GodWe believe in one God, Creator of the world and all that is in it who exists in three distinct persons…the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is equally the one God in being, essence, character, power and eternal qualities. We believe God is loving. We believe we can experience God’s love and Grace (unmerited favor and undeserved love).
JesusWe believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior who came to earth in the flesh to reveal God to humans and to restore all of fallen humanity to a personal relationship with God. We believe Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; he is both fully human and fully God. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and embodies the truth about God and the Truth of God. Jesus willingly died on the cross to demonstrate God’s love for sinful humans and to provide salvation for all humanity. His sacrifice in our place provides all humans the means to be reconnected with their loving Creator. We believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Jesus ascended into heaven, where he rules as our Lord (absolute authority) and advocate. Jesus will return to earth in the future to establish God’s perfect peace and justice for all time.
The Holy SpiritWe believe in the divine person-hood of the Holy Spirit as an equal part of the Trinity. We believe the Holy Spirit is God present with us and living within each follower to empower a life that reflects the lifestyle, values and character of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the change agent in the lives of Jesus’ followers, illuminating God’s word for understanding and application in our lives. The Spirit is involved in progressively transforming each follower into the image of Christ, and is actively working within the Christian community and world at large to bring about God’s plan of redemption for all people and all creation.
The ChurchWe believe the Church is a spiritual organism made up of all those in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, who are called to live in fellowship and worship together. We believe in the priesthood of all believers: everyone in relationship with Christ is gifted, empowered and called to serve within God’s mission to reach the world. The Church is God’s vehicle on earth to bring about God’s justice and mercy for all people.
We believe the scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments are the inspired word of God and useful in helping us live God’s ways in the world (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We believe the Holy Spirit guided and directed human authors to create God’s written means of communication with us, which reveals God’s love and plan to be in relationship with all of humanity.
We believe human reason, the traditions of the Church, and personal experience join together to assist us in understanding the Scripture’s, and how we are to live out our faith. The Bible is God’s “blueprint” for living the Christian life and is our source for faith and practice.
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John Wesley (Founder of the Methodist Movement) in his sermon, “The Means of Grace” refers to the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion as “outward signs of an inward grace…” When the church gathers and those within celebrate together the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism we are actively experiencing and participating in God’s grace. Through these outward and visible signs of an inward and invisible grace the persons participating in the sacraments are able to grow in their pursuit to become more like Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus said to his followers, “Go, make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Those who profess to follow Jesus are baptized as a sign of the covenant God has initiated within their life.
Baptism is God’s word to us, proclaiming our adoption by grace and our word to God, promising our response of faith and love. Persons of all ages can be baptized at New Beginnings. We baptize by sprinkling, pouring and by immersion. Non-members are encouraged to seek membership as soon as possible after being baptized. The United Methodist Church recognizes baptisms from other faiths and churches and therefore does not “re-baptize”. We believe that God is faithful, and never fails to uphold his side of the covenant. We may be unfaithful, but God never wavers.
The United Methodist Church celebrates these returns or reaffirmation’s of faith, by asking the person or congregation to “Remember their Baptism.” When we reaffirm our faith we “renew the covenant declared at our baptism, and acknowledge God’s grace in our lives and affirm our commitment to Christ’s holy Church.”
Likewise, infants who were baptized are to be prepared by both their parents and the congregation to one day uphold the vows taken on their behalf and participate in a process called confirmation, whereby the confirmand, “reaffirms their faith, renews the covenant declared at their baptism and acknowledges God’s grace in their lives and affirms their commitments to Christ’s holy Church.”
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On the night that Jesus was betrayed he reclined at the table with his disciples. That evening Jesus took the traditional Passover feasts and turned it upside down when he took the bread, broke it and said, “take and eat, this is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Likewise, when the supper was over, he lifted up the cup of wine and said, “this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you, as often as you drink from it do so in remembrance of me (adapted from Luke 22:19-20).”
Today, when the people called the church gather they are called to do as they were instructed by Jesus on that night thousands of years ago. Together the church celebrates, as well as remembers Christ’s sacrificial death, the power of the Resurrection, and the truth that he will one day come again. At New Beginnings we typically celebrate Communion on the first Sunday of each month as well as some special occasions.
In the United Methodist Church the Lord’s Table is open to all people. In our Communion liturgy we say, “Christ our Lord invites to His table all who love him earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another.”
Communion is a time to begin a new with God and with others. Through Holy Communion we are provided the opportunity to offer confession to God, as well as to receive his forgiveness.