There is one, true, holy God, who exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God in being, character, power, and eternal qualities. In the beginning, God created the universe out of nothing. By God’s sovereign power, creation is continually sustained, and God’s redemptive purposes are being fulfilled.
Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary by miraculous conception, lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on the cross. He physically rose from the dead after three days, demonstrating God’s power over sin and death. He ascended into heaven, where He rules as our Lord and mediates between God and people. He will return again to earth in the future to establish God’s perfect peace and justice for all time.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and Son and is present in the world to make people aware of their sin and their need for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation, providing the Christian with power for living, knowledge of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing God’s will. The Holy Spirit is involved in progressively transforming each follower into the image of Christ, and is actively working within the Christian community to bring about God’s plan of redemption for all people and all creation.
Human beings are the supreme object of God’s creation, made in the image of God to be like God in character. Although we have tremendous potential for good, everyone is marred by an attitude of rebellion toward God called sin, which separates people from God. Human beings are incapable of beginning or maintaining a relationship with God through our own knowledge or effort.
Salvation is a gift from God to all people. Human beings can never make up for their sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can a person be saved from sin’s penalty and enjoy the blessing of a personal relationship with God.
People are created to exist forever. Every person will either exist eternally in union with God through the salvation offered through Jesus Christ (heaven) or exist eternally separated from God by sin (hell).
The Bible, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s Word to all. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures are inspired by God, and they are infallible in the original manuscripts. They contain the blueprint for the Christian life, and they are the unique and final authority on all matters of faith and practice. There are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
The Church is the Body of Christ present in the world today, comprised of all those who have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church. The Church exists to glorify God, edify believers, declare and demonstrate God’s justice and mercy for all, and share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ with the world. Every believer is equipped with at least one spiritual gift, and called and empowered to serve in God’s mission to the world.
FAITH AND PRACTICE
Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Holy Spirit, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to whom the believer is ultimately responsible.
We believe in two sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper), which were both practiced by Jesus. The sacraments are to be celebrated within the gathered Church. Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are both signs and means of God’s grace, meaning that they help us remember and experience the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ.
Holy Baptism is the sacrament a believer receives once during her or his life. Baptism connects us with God’s mighty acts of salvation and His Church. We are not “saved” at the moment of Baptism; rather, salvation happens when we invite Jesus into our life as our personal Savior and Lord. Once we make that commitment, scripture calls us to publicly profess of our faith through Baptism. Though we still sin after Baptism, we do not need to be re-baptized. Rather, we renew our faith by confessing our sins to God, turning away from that sin, and reaffirming our faith in Christ alone.
As a United Methodist Church, we baptize people all of ages including infants and babies, because we believe baptism is a means of grace, signifying God's initiative in the process of salvation. In our Wesleyan heritage, we've come to understand this as “prevenient grace,” the grace that works in our lives before we are aware of it, bringing us to faith. The baptism of children and their inclusion in the church before they can respond with their own confirmation of faith is a vivid and compelling witness to prevenient grace.
Our church offers to people being baptized pr to the parents of infants the choice of sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. Sprinkling is a common practice, but the person being baptized (or their sponsors) can choose the method most meaningful to them.
We believe that "the power of the Spirit in baptism does not depend upon the mode by which water is administered, the age or psychological disposition of the baptized person, or the character of the minister. It is God's grace that makes the sacrament whole."
Holy Communion is the sacrament we participate in regularly. Communion reminds us of the Last Supper Jesus shared with His disciples in the Upper Room as He prepared them for His death on the cross. The bread and fruit of the vine (we use grape juice out of respect for those in recovery) are symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, which were broken and shed for our sin. Communion is not only a time to remember Christ’s death, but it’s also an anticipation of the time when we will sit at His table and enjoy fellowship with Christ and His Church in the Kingdom of Heaven. Furthermore, in Holy Communion, the Holy Spirit meets us where we are and administers grace—forgiveness, mercy, and the power to be God’s people in the world.
We practice Open Communion which simply means the Communion is open to anyone, regardless of church membership, with these two guidelines: (1) a personal confession of sin in the name of Jesus (in private, silent prayer), and (2) the desire to take one step closer to Jesus Christ, wherever you are on your spiritual journey.
As a United Methodist Church, we are joined together in a greater "connection" of churches across the globe. To learn more about the United Methodist Church, please visit http://www.umc.org.
To learn more about the Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, please visit https://www.moumethodist.org/.