VALUES + BELIEFS

WHO IS THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

At our best, we are the spirit-filled, resilient, connected, missional, faithful, diverse, deeply rooted, committed, disciple-making, Jesus-seeking, generous, justice-seeking, world-changing people of God called The United Methodist Church.

williamsburg umc

OUR MISSION

The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Williamsburg United Methodist Church will proclaim the Good News of God's saving grace, and exemplify Jesus' command to love God and neighbor, thus seeking the fulfillment of God's realm.

OUR VISION

We believe every person is created in the image of God, and we, a people of hopeful curiosity, welcome and include all persons without exception, so that they will come to know and experience God’s love in the community of the Holy Spirit.

We believe the Christian faith is a lifelong journey, enabling us to grow closer to God and to our neighbor.  We therefore will guide all those in the faith-life of WUMC to take deliberate steps to deepen their relationship with Christ, so that as transformed people we may share in the work of the God who redeems Creation.

We believe God has taken the initiative to bind us together as a family amid our differences, in order to embody a spirit of reconciliation and love for our neighbors. We will strive to identify and address the greatest needs and areas of pain within Williamsburg and our surrounding community, so that all people have access to what we need to thrive together.

OUR CORE VALUES

WUMC’s ministry will be shaped and guided by being:

  • Christ-Centered – the unbreakable and unifying source of our faith and hope.
  • Compassionate – the saving grace offered in Jesus Christ extends to all people.
  • Just – we will act with integrity and do no harm to each other and the world we live in.
  • Diverse – a true reflection of the all-welcoming nature of the reign of God.
  • Committed – our relationship with God is an ongoing, lifelong process of learning, renewal, and personal growth.

statement of inclusivity

At our beginning here in English America’s colonial Capital, we know Williamsburg Methodists were both Royalists and Patriots. Thus, for over 250 years our particular faith community has embraced people of diverse social and political backgrounds; that is who we are. We have failed over time to embody the racial and cultural diversity of America’s earliest Methodists, however; this too is who we have become.

The Christian faith makes clear that God loves and moves among all people, in all seasons. In a divisive season, we hold to the belief that God desires unity within the Body of Christ, the Church, but that unity does not mean uniformity. Particularly we hold that a faith family comprised of those with diverse political and social beliefs is a visible sign of divine Grace as it ministers to its local community and God’s world.

We thus will strive to live out an inclusive vision of holy Community, and deliberately welcome those of diverse ages, races, ethnic heritages and national origins, mental or physical abilities, genders, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, and household composition. We will intentionally seek to acknowledge and employ this diversity of gifts as we discern and develop our leaders.

Wherever a person is on their faith journey, we will seek to invite them to join our shared pilgrimage as people of a hopeful curiosity, striving to be disciples of Jesus Christ who bless our local and global neighbors.

UNITING VISION

We believe every person is created in the image of God, and that the saving grace offered in Jesus Christ extends to all people. We, a people of hopeful curiosity, therefore welcome and include all persons without exception, so that they will come to know and experience God’s love in the community of the Holy Spirit.

  • We will create a culture of welcoming, hospitality, and engagement in all aspects of our ministry. We will not be content to minister only to “those who enter our doors,” but strive to engage persons who have no family of faith.
  • We will identify and address barriers to participation in our faith community (i.e., physical accessibility, prejudice, classism, and so on).
  • We will equip our congregation to participate in listening and conversation having to do with challenging topics, and thereby model and build healthy relationships. 

We believe that the Christian faith is a lifelong journey, enabling us to grow closer to God and to our neighbor.  We therefore will guide all those in the faith-life of WUMC to take deliberate steps to deepen their relationship with Christ, so that as transformed people we may share in the work of the God Who redeems Creation.

  • We will create “a culture of faith formation” through small-group ministry.
  • We will develop a faith-formation process to engage and transform persons of all ages, through intentional study, spiritual disciplines and the work of serving others.
  • We will equip and empower our disciples to care for one another through all seasons of life. 

We believe God has taken the initiative to bind us together as a family amid our differences, in order to embody a spirit of reconciliation and love for our neighbors. We therefore will strive to address the greatest needs and areas of pain within Williamsburg and our surrounding community, so that all people have access to what we need to thrive together.

  • We will sacrificially share our time, talents, gifts and witness in areas of our community’s and world’s greatest needs.
  • We will employ our building and grounds in new ways to engage and relate to our local community.
  • We will partner with other faith communities and community organizations that are already striving to make a difference locally and globally.

strategic plan

Build a diverse, multicultural, intergenerational congregation that reflects the diversity of the Greater Williamsburg community and beyond.

  • Develop our outreach to children, youth, college students and young adults.
  • Offer dynamic worship experiences with a variety of formats and times.
  • Develop a Master plan for the church property that incorporates the uses and needs of future ministries.

Develop transformational relationships that lead to a deeper personal relationship with God and each other.

  • Nurture and expand small groups, studies, prayer, active participation in local and global outreach initiatives, and engagement with the broader community.
  • Partner with other faith communities, organizations, and agencies to meet needs currently underserved by WUMC.
  • Encourage members to share their time, talents, gifts and witness in service to our community and the world.

Strive for organizational excellence in all areas.

  • Implement best practices in fundraising, finance, HR, marketing, communications, and facilities management to help WUMC achieve its ministerial goals.
  • Insure WUMC stays current with regard to personnel policies, regular training, performance appraisals, etc.

methodist church history and beliefs

WHAT IS A UNITED METHODIST

The United Methodist Church is a global denomination that opens hearts, opens minds and opens doors through active engagement with our world. We are the person next door, the church on the other side of the country, and the worshiping community across the globe. Together, we share a legacy of living as disciples of Jesus Christ, sharing God's love both in what we say and how we serve our neighbors. 

A United Methodist is someone who joins in that mission by putting faith and love into action. We believe that God loves all people, and that we share in expressing that love. So the United Methodist tradition emphasizes God's grace and in serving others.

HISTORY OF THE UMC

Though The United Methodist Church was officially created in 1968, its history dates back to 1730 when John and Charles Wesley, two students at Oxford University in England, gathered a small group of students who sought to spread the Methodist movement. At about the same time, people like Philip William Otterbein, a German-American clergyman, and Martin Boehm, a Mennonite preacher, were leading similar movements in America that helped people grow their faith through the United Brethren in Christ Church.

Across the decades, both movements spread and grew, often merging to form new denominations. In 1968, both strands of Christianity came together to form The United Methodist Church.

EXPLORE OUR DENOMINATIONAL ROOTS

OUR STRUCTURE

The United Methodist Church does not have a central headquarters or a single executive leader. Duties are divided among bodies that include the General Conference, the Council of Bishops and the Judicial Council. 

Bishops provide spiritual leadership to almost 12 million persons in a broad range of settings. In the United Methodist tradition, bishops are not "ordained" as bishops, but are clergy elected and consecrated to the office of bishop. The only body that can set official policy and speak for the denomination is the General Conference. The General Conference is an international body of nearly 1,000 delegates that generally meets every four years. The Judicial Council determines the constitutionality of acts or proposed acts of the General, Jurisdictional, Central, and Annual Conferences.

HOW WE SERVE

When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus answered with two: “You must love the Lord your God” and “You must love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40). Following Jesus's call, founder of the early Methodist movement John Wesley taught us to grow in our faith by “doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all” (General Rules).

United Methodists around the world are active in our local communities, and through our global connection of congregations and agencies, we participate in ministries thousands of miles from where we live.

SERVE WITH US

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