What makes us Distinctive
There are many traditions within the Christian faith. As a United Methodist Church we are a part of a particular tradition rooted in the historic faith of Christianity, and we have a few distinctive things about us that may be important for you to know.
Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life. By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit. It precedes salvation as "prevenient grace", continues in "justifying grace", and is brought to fruition in "sanctifying grace."
The "Wesleyan Quadrilateral"
The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illuminated by Tradition, made alive in personal Experience, and confirmed by Reason. This means that we bring our whole selves to our practice of the Christian faith. Our head and our heart are equally important in how we understand and practice this faith.
Personal Piety and Social Holiness
The Christian faith is both personal and social. We practice this faith in both individual and corporate ways. This is embodied through the ways we connect with God (personal spiritual practices) and how God inspires us to embody love in this world through mercy and justice (social holiness). What we believe and how we practice are intimately intertwined. Our Personal Spiritual practices draw us into the love of God, and the love we experience in God sends us out to do the work of mercy and justice in our community.
One Big Diverse Family
The United Methodist Church is made up of diverse people who live all around the world. We don't all agree. We don't all get along all of the time. And yet, we believe that we can reveal God's love better in our diversity than we can in uniformity. We gather together in Annual Conferences (normally State-sized and meet every year) and General Conferences (normally worldwide and meet every four years) to talk about our expression of the Christian faith called "United Methodism". The results of those meetings are published in two books: The Book of Discipline and The Book of Resolutions. In these books and in our conversations you will find out all about us, our history, and how we are organized.