With Christians of other communions we confess belief in the triune God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This confession embraces the biblical witness to God's activity in creation, encompasses God's gracious self-involvement in the drama of history, and anticipate the consummation of God's reign.
We hold in common with all Christians a faith in the mystery of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. At the heart of the gospel of salvation is God's incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth. Scripture witnesses to the redeeming love of God in Jesus' life and teachings, his atoning death, his resurrection, his sovereign presence in history, his triumph over the powers of evil and death, and his promised return.
We share the Christian belief that God's redemptive love is realized in human life by the activity of the Holy Spirit, both in personal experience and in the community of believers. We believe that ALL persons are of sacred worth and are to some degree vessels of the Holy Spirit.
We understand ourselves to be part of Christ's universal Church when by adoration, proclamation and service we become conformed to Christ.
With other Christians we recognize that the reign of God is both a present and future reality. The church is called to be that place where the first signs of the reign of God are identified and acknowledged in the world.
We share with many Christian communions a recognition of the authority of Scripture in matters of faith, the confession that our justification as sinners is by grace through faith, and the sober realization the the church is in need of continual reformation and renewal.
Distinctives Of Our Wesleyan Heritage
Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life. By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever present Holy Spirit.
Prevenient Grace - We acknowledge God's prevenient grace, the divine love that surrounds all humanity and precedes any and all of our conscious impulses. This grace prompts our first wish to please God, our first glimmer of understanding concerning God's will, and our first slight transient conviction of having sinned against God.
Justification and Assurance - We believe that God reaches out to the repentant believer in justifying grace with accepting and pardoning love. Wesleyan theology stresses that a decisive change in the human heart can and does occur under the prompting of grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Sanctification and Perfection - We hold that the wonder of God's acceptance and pardon does not end God's saving work, which continues to nurture our growth in grace. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are enabled to increase in the knowledge and love of God and in love for our neighbor. New birth is the first step in the process of sanctification. Sanctifying grace draws us toward the gift of Christian perfection, which Wesley described as a heart "habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor" and as "having the mind of Christ and walking as he walked."
Faith and Good Works - We see God's grace and human activity working together in the relationship of faith and good works. God's grace calls forth human response and discipline. Faith remains the only essential for salvation. However, salvation evidences itself in good works of piety and mercy.
Mission and Service - We insist that personal salvation always involves Christian mission and service to the world. Scriptural holiness entails more than personal piety; love of God is always linked with love of neighbor, a passion for justice and renewal in the life of the world.
Nurture and Mission of the Church - We emphasize the nurturing and serving function of Christian fellowship in the Church. The personal experience of faith is nourished by the worshiping community. For Wesley there is no religion but social religion, no holiness but social holiness. The communal forms of faith in the Wesleyan tradition not only promote personal growth; they also equip and mobilize us for mission to the world.
For Wesley a life of faith was spelled out in his three part rule.
First, do no harm.
Second, do good of every possible sort.
Third, spend time in the study of scripture.