Both Methodism’s founders, brothers John and Charles Wesley, and the founders of the Evangelical and United Brethren traditions, Jacob Albright and Phillip Otterbein, believed that faith makes a practical difference in daily living. We still hold to this, the heart of United Methodist tradition and identity.
We believe in experiencing God in the heart. Founders experienced faith as something more than dogma. From earliest times, our predecessors yearned for people to feel the depth and breadth of God’s love for the world. We still believe that warmth, joy, acceptance, inclusion, peace and justice flow from experiencing God’s love in life.
We believe in finding guidance in the Bible. We believe the Bible tells the story of God’s never-ending love, providing guidance and inspiration for putting grace and love into practice. The Bible says, “We love because God first loved us.”
We believe in practical theology. United Methodists are activists, applying a theology of love and justice to all areas of life. We stand for equality and the basic rights of all people. This practical theology is expressed in the United Methodist Social Creed.
We believe in a disciplined Christianity. We believe Bible study, prayer, worship, regular Holy Communion and acts of kindness and service to others, with others, shapes faith with the energy of love.
We believe in an ecumenical Christianity. Congregations are knit together in mutual concern and responsibility. We are better together than we are alone. We join with all of God’s people, of every faith and denomination, to do God’s bidding and Christ’s work. As John Wesley said, "Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may."