The Triune God
We believe in a triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in God’s self revelation as three distinct, but inseparable persons.
The Father: We believe in one true, holy and living God who is creator, sovereign and preserver of all things visible and invisible. God is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love and rules with gracious regard for the well-being and salvation of all people.
The Son: We believe that God is best known in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. He is the source and measure of all valid Christian teaching. We believe in the mystery of salvation in and through the redeeming love of God found in the teachings of Jesus, in his resurrection, and in his promised return. The Son is the Word of the Father and one substance with the Father. Through him we are forgiven and reconciled to God.
The Holy Sprit: We believe that God’s love is realized in human life by the activity of the Holy Spirit, both in our personal lives and in the church. The Holy Sprit, the constant presence of God in our lives, whereby we find strength and help in time of need. The Spirit comforts, sustains and empowers us.
The Holy Bible
Tradition: Our attempt to understand God does not start anew with each generation or each person. Our faith also does not leap from New Testament times to the present as though nothing could be learned from all Christian thinkers and preachers in between. We learn from traditions found in many cultures, but Scripture remains the norm by which all traditions are judged.
Experience: We examine experience to confirm the realities of God’s grace attested in Scripture. Experience is the personal appropriation of God’s forgiving and empowering grace. Experience authenticates and confirms the truths revealed in Scripture and illumined in tradition.
Reason: Although we recognize that God’s revelation and our experiences of God’s grace continually surpass the scope of reason, we also believe that disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. By reason we read and interpret Scripture and seek to understand God’s action and will.
Salvation by Grace
God’s grace is the undeserved, unmerited presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. While the Holy Spirit never changes, our relationship with him does. John Wesley used different terms for grace to describe how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. The grace stays the same, as our position within salvation changes.
Prevenient Grace: In spite of suffering, violence, and evil, we assert that God’s grace is present everywhere. Scripture tells us “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Justifying Grace: God calls us to repentance, pardons us, accepts us, and gives us eternal life in Christ. This process of justification and new birth is often referred to as conversion. Such a change can be sudden or gradual, but, in either case, it marks a new beginning of an ongoing process.
Sanctifying Grace: We hold that the wonder of God’s acceptance and pardon continues through our lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to increase continually in the knowledge and love of God and in love for our neighbor.
Perfecting Grace: God has promised to make us perfect as he is perfect when Christ returns.
The Universal Church
Baptism: Entrance into the church is acknowledged in Baptism and may include persons of all ages. Baptism is followed by nurture and the awareness of the baptized of Christ’s claim upon their lives. For persons baptized as children, this claim is ratified by the baptized in confirmation, where the pledges of Baptism are accepted.
Communion: We believe the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the suffering and death of Christ, and a symbol of the union Christians have with Christ and with one another. All persons, regardless of age and regardless of church affiliation, are invited to the table of our Lord.
Faith and Good Works: While faith is the only response essential for salvation, God still calls each of us to live holy and loving lives. Good works are not things we do to earn salvation, but the works the Holy Spirit does in and through us.