Communion, in the United Methodist tradition, is open to all people meaning you do not have to be a member of the United Methodist Church to receive communion. Communion is a call to repentance through which one deepens his/her relationship with God. It is one of the two sacraments of the United Methodist Church. We believe that all sacraments are acts of God’s grace. Communion is usually served the first Sunday of every month. (It is available for all who are homebound by making arrangements through the Church office.)
In the United Methodist Church, baptism is one of the two sacraments of the tradition. Baptism is that vehicle through which one is initiated into the family of God. We accept baptism of persons of any age, i.e., infants as well as adults are baptized. We use three methods of baptism: immersion, pouring, and sprinkling. The individual in consultation with the pastor decides the method of baptism. Baptisms of persons from other Christian traditions are accepted and baptism is not repeated. Baptisms are performed at any service after discussion with the pastor.
Priesthood of All Believers…
We affirm that God has given to each person graces and gifts that are to be used in service to God and others. This is the doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers. We encourage members to develop these gifts. Opportunities for lay ministry are numerous.
Other Major Beliefs…
United Methodism is Trinitarian in its faith; we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–Three in One and One in Three. We affirm the primacy of Scripture. We believe in the resurrection. We believe that our faith should be expressed in our service to God through our service to others. United Methodists are very involved with other churches, agreeing to work together for the Kingdom of God.
United Methodists are…
A Happening People:
Involved, committed, diverse, open. A people who try to be accepting, caring, hospitable, and inclusive. Family- and community-oriented. A people who are concerned about those beyond their communities, around the world. Active in mission, responsive. A people who love music, church suppers, and fellowship. Initiators, with a history of creating ministries related to education, employment, health, and other issues. A people who like to tell the story of God’s redeeming grace.
A Covenant People:
When you join a United Methodist congregation, you become a member of the total United Methodist connection. Members promise God and the congregation to uphold the church with their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.
A Diverse Community:
United Methodism was formed when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968. United Methodists trace their spiritual heritage back to 18th century leaders including John and Charles Wesley, Jacob Albright, Philip Otterbein, Martin Boehm, and Francis Asbury. All persons are welcome in The United Methodist Church. We are firmly committed to inclusiveness. We celebrate a diversity of people, ideas, and cultures and are enriched by our broad history.
Biblical in Faith:
United Methodists trust free inquiry on matters of Christian doctrine. Our faith is guided by Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason. Of paramount importance is Scripture. For United Methodists, the Bible is the record of God’s people living out God’s promise.
Mission-Oriented, Socially Conscious:
United Methodists are mission-oriented and socially conscious. This is important to our faith. We are aware of world events and strive to help those in need. United Methodists are one in faith and tradition with Methodist Christians around the world. Through the World Methodist Council, Methodists from 68 member churches cooperate in support of ecumenical, educational, evangelical, and other ministries.
For generations, United Methodists have cooperated with other churches to spread the gospel, care for those in need, alleviate injustice, and foster peace. In national and interfaith groups, United Methodists reach beyond our own churches and our communities to express concern and to share God’s love with people of many faiths.
For more than 200 years, the United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies have expressed concern for the worker, the sick, the poor, the orphaned, the aging, the impaired, the oppressed, and the imprisoned. Our church participates in the struggles of women, people with physical and mental impairments, and racial – and ethnic – minority persons, helping them attain equality in the church, the economy and society. United Methodist positively influence society through responsible social action.
United Methodism took form as an organized church in this country during the revolutionary period of our history. Its structures parallel those of the United States government. Church Leadership is shared by executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Representative bodies carry out church functions at local, regional, and churchwide levels. The highest legislative body–the only organization that can speak for the church–is the General Conference. An assembly of up to 1,000 delegates, it is composed of equal numbers of laity and clergy and meets once every four years. Delegates are chosen by regional units (annual conferences) throughout the United States and in 15 other nations. Non-voting representatives come from affiliated churches in 25 other countries. Annual conferences respond to needs in their regions by developing programs and ministries that carry out the work of Christ and support the policies set by General Conference.
The United Methodist Church continues its strong evangelical heritage. Within each congregation is a vital center of biblical study and evangelism–a blending of personal piety and discipleship. The heart of United Methodism continues to be winning people to Christ.
The World is Our Parish: Connected for Ministry
More than 42,000 United Methodist local churches exist worldwide. The United Methodist Church is organized as a connectional structure, with mutual responsibilities and accountabilities that allow us to make an impact through world mission. Each United Methodist congregation pays a share of the cost of the churchwide ministry, called an apportionment. For every apportioned dollar spent, 82.3 cents stays in the local church to pay for everything from Sunday school books and the organ, to the pastor’s pension.
About 4.2 cents of each apportioned dollar supports missions, staff salaries, administration, and programs overseen by the churchwide agencies. This 4.2 cents joins with those of others around the world to support more than 1,000 missionaries and mission personnel working across the globe.
The remaining 13.5 cents of the apportioned dollar funds ministries in the Kentucky annual conference and jurisdiction, such as church camps.
United Methodists practice “open communion,” which means no one can be turned away from the Lord’s Table. The denomination is one of the most ethnically diverse mainline churches, with nearly 1 million people globally. Official liturgies of the church are found in The United Methodist Hymnaland the Book of Worship. Find more information at www.umc.org.