“Our Wesleyan Affirmations”

– From Paragraph 102 of “The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church”

These are our core beliefs, as members of The United Methodist Church:

(Four readers. Seated center of the chancel. A common microphone is passed as each reads)

1. With Christians of other communions 

we confess belief in the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

This confession embraces the biblical witness 

to God’s activity in creation, 

encompasses God’s gracious self-involvement in the dramas of history, 

and anticipates the consummation of God’s reign. 

2. The created order is designed for the well-being 

of all creatures and 

as the place of human dwelling 

in covenant with God. 

As sinful creatures, however, 

we have broken that covenant, 

become estranged from God, 

wounded ourselves and one another, 

and wreaked havoc throughout the natural order. 

3. We stand in need of redemption, the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.

4. We hold in common with all Christians 

a faith in the mystery of salvation

 in and through Jesus Christ. 

At the heart of the gospel of salvation 

is God’s incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth. 

1. Scripture witnesses to the redeeming love of God 

in Jesus’ life and teachings, 

his atoning death, 

his resurrection, 

his sovereign presence in history, 

his triumph over the powers of evil and death, 

and his promised return. 

2. Because God truly loves us in spite of our willful sin, 

God judges us, 

summons us to repentance, 

pardons us, 

receives us by that grace 

given to us in Jesus Christ, 

and gives us hope of life eternal. 

3. We share the Christian belief that 

God’s redemptive love 

is realized in human life 

by the activity of the Holy Spirit, 

both in personal experience 

and in the community of believers. 

4. This community is the church, 

which the Spirit has brought into existence 

for the healing of the nations. 

1. Through faith in Jesus Christ we are forgiven, 

reconciled to God, 

and transformed as people of the new covenant. 

2. “Life in the Spirit” involves diligent use 

of the means of grace

such as praying, fasting, attending upon the sacraments, 

and inward searching in solitude. 

It also encompasses the communal life of the church 

in worship, mission, evangelism, service, and social witness. 

3. We understand ourselves 

to be part of Christ’s universal church 

when by adoration, proclamation, and service 

we become conformed to Christ. 

We are initiated and incorporated 

into this community of faith 

by baptism, 

receiving the promise of the Spirit 

that re-creates and transforms us. 

4. Through the regular celebration of Holy Communion,

we participate in the risen presence of Jesus Christ 

and are thereby nourished for faithful discipleship. 

1. We pray and work 

for the coming of God’s realm and reign to the world 

and rejoice in the promise of everlasting life 

that overcomes death 

and the forces of evil. 

2. With other Christians 

we recognize that the reign of God 

is both a present and future reality. 

3. The church is called to be 

that place where the first signs 

of the reign of God 

are identified and acknowledged in the world. 

4. Wherever persons are being made new creatures in Christ, 

wherever the insights and resources 

of the gospel are brought to bear on the life of the world, 

God’s reign is already effective 

in its healing and renewing power. 

1. We also look to the end time 

in which God’s work will be fulfilled. 

This prospect gives us hope 

in our present actions 

as individuals 

and as the Church. 

2. This expectation saves us from resignation 

and motivates our continuing witness and service. 

3. We share with many Christian communions 

a recognition of the authority of Scripture 

in matters of faith, 

the confession that 

our justification as sinners 

is by grace through faith, 

and the sober realization that 

the church is in need 

of continual reformation and renewal. 

4. We affirm the general ministry 

of all baptized Christians 

who share responsibility 

for building up the church 

and reaching out in mission 

and service to the world. 

1. With other Christians, 

we declare the essential oneness 

of the church in Christ Jesus. 

This rich heritage of shared Christian belief 

finds expression in our worship, sacraments, words, and music.

2. Our unity is affirmed 

in the historic creeds 

as we confess 

one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. 

3. Grace pervades 

our understanding of Christian faith and life. 

By grace we mean 

the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action 

of God in human existence 

through the ever-present Holy Spirit. 

4. While the grace of God is undivided, 

it precedes salvation as “prevenient grace,” 

continues in “justifying grace,” 

and is brought to fruition in “sanctifying grace.” 

1. We assert that God’s grace is manifest in all creation 

even though suffering, violence, and evil 

are everywhere present.

2. The goodness of creation 

is fulfilled in human beings, 

who are called 

to covenant partnership with God. 

3. God has endowed us with dignity and freedom 

and has summoned us to responsibility for our lives 

and the life of the world. 

4. In God’s self-revelation, Jesus Christ, 

we see the splendor of our true humanity. 

Even our sin, 

with its destructive consequences for all creation, 

does not alter God’s intention for us—

holiness and happiness of heart. 

Nor does it diminish our accountability 

for the way we live. 

1. Despite our brokenness, 

we remain creatures 

brought into being 

by a just and merciful God. 

The restoration of God’s image in our lives 

requires divine grace 

to renew our fallen nature.

All: We are united,

Some stronger,

Others, weaker.

All united. 

We are united as disciples of Jesus Christ.

We are united as United Methodists. 

We are united as members of the Rush United Methodist Church.

Our New Year’s Resolution is 

to lead people to Christian discipleship 

for the transformation of the world;

To love the Lord our God with all our mind, soul, body, and strength, 

Through worship, praise, and thanksgiving;

And to love our neighbor,

Near and far,

Friend or foe,

To love without expectation of anything in return.

If you are not yet one of us, 

Won’t you join us?

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