What We Believe

Purpose & Task:

There is one vine of many branches.

We, the people of the Reedsburg United Methodist Church are a branch of the Vine of God with him as the focal point of our congregation.  Worship, prayer, education, faith and caring fellowship are all vital needs that stem from this focus on God and His Word.

We believe that the church does not exist for its members only, but also for non-members.  With God as our light, we also take seriously our commission to proclaim the Good News of Salvation.  Through our service and witness, it is our hope to bring others into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and join us as a part of His Vine.

The United Methodist Church is a Protestant movement and traces its roots back to John Wesley, an Anglican priest in the Church of England in the 1700s. John and his brother, Charles, intended to revitalize the Church of England by forming societies of “Methodists”– so called because the members followed a daily routine of religious observance and social work. Methodism first spread to Ireland and then to America where it officially became its own denomination in 1784. Today United Methodist membership stands over 11 million worldwide (more than 2 million are outside of the United States).

What do we believe? Part of the mark of being a United Methodist is that we hold a wide range of theological beliefs. John Wesley said, "As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think." In general, we agree on the major aspects of theology.

* We believe in a Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

* We believe in God’s love and forgiveness of sins for those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

* We believe in the salvation through Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the body and eternal life.

* And we believe in celebrating the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.

For United Methodists, social consciousness has always gone hand in hand with faith. We believe, with John Wesley, "that the world is our parish." We support mission and justice work locally, regionally and around the world. We cherish an ecumenical tradition and seek to work together with other Christian denominations as well as other religions. We believe in the dignity of each person and the practice of total democracy in our church’s life.

In the Wesleyan tradition, we follow four main guidelines of our theological task that help us understand and strengthen our faith. These four are interdependent and allow for a variety of personal expression.

1. Scripture: What does the Bible say?
2. Tradition: What do our traditions, our creeds and past church fathers teach us?
3. Experience: What does our experience tell us?
4. Reason: Does it make sense?

The three main books that inform our faith and practice include:

The Bible, with the Old and New Testament scriptures, in which we encounter the Living Word of God;

The United Methodist Hymnal, with the songs, creeds and rituals of our personal and public worship life including the Sacraments, Weddings, Funerals and more;

The Book of Discipline, which contains our Articles of Faith, various rituals, and the laws of our denomination for the many facets of Christian life, Ordinations, Consecrations and Dedications.

We ordain men and women as pastors, and they may be married. All of the lay committee members that run the local church are elected by the congregation. The congregation also elects lay delegates to the Annual Conference (a gathering of regional or statewide clergy and lay members). Our pastors are appointed to churches by the Bishop (the CEO of the Annual Conference), in consultation with leaders of the local congregations. The intent is to facilitate the wisest match between the clergy and needs of the church.

Being a member in the United Methodist Church means many things to many people. It means involvement in prayer, worship, sacraments, study, Christian action, and giving. It means sharing the work of the local church, ecumenical efforts and teaching about God. It means knowing our commitment to God and to people, that we are called to be God’s ministers in this world and that God is an active and loving part of our lives.

For more information, click here for our denominational website.