Willow River Parish
Sunday, October 20, 2019
A Community of Faith, Inspired by Christ, Gathered to Grow, Empowered to Serve.
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What We Believe

 
Basic Christian Beliefs
United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians.
1.     We believe in one God whom we describe God in three persons – commonly
         Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, sometimes Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer
         or other terms.
2.     We hold in common with all Christians a faith in the mystery of salvation in
         and through Jesus Christ.
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.     We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was
         crucified.
5.     We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us. We believe that the Spirit
         comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God.
         We believe that the Spirit awakens us to God’s will and empowers us to
         live obediently.
6.     We believe that all humans need to be in relationship with God in order
          to be fully human.
7.     We recognize that the Reign of God is both a present and a future reality.
 
Affirmation of Faith
Here is one simple affirmation of faith that describes our understanding of God.
We are not alone; we live in God's world.
We believe in God: who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the church: to celebrate God's presence, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.
We are not alone. 
Thanks be to God. Amen.
You can find more affirmations of faith in The United Methodist Hymnal, 881-889.
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Rather than rigid theological formulas and strict dogma, John Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as "practical divinity" has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
Grace
The distinctive shape of our theological heritage can be seen not only in this emphasis on Christian living, but also in Wesley's distinctive understanding of God's saving grace. Although Wesley shared with many other Christians a belief in salvation by grace, he combined them in a powerful way to create distinctive emphases for living the full Christian life.
Wesley understood grace as God’s active presence in our lives. This presence is not dependent on human actions or human response. It is a gift—a gift that is always available, but that can be refused.
God’s grace stirs up within us a desire to know God and empowers us to respond to God’s invitation to be in relationship with God.
Salvation is not a static, one-time event in our lives. It is the ongoing experience of God’s gracious presence transforming us into whom God intends us to be. We grow and mature in our ability to live as Jesus lived. As we pray, study the Scriptures, fast, worship, and share in fellowship with other Christians, we deepen our knowledge of and love for God.
As we work in response to human need and work for justice in our local and world communities, our ability to love our neighbor grows.
You can learn more at Our Wesleyan Theological Heritage
 
Three Simple Rules to Live By 
1.     Do no harm.
2.     Do as much good as possible.
3.     Stay in love with God through religious practice.
 
Our Social Creed  
We believe in God, Creator of the world; and in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of creation.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, through whom we acknowledge God’s gifts, and we repent of our sin in misusing these gifts to idolatrous ends.
We affirm the natural world as God’s handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement, and faithful use by humankind.
We joyfully receive for ourselves and others the blessings of community, sexuality, marriage, and the family.
We commit ourselves to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging, and people with disabilities; to improvement of the quality of life; and to the rights and dignity of all persons.
We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing; in the rights to property as a trust from God, collective bargaining, and responsible consumption; and in the elimination of economic and social distress.
We dedicate ourselves to peace throughout the world, to the rule of justice and law among nations, and to individual freedom for all people of the world.
We believe in the present and final triumph of God’s Word in human affairs and gladly accept our commission to manifest the life of the gospel in the world. Amen.
For more information, go to The United Methodist Church’s Church and Society page.