While we share in common with all Christians the faith that God was in Christ, recovering and restoring our lives to wholeness (“salvation”), the energy that fuels United Methodism stems from a historic emphasis on “practical divinity.” In simple terms, “Now, Walk the Talk.”
We believe that in response to God’s incredible, amazing grace in our lives, we are called to “re-present Jesus,” extending his same indiscriminate, unmerited grace to others. We believe that this life of loving and serving other is, in fact, worked in us b God, who empowers us to live with “Christ in us.” The United Methodist term for God-powered lives of loving response is “sanctification.”
United Methodists did not invent the following, but we tend to be pretty fierce about inclusiveness: regarding men and women as equally gifted and called by God for a variety of ministries, and holding all persons, regardless of age, class, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation as individuals of sacred worth.
We respect others’ faith traditions. We do not ascribe to a narrowly defined creed. In the spirit of our founder, John Wesley, we “think and let think,” understanding that no single belief system can adequately express or fully comprehend the totality of God. United Methodism is proud to be a diverse community of people with diverse beliefs.
For more information about the United Methodist Church, visit the national website: www.umc.org
As a United Methodist Church, we are part of a global denomination, all seeking to follow God’s call for us within our own contexts. Sometimes, this means we face challenges working together. Currently, the UMC is in the midst of navigating the understanding of the inclusion of LBGTQ person in the full life of the church. Our Judicial Council recently ruled on the constitutionality of legislation from the 2019 Special General Conference. UM News provided a helpful chart about what the judicial council’s decision means.
Locally, our identity statement remains the same:
United Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We value the intellect and modern science, while at the same time look to the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. As Methodists our passionate faith is advanced by strong convictions. Yet, we also recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, and to do so with grace and compassion. At Westlake United Methodist Church, we welcome people of all ages, races, social and economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Our emphasis has been on personal faith, lived out in the world with direction and purpose.