Epworth’s Vision & Mission Statement
We want to be a thriving and Spirit-filled Church, committed to changing lives by sharing Christ’s love.
We share Christ’s love by our lives (Discipleship), actions (Mission), and words (Witness).
What is a United Methodist?
United Methodists are the second largest Protestant denomination in America. We are the home to both President Bush as well as President Clinton’s family when he was in the White House. Methodists have played a significant role in shaping our nation.
United Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We are evangelical, but moderates rather than fundamentalists. We value the intellect and modern science, while at the same time looking to the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but 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.
Methodists have been known for our emphasis on a personal faith, lived out in concrete ways in the world. We have historically valued well-informed and passionate preaching, worship that was lively, and small groups where people could grow in faith.
Methodists have open hearts, and open minds–and welcome anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith.
Our Christian Roots
United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians. According to our foundational statement of beliefs in The Book of Discipline, we share basic affirmations in common with all Christian communities.
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Our Wesleyan Theological Heritage
Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
The distinctive shape of our theological heritage can be seen not only in this emphasis on Christian living, but also in Wesley’s distinctive understanding of God’s saving grace. Although Wesley shared with many other Christians a belief in salvation by grace, he combined them in a powerful way to create distinctive emphases for living the full Christian life.
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Foundational Documents of the United Methodist Faith
Just as creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed summarize the belief of all Christians, the Articles of Religion of The Methodist Church and the Confessions of Faith of The Evangelical United Brethren Church form a foundation of doctrine for United Methodists. They, along with Wesley’s Sermons on Several Occasions and Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament, are “standards” of doctrine for United Methodists.
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Wesley’s Sermons and Notes on the New Testament
Wesley’s sermons contain his basic understanding of the Christian faith and his thinking about how we are to live out this faith both personally and corporately. His written sermons were intended to teach the basic beliefs of the faith as well as nurture and encourage his followers in their discipleship.
Wesley’s Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament provided his followers with tools for interpreting the Bible. These notes contained both Wesley’s own ideas as well as insights borrowed from other interpreters and commentaries.
Mission and Ministry of The United Methodist Church
Why does the church exist? According to Matthew’s Gospel, the risen Christ made it clear: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (28:19-20).
Based on this “Great Commission,” our United Methodist Church has stated its purpose: “The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs.”
(From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church—2008, p. 87.
Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission).
So the mission of our congregation is to make disciples. This is a four-fold task….We could abbreviate our mission as one of welcoming-worshiping-nurturing-sending.
(See The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church—2008, p. 88,
and Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2005-2008.)
Learn more about the United Methodist Church
Want to learn more about our denomination?
Visit the site of the United Methodist Church >