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Core Values and Beliefs

What We Believe

United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians, and we share the following basic affirmations in common with all Christian communities:

Trinity — We describe God in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God. Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

God — We believe in one God, who created the world and all that is in it. We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe. We believe that God is loving. We can experience God's love and grace.

Grace — God loves every person and continually seeks to forgive our failure to be obedient. This constant love and forgiveness is given freely. There is nothing we can do either to deserve or to earn it. This activity of God—God’s constant loving and forgiving of every person—is God’s grace.

Jesus — We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified. We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God. We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today Christ and Messiah mean the same thing—God's anointed). We believe that Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his.

The Holy Spirit — We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us. We believe that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God. We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God's will and empowers us to live obediently.

Human Beings — We believe that God created human beings in God's image. We believe that humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God. We believe that all humans need to be in relationship with God in order to be fully human.

The Church — We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ's life and ministry in the world today. We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. We believe that the church is the communion of saints, a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ. We believe that the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.

Excerpts from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002), p. 13–14.

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