Doctrines and Teachings
The United Methodist Church embraces the basic doctrines affirmed by the wider Christian Church through the ages. Our theological statements are in general agreement with “mainline” Protestant churches and contained within the Book of Discipline. Two of the most widely accepted Christian doctrinal statements, the Apostles’ and the Nicene creeds, are included in our liturgies.
United Methodists have two sacraments – Baptism and Holy Communion.
While some United Methodists have written lengthy volumes of theology, we prefer to emphasize more the living out of our faith in our words and actions. This emphasis is highlighted each year in our Covenant Renewal Service which outlines standards for our conduct with one another and with the world.
Another way to understand what it is to be a United Methodist is a quote often attributed to one of the ancient church fathers, St. Augustine: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love.”
Our early leaders stated that the essentials are that we respond in faith, love and hope to the goodwill of God the Father, the saving work of Christ, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Non-essentials would include matters such as the amount of water used in Baptism or the sort of bread used in Holy Communion.
Above all is Christ's commandment that we love one another.