United Methodist Churchof Westlake Village

A Caring Christian Community

What We Believe

The United Methodist Church (UMC) is grounded in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What United Methodists believe is not an easy question to answer since our people don’t agree on all aspects of doctrine exactly the same.

The distinguishing marks of a United Methodist are probably best illustrated by a commitment to the basics of Christianity and by a Christian lifestyle.

United Methodists share a common heritage with other Christians in their:

In these and many other ways, Methodism affirms the unity of all Christians in the Body of Christ. United Methodists also share four main guidelines for belief. These guidelines help them understand their faith, and include:

We are interdependent and allow for variety in theology – though scripture is the foundation.

Like most Protestants, United Methodists recognize those sacraments in which Jesus Christ Himself participated–baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion or Eucharist). They also embrace liturgical services, preaching, prayer, confirmation, marriage, funerals and family devotions.

Baptism - United Methodists baptize by sprinkling, immersion or pouring. For us, baptism is the sacrament of initiation that joins us with the church and with Christians everywhere. It is a symbol of new life and a promise of God’s saving love, as well as a sign of God’s forgiveness of our sins.

Communion -The Lord’s Supper recalls the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and celebrates the unity of all the members of God’s family. The UMC celebrates “open” communion, which means that everyone is invited to participate in the sacrament. Children are also welcome, supervised by an adult. By sharing this holy meal of bread and juice, United Methodists give thanks for Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and receive grace to empower us to go on in Christian living.

United Methodists share a vision of life for all humanity. For us, social consciousness has always gone hand in hand with faith. Being a United Methodist means many things to many people. It means:

In general, United Methodists agree on major aspects of theology. Sources of their faith include the Bible, John Wesley’s writings, the Articles of Religion, the Confession of Faith and the United Methodist “Book of Discipline,” as well as theologians and educators.

We all share a faith in Jesus Christ, but the UMC encourages us to think for ourselves, so we don’t necessarily share the same opinions about every faith issue or social concern.