Frequently Asked Questions
about United Methodists

 

Does The United Methodist Church accept the baptisms of other denominations?

Yes. The United Methodist Church recognizes the baptism of other Christian denominations, whether done by immersion, sprinkling or pouring.
 

What is the creed of the United Methodist Church? Why do we say creeds?

The United Methodist Hymnal contains nine creeds or affirmations of faith. Only two of these (Nicene and Apostles’) are strictly considered creeds because they are products of ecumenical councils. We say creeds in order to be clear, to both visitors and church members, what it is we profess to believe.

The Methodist Social Creed, which is another creed of our denomination (and is also in the Hymnal), originated to express Methodism’s outrage in the late 19th and early 20th century over the working and living conditions of the millions of workers in factories, mines, mills, tenements and company towns. Following the lead of John Wesley, Methodists have always fought for social, economic and environmental justice while still maintaining our evangelical heritage.

You can find our Social Creed here and read more about United Methodist’s Social Justice Heritage.
 
 

What can I expect when I come to worship on Sunday morning
at your church?

First, our Sunday worship service begins at 10:30am. Guidelines for worship during COVID-19 can be found here. We also livestream this service on Facebook. We offer age-related ministries during Sunday morning as well, and SPKidz Nursery, SPKidz Children’s Church, and iClub begin at 10:30am.
 
Second, there is no dress code. We focus on more important things.
 
Third, while we desire to grow as God equips us, we are not a mega-church. We value authenticity over production, and that comes across in our worship on Sundays. As a result, worship is a more personal experience here. Think coffee house live band rather than rock concert. Sermons are conversational, not given by someone on a theatrical stage with fancy sneakers. We also celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month, and invite all to receive the sacrament.
 
Fourth, while we might call it “traditional” worship, we try to get beyond the stuffy boundaries that label can produce in people’s minds. Here at St. Paul’s, we call our worship “Relaxed Traditional.” We are liturgical, but not rigid in what we do from week to week. We value the meaning of our worship more than the actual form that worship may take. We use all types of music and worship to praise God and encourage people toward deeper faith in Jesus Christ. After all, God wants us to worship in spirit and truth, and never says in the Bible that a certain worship style is preferred.  
 

Can children take communion?

It is up to the parents to decide when their child should begin receiving communion. Since Jesus invited to his table all who loved him, who earnestly repented of their sin and desired to live in peace with one another, the United Methodist Church has an “Open Table” during Holy Communion. This means anyone who wishes to come and receive the elements with an open heart is welcome.
 

Do United Methodists believe the communion elements actually become the body and blood of Christ?

No. We believe that the change is spiritual.
 

I keep hearing about the United Methodist Church’s fight over inclusion of LGBTQ+ people.  Where is all this headed, and where does St. Paul’s stand?

Well, it’s a complicated, long story that is still unfolding.  For a good, quick synopsis of the long history of this argument within the worldwide UMC, take a look at this article: What is the Church’s position on homosexuality? | The United Methodist Church (umc.org)
 
St. Paul’s strives to “keep the main thing the main thing” in everything we do.  We have welcomed LGBTQ+ people into our church family, and will continue to do so.  We have members of our church family on both sides of this debate, who read the Bible differently on this matter, just like in the larger UMC.  As such, we are not a part of any group advocating for a more “conservative” or “progressive” policy of the UMC, nor do we advocate splitting from the UMC over this issue.
 

Click here for more depth on any of these questions.

 
Feel free to email Pastor Robert if you have any questions that are not covered here.