First United Methodist Church of Pasadena is located east of Old Pasadena in the Playhouse District and serves people from throughout the city, neighboring communities and the surrounding San Gabriel Valley.  Founded in 1875, the congregation today includes families of all ages with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.

What We Believe

We believe that God is love and therefore loves all persons, and that all are welcome to find a sense of belonging and home in the family of faith.  Since 2011 First UMC has been a part of the Reconciling Ministries Network, a national group of United Methodists that seeks to intentionally welcome all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, physical or mental capacity, and education, socio-economic or marital status.

To become disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Some of us are lifelong Methodists, others from lots of different traditions and some from no religious tradition at all.  No matter how long we’ve been on the journey of faith or from where we started, we believe each of us is growing into the person God created us to be.  As we mature together through the grace and mercy of God, we learn to be disciples of Jesus whose example of radical love and justice we seek to follow.  Being a student of Jesus leads us to active engagement in the world around us, seeking healing and justice for all. We believe in the Holy Spirit as God’s constant presence in our lives and in our hearts, always with us to remind us of God’s acceptance and love for us, and empowering us to do God’s work.

As United Methodists, we see the Bible as the primary resource for our faith. The story of salvation is made available to us through the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.  For us as Christians it comes into clearest focus in the life and ministry, loving service, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. We take scripture seriously, but not (usually) literally. As Jesus used parables to describe God’s kin-dom, we know that the deeper truth of a story is often found beyond its literal meaning.

We value the examples of those who have gone before us (tradition), the use of our minds (reason) and hearts (experience) as we seek to understand God’s intention for our lives. We represent a wide variety of theological positions.  When faith is shared from that breadth of diverse experiences and identities, the community of believers is enriched and deepened.  We give thanks for the gifts of laughter and love that God uses to help us see ourselves and others more clearly.

Our ministry and witness as a congregation is organized around the broad categories of Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-Taking Mission and Extravagant Generosity.  We seek to become the congregation that God created us to be: a talented community reaching out and transforming lives through learning and the arts; a generous people who share their abundant resources with others; and servant leaders working with community partners for change.