Quick Faith FAQ:
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches, such as Shiloh UMC, provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs. At Shiloh UMC our ministers include everyone attending and participating in the life of our family of faith; our pastor and staff are called to help others put into practice the ministries to which they are called.
As United Methodists, we have an obligation to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, the living reality at the center of the Church’s life and witness. To fulfill this obligation, we reflect critically on our biblical and theological inheritance, striving to express faithfully the witness we make in our own time.
John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodism, believed that the core of Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason. For United Methodists:
- Scripture is considered the primary source and standard for Christian doctrine;
- Tradition is experience and the witness of development and growth of the faith through the past centuries and in many nations and cultures;
- Experience is the individual’s understanding and appropriating of the faith in the light of his or her own life; and,
- Through reason the individual Christian brings to bear on the Christian faith discerning and cogent thought.
These four elements taken together bring the individual Christian to a mature and fulfilling understanding of the Christian faith and the required response of worship and service.
United Methodists connect with one another to put their faith into action. We recognize our responsibility to place a high priority on strengthening economic, political, social, and technological lifestyles to support a more ecologically equitable and sustainable world. United, we are an active voice on issues around the world and a moving force behind solutions.
Taking an active stance in society is the example set by the founder of modern United Methodism, John Wesley (and his brother, Charles). He set the example of combining personal and social engagement leading to a higher quality of life for all of God’s creation.
We are known as a denomination involved with people’s lives, with political and social struggles, having both local and international mission initiatives. Such involvement is an expression of the personal change we experience through our United Methodist faith.
The United Methodist Church believes God’s love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. Through education, advocacy and action, the United Methodist Church seeks to understand the full range of economic and environmental issues, offer resources to help people of faith live into the biblical vision of wholeness and justice, and encourage engagement with policymakers and other decision-makers to change unjust systems which destroy God’s creation and harm God’s people.
Rule of Life
18th cent. aphorism attributed to John Wesley
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
At Shiloh United Methodist Church, we believe that being Christ’s church is about two things: love of God and love of neighbor; everything else is just a footnote (Matthew 22:36-40).
Our Communion table is open to anyone who seeks to respond to Christ’s love and seeks to lead a new life of peace and love. As The United Methodist Book of Worship states, “All who intend to lead a Christian life, together with their children, are invited to receive the bread and cup. We have no tradition of refusing any who present themselves desiring to receive” (page 29). This statement means that in practice there are few, if any, circumstances in which a United Methodist pastor would refuse to serve the elements of Holy Communion to a person who comes forward to receive. It is the Lord’s Supper, not ours, and it is Christ who invites you. As our ritual puts it: “Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another.” Whether or not you should receive Communion with us is between you and God.