Newport Center United Methodist Church is a family for people of all ages, and our vision is to be a place where people connect with Jesus, each other, and the world. Through our worship, we seek to create a space where people can experience God’s presence and call in their lives. Through service to others, we are reminded that Jesus called us to love one another in all we do. Through fellowship, we strive to remember that wherever two or more have gathered in His name, Jesus is with us.
So whether we are sharing coffee on the patio or playing on the beach at an all church picnic, our hope is that we are reminded that our faith journey is one we walk together.
What is a United Methodist Christian?
The United Methodist tradition is the framework that we use to follow Jesus. It began in the 18th century by John Wesley because he believed that following Jesus wasn’t just about something we do on Sunday mornings. Instead, he believed following Jesus meant that our lives should be different Monday through Saturday as well. While a student at Oxford University, he gathered a group of friends who dedicated themselves to live as Jesus called us to live. They held one another accountable, supported one another, and did their best to live the way of Jesus found in Matthew 25:35-36.
35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
United Methodists believe God’s love is big enough for us all. Because of this, our denomination’s churches have “open hearts, open minds, and open doors.” All people are welcome in our church families, even when we disagree.
When wrestling with the issues of life, we use John Wesley’s fourfold approach known in United Methodist world as “The Quadrilateral.” Simply put, it means that whatever the topic, we believe four questions must inform our decisions:
- What does the Bible say? (Scripture)
- What does our intellect tell us? (Reason)
- What have Christians throughout time believed? (Tradition)
- What does my own experience of life tell me? (Experience)
The United Methodist church celebrates two special traditions we call sacraments; baptism and communion. A sacrament is symbolic act that reminds us of a truth about God’s love. Jesus participated in both of these acts during His life and asked us to do the same.
Through the sacrament of baptism, we use water to remind us that our old lives are washed away and our new life in Christ begins. A person can be baptized at any point in their life from infant to adult. In the case of infants and small children, parents make a promise to teach them about God’s love and forgiveness so that the child can someday say “yes” to God on their own. In the case of older children and adults, the sacrament of baptism gives them the chance to publicly say “yes” to God’s grace.
We believe that a person need only be baptized once, and we recognize the baptisms of any other Christian church. The most common method of baptism in the United Methodist church is to place a small handful of water over the head (officially known as “Sprinkling”), but we also can pour water on the head or do full immersion, if preferred.
Holy Communion is a symbolic meal to help us remember what Jesus has done for us through his death and resurrection. It is sometimes called The Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, or the Last Supper.
On Jesus last night on earth, He shared a similar meal with his closest friends. During that meal He broke bread as a symbol of His body given for us. He shared a cup of wine as a symbol of His blood given for us. And He asked us to do the same in remembrance of Him. In Holy Communion, we remember and become part of God’s story of love and forgiveness. At our table, we use bread and grape juice to remember Jesus. In the United Methodist church, the communion table is open to anyone because it is Jesus’ gift, not ours.
We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of the month, and you are always welcome to join us.