WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?
VISION Our vision is to see “Transformation in Christ: Changing Lives Inside and Out” based upon Romans 12:1-2. We believe that it is the mission of the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19) because this brings the Kingdom of God to earth and because humans need to be in relationship with God to be fully human.
GOD, JESUS and HOLY SPIRIT. Like most Christians, we understand God as Trinity. The Apostle’s Creed is a brief and clear description of how we understand God.
PEOPLE. We believe that God loves all people because all people are created in the image of God. Because our sin separates us from God, everyone needs Jesus. People can choose to accept or reject Jesus. We seek to reject sin, but accept people—even people who are far from God.
LOVE GOD-LOVE OTHERS. We want to be a people who love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbors. This means that we pursue acts of piety toward God and acts of mercy towards others. It also means that we seek to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). We seek to bring together both the evangelical and social gospel—inviting people to a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, and then equipping and challenging them to live their faith in the public sphere, being engaged in the justice issues of our time and seeking to shape a world that looks more like the Kingdom of God.
GRACE. Grace is central to our understanding of Christian faith and life. Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. We experience God’s grace even before we turn toward God. It is God’s grace that brings us into a right relationship with God and allows us to grow toward becoming more like Christ.
BIBLE. We are a “people of the book” – holding the Bible to be the inspired Word from God and encouraging people to read, study and live by its words. While we acknowledge the primacy of scripture in theological reflection, our attempts to grasp its meaning always involve experience, tradition and reason. Like Scripture, these become creative vehicles of the Holy Spirit as they function within the church. When we encounter theological differences amongst Christians, we bear in mind John Wesley’s approach, “in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
First Church is a United Methodist Church. Follow the link for more information about the beliefs of the United Methodist Church.