The mission statement of the United Methodist Church:
to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world
What We Believe
In a nutshell, we believe no matter who you are, where you live, where you work or don't work, what you look like, how you dress, who you love, well...you get the point: you're a beloved child of God. You're welcome here as you are. God loves and so do we.
As a United Methodist Church, we recognize the Wesleyan Quadrilateral as our guide for theological thinking: Scripture, Tradition, Experience and Reason. Scripture is primary, so we understand our primary task to study and live out what we read in the Bible. The traditions of the Church throughout the ages, our personal faith experience, and our God-given reason all serve to enlighten and enliven our understanding of scripture and its interpretation today.
Our understanding of God as revealed in Jesus Christ compels us to open our hearts to the experience of God in our lives and in relationship with others; to open our minds to new and deeper understandings; and to open our doors to all people who would join us in loving God with all our hearts and loving our neighbors as we strive to love ourselves. We commit ourselves to going out to be God’s people in the world.
In Baptism, we celebrate that God claims us as beloved children, it marks the beginning of the journey of discipleship. It is fundamentally a gift of God's grace (unearned love and mercy). It is a sign of this claim by God and our entrance into the body of Christ, the church. It is one of two sacraments recognized and practiced in the United Methodist Church.
Forms of Baptism
While sprinkling of water from the baptismal font is the most common way we celebrate baptism, pouring, and immersion are also practiced.
At What Age Is Baptism?
Baptism is available to people of all ages. Infant baptism is the predominant form in our church because it is the perfect expression of God's amazing grace, offered to us out of God's loving Spirit, not in response to our faith or worthiness.
In confirmation, we claim God. While often done during middle school years, we occasionally offer all age courses where people can learn the faith, ask questions of faith, and spend time in discernment of this next step in their faith journey. Those who haven’t been baptized, but want to be confirmed are able to do so in our worship celebration culminating the learning and growing together.
In communion, we celebrate a sacred meal where the community gathers, proclaims and participates in all that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us in Christ. We remember the sacrifice Jesus Christ makes and partake of the spiritual food to sustain us in the journey of faith. Holy Communion is the other sacrament recognized and practiced in the United Methodist Church. It’s a time we encounter the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit so we might go forth to be the hands and feet of Christ in our world.
Who can partake?
Anyone. We believe it’s God’s table, not our table so anyone with a desire to connect with God regardless of age or faith tradition may participate.
How’s it done?
We use the method of intinction. On the first Sunday each month, ushers guide you forward where you will receive bread and be able to dip it in the cup. We use grape juice as well as have a gluten free station in the center. We believe there should be no barriers to God’s grace!
If you’ve ever got a question about who we are, what we believe, or your place at Good Shepherd, email Pastor Molly for a time to grab coffee and discuss it!