What does a Methodist believe?
A Methodist believes in Love.
The love of God shown in Jesus and moving through our world today by the power of the Holy Spirit. We also believe that God’s love is for everyone.
We believe in a “Social Gospel” that is to say that a Methodist lives out their faith by action, whether by visiting or helping someone or by being involved in the community in a positive way.
The Methodist Church has a strong emphasis on Lay work – that is to say we do not expect our Ministers to do all the work and ordinary members play a major part in running the Church!
Where does the Methodist Church come from?
Methodist’s traditionally sing their faith – and many of our best-loved older hymns (Methodists also use a wide range of modern worship songs too!) were written by Charles Wesley, who with his brother John, were the founders of the Methodist Church. They were Anglican clergymen who wanted to do more for the poorest people in the community but their outlook and radical preaching was not acceptable to the Anglican Church at the time so they took their preaching outside the established framework and the Methodist Church grew from that.
Tell me about Holy Communion in the Methodist Church
We have an ‘open’ Communion table – that is to say that everyone who loves the Lord Jesus is welcome to come and share in the receiving of bread and wine – a remembrance of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples before he was crucified (and then was resurrected). We use non-alcoholic wine in the Methodist Church, while individuals are free to choose about their outside use of alcohol, the church as a whole recognises the harmful effects it can have and we feel there should be places where those who are vulnerable are protected. You do not have to be a member of the Methodist Church to take part in this very meaningful part of our life.
How do I become a member?
We believe in infant Baptism, or Christening, and then a ‘confirmation’ or reception into the Methodist Church as a member when old enough to make that commitment. But anyone can become a member of the Methodist Church even if they have not been baptized in the Methodist Church.
Dependant on whether you have been confirmed in another denomination, you may be asked to take a short series of ‘classes’ to learn more about the Church, what membership means and the Confirmation service. Then you would be formally received into membership as part of a Sunday service. You are then a member of the local church, which is part of “the Circuit” (other local Methodist churches) and part of the whole, world-wide Methodist Church or Connexion as we call it.