Methodists are Christians, and affirm the central tenets of belief that most other Christian churches affirm. We believe in God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--who deeply loves all of creation. We believe God became incarnate in Jesus, who walked among us. We believe that through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God opened a way for the world to become reconciled to God. That reconciliation (or salvation) is available to all, and God deeply desires that the whole world be saved. For more on those beliefs, click here

One thing you can't help but notice about Methodists is that we talk a lot about grace. It's probably one of our favorite words. We even talk about different ways we experience grace as we become reconciled to God. Prevenient grace is the grace of God that surrounds us before we have any idea who God is or what God wants from us; Justifying grace is the grace that allows us to surrender, repent, and begin to walk in God's ways; Sanctifying grace is the grace that grows us from broken people into people who are brimming with the fruit of the Spirit and act like Jesus.

That's what we're about here at First Methodist: allowing God's grace to grow us into people who look like Jesus. Our mission (indeed, the mission of the UMC) is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. And by disciples, we mean people who look like Jesus! We mean people who are following God's path so closely that they are more loving, joyful, peaceful, generous, faithful, patient, kind, gentle, and self-controlled every year. Making disciples starts with ourselves, and then spreads out from our congregation to the world. For more on discipleship, click here.

Historically, Methodists have strongly held that Christians are supposed to experience--as well as intellectually believe in--God. In fact, one of the seminal moments for our founder John Wesley was when his heart was "strangely warmed" at a Bible meeting, and he suddenly knew that he was loved and saved by God. Methodists continue to emphasize this experience, inviting people to know the love of God personally through worship, prayer, Bible Study, and service. If you'd like to see a sermon specifically on the Methodist identity, click here.

And, of course, all our beliefs are played out in our actions. Like a tree producing fruit, our theology influences our ethics, and the way we as individual followers of Christ live our lives. If you want to see more about how the United Methodist Church goes about that, check out the UMC website. There is a lot of good information here.