The Great Commission
To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world is the mission of the United Methodist Church. John Wesley, one of the founders of the Methodist Church, and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action.
We declare and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; our only means of salvation.
We believe the Holy Scriptures are inspired by God and are inerrant in their revelation.
Holy Spirit Empowered
We believe that the Holy Spirit is an equal part of the Holy Trinity
and works through believers to further God’s will for each person and nation.
We see church as family. We care, we share, we hope, we love.
Faith in Action
Taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world in prayer and action.
Just as creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed summarize the belief of all Christians, the Articles of Religion of The Methodist Church and the Confessions of Faith of The Evangelical United Brethren Church form a foundation of doctrine for United Methodists. They, along with Wesley’s Sermons on Several Occasions and Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament, are “standards” of doctrine for United Methodists.
The Articles of Religion
When the Methodist movement in America became a church in 1784, John Wesley provided the American Methodists with a liturgy and a doctrinal statement, which contained twenty-four “Articles of Religion” or basic statements of belief. These Articles of Religion were taken from the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England—the church out of which the Methodism movement began—and had been the standards for preaching within the Methodist movement. When these articles were voted on by the American conference, an additional article was added regarding the American context, bringing the total number of articles to 25.
These articles became the basic standards for Christian belief in the Methodist church in North America. First published in the church’s Book of Discipline in 1790, the Articles of Religion have continued to be part of the church’s official statement of belief.
The Confession of Faith
The Confession of Faith is the statement of belief from The Evangelical United Brethren Church. Consisting of 16 articles, the current form of this statement of faith was presented and adopted by the 1962 General Conference.
When The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968 from the union of several branches of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, both The Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith were adopted as basic statements of the Christian faith.
The General Rules of the Methodist Church
Wesley knew how difficult it would be for his followers, particularly those recently converted, to live a holy life. To this end, he created structures and practices that would help foster faithful living in the members of the Methodist Societies. In 1743 he outlined these practices in the “General Rules,” which functioned as a sort of contract by which group members held one another accountable.
These rules are organized into these three basic categories:
- Do no harm, “avoiding evil of all kinds”;
- Do good, “of every possible sort, and as far as possible, to all;”
- Practice “the ordinances of God,” or engage in individual and communal spiritual practices such as prayer, Bible reading, worship and the Lord’s Supper.