what we believe

We covenant with each other As followers of Jesus. To gather faithfully to worship God who gives us life. To study the meaning of our faith. To share our joys and sorrows. To take the time to know and be known by each other. To give unselfishly of our time and money. To translate the words of faith into acts of compassion and mercy. To work for peace in our troubled world. To take a stand for human rights. To actively affirm the equality and dignity of all God’s children. To strive for social and economic justice. Remembering that in a world of limited resources, those with more must consume less. So that those with little or nothing may have enough. This covenant we will honor. God being the source of our strength.
 
 

 

WHO IS GOD?

Throughout history, humanity’s experiences have led to “other ways of knowing” our world, in addition to the physical, material substances of our lives. We humans talk about emotional and spiritual realms, because our feelings and experiences are real. They are just not quantifiable in the same way that physical materials and processes are through measurements of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. Around the Earth, diverse cultures developed “God Talk” or “Theology” to describe the spiritual
presence (Divinity) that we often perceive in nature and in our lives. This Divinity encompasses and includes all things (immanence), but is also beyond things (transcendent). So, we always fall short of
describing God. However, here’s some words frequently used to name humanity’s experience of the Divine in sacred texts. Maker of Time, Space & Universe
Source, Life-giver, Divine Mystery, Supreme Being, Force, High Power. Love, Mercy, Just
Righteous One, Holy, Grace, Mother, Father, Creator, Great Spirit

CAN WE KNOW GOD?

Yes, because God wants to know us! United Methodists believe we can know God through four lenses: The Bible, Traditions of the Church, Personal Experiences And Reason. Christian story begins with the Bible stories of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) revered by Jews and Muslims, too. The Bible reveals God as the Creative Force, filled with Justice and Steadfast Love. God formed a covenant with the Hebrews (later called Israelites, Judeans, and Jews) who were redeemed out of slavery in Egypt. God gave Laws through Moses and corrected the people through Prophets, so that people could live justly and in service to God. In the first century CE, the Jewish Rabbi called Jesus of Nazareth, was revealed as both human & divine agent of God (Messiah or Christ). Through words and miraculous deeds, Jesus the Christ announced God’s Reign and God’s plan to redeem all things created and all Creation for God’s purpose. To Christians, Jesus is our Living Lord, and we are His Church. The traditions of the church continues the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ, we teach and try to live The Jesus Way and we proclaim God’s Reign on Earth—happening now with fulfillment yet to come. Through the Holy Spirit, we grow in relationship with God through Experience and Reason, as well as through Scripture and Tradition. God loves each person and each being on Earth. The Holy Spirit dwells within each of us. The Holy Spirit teaches us to trust in God, to commune with God in prayer and nature, and equips us to serve God through our labor, our worship and acts of justice and compassion to other humans, creatures and the Earth.
 

WHO IS JESUS?

For Christians, the God story continues with the arrival of Jesus, the Christ (meaning God’s Chosen One). Jesus taught about God’s Kingdom, calling people to turn from harmful, selfish human ways and follow a new Way, reconciled with God through a discipling relationship with Jesus. His followers (disciples) shared the teachings of Jesus, and stories of healings and strange, wonderful miracles they’d witnessed—even Jesus’s own resurrection after his death by political execution! In time, his disciples were called Christians because they trusted Jesus as “God with us”, Savior, and Redeemer of all Creation.

 

WHAT IS THE TRINITY?

The Christian church experiences God as Triune, meaning “three in one” In Nature’s
wonder and beauty, we experience God as Life-giver, Parent or Creator. In Jesus Christ, we see God accessible to us in the human form, reaching out and restoring us for loving, whole relationships. The Holy Spirit is our “real time” experience of God’s healing power at work within us. The Spirit comforts and helps us to grow in our trust of God, guiding us to know and do God’s will for ourselves, our church, our community and our planet.

CAN I BELIEVE IN SCIENCE AND GOD?

YES!
Through history, most scientists, mathematicians and other great Philosophers explored both material and spiritual realities. Scientific methods of hypothesis, observation and measurement of physical realities are important ways humans have learned to understand and describe the natural world. Theology is “God-talk” which is another method humans use to understand emotions, beliefs, and ideas such as love, happiness, joy, forgiveness, justice and mercy. Theology and Science have complementary roles in exploring the wholeness of Life in the Universe.

CAN I TAKE COMMUNION?

Yes! Our community continues Jesus’s radically inclusive table fellowship—Jesus ate with everyone—no exceptions. During Jesus’s last meal with his disciples (which led to our Christian ritual of Holy Communion), he established a new covenant relationship with GOD for humanity…welcoming ALL people into the global family of God. No matter who you are or what you may have done in the past, God wants to help you and each of us live a new life, a whole life, following Jesus together.

 

WHO IS WELCOME AT ST. PAUL’S?

Each of us is made in God’s image, born to love and be loved.
All ages, physical and mental abilities, and gender or sexual orientation are welcome!
We celebrate every nation, race, religious and culture as an expression of God’s divine image.
Welcome to the love of God…and a faith community where ALL people belong.