The informing resources of tradition, experience, and reason are integral to our study of Scripture without displacing Scripture’s primacy for faith and practice. These four sources, each making distinctive contributions, help guide our quest as United Methodists for a vital and appropriate Christian witness.
Community of Love
“We will shout for joy and lift up our banners in the name of the Lord!” Psalm 20:5
We gather in joyful worship as God’s people, loved by God since before creation. We go forth in his joy to bring hope to a troubled world. We want to be known in this community as a place of God’s great love, joy and hope, with John 3:16 as a Beacon.
Community of Forgiveness
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13b
We are a community who lives in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that affords forgiveness of sin.
Passion for Making Disciples
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19, 20
This scripture text is known as the Great Commission. It is the foundation of the mission of FUMC “Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of world.”
We seek to grow disciples – initially to become believers, then believers who are learning and changing to be more like Jesus Christ. FUMC is a training ground of classes, support groups, relationships and opportunities to grow in faith and practice.
Impacting Our World with God’s Love
“This is my commandment, that you love one another.” John 15:17
We seek to impact and change our families, communities and this world through the transforming power of God’s love. We value changed lives over numerical growth and we count it a privilege to go in love to the least, the lost, the hurting and the forgotten. We want to embody the love of God for all people in everything we say and do.
One God Creator and Sustainer of all things. Exists eternally in 3 persons: Matthew 28:19
Divinely inspired. Old and New Testaments have authority and are the only written Word of God. Holy Spirit preserves God’s Word and by it speaks God’s truth to people. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Created in the image of God. Image marred in every part by Adam and Eve’s disobedience. We need right relationship with God and can’t do so on our own because of sin. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7-23
God’s eternal Son, born of a virgin, suffered, died and rose from the dead on the 3rd Day. He is now at God the Father’s right hand making people right with the Father through faith… Philippians 2:5-11
God justifies (makes right) all who trust in Jesus… We then begin to live in holiness (purity) through this faith. Romans 3:21-26
God calls us, in a moment of full surrender, to have whole-hearted love for God and others. This does not make us faultless. We must live daily by faith in Christ Jesus. God continues to cleanse us through His grace. I John 1:7, 9; Ephesians 3:14-21; Matthew 5:17-48
God assures believers that they are children of God. Romans 8:16
Return of Christ
The personal return of Christ, bodily resurrection of all believers, final judgment and eternal reward and punishment. Revelation 22:12-13
We are God’s people and members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as our cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20
FUMC exists to honor, glorify and serve Jesus Christ. In all that we do, we seek to lift up Jesus Christ as the savior and hope of the world. Our profession of faith in Jesus Christ is the one common bond among our church and the rock of our faith.
Rooted in Scripture
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
We seek to live out the scriptures in our lives because the Bible is God’s Word for what we believe and do.
Informed by Tradition, Experience and Reason
Scripture is primary, revealing the Word of God “so far as it is necessary for our salvation.” Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine. Through Scripture the living Christ meets us in the experience of redeeming grace. Yet, United Methodists are informed by tradition, experience, and reason.
Scripture remains the norm by which all traditions are judged. Yet, the story of the church reflects the most basic sense of tradition, the continuing activity of God’s Spirit transforming human life. Tradition is the history of that continuing environment of grace in and by which all Christians live, God’s self-giving love in Jesus Christ. As such, tradition transcends the story of particular traditions. In this deeper sense of tradition, all Christians share a common history.
We follow John Wesley’s practice of examining experience, both individual and corporate, for confirmations of the realities of God’s grace attested in Scripture. Our experience interacts with Scripture. We read Scripture in light of the conditions and events that help shape who we are, and we interpret our experience in terms of Scripture. Experience authenticates in our own lives the truths revealed in Scripture and illumined in tradition, enabling us to claim the Christian witness as our own. Christian experience gives us new eyes to see the living truth in Scripture. It confirms the biblical message for our present. It illumines our understanding of God and creation and motivates us to make sensitive moral judgments.
We recognize that God’s revelation and our experiences of God’s grace continually surpass the scope of human language and reason. We also believe that any disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason.