out on a limb to place a note on the end of a branch that extended just outside the walls of the orphanage.  She obviously wanted someone to find the note.  The director became curious and went outside to pull the note down.  In her lovely, childlike handwriting, the girl had written, "To whoever finds this, I love you.  Pass it on."

This story illustratesthe aspirations of United Methodists worldwide:  saying to people inside and outside our congregations that they are accepted and loved, and inviting them to help be the instruments of God's love to other people too.

 

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