What We Believe

Over two hundred years ago, Methodism began somewhat by accident. Our founder, John Wesley, who was an Anglican Priest (Church of England), sparked a movement to renew and inspire faithful believers to a more active, committed life of Christian practice. That movement quickly grew into its own “brand” of followers of Jesus.

Methodists, since the days of John Wesley, have been concerned with personal and social holiness. We believe in a God who speaks in scripture, tradition, experience and reason. We believe that living in a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ is beautiful and powerful way for us to connect God and experience God’s grace in our lives. We believe that all Christian faith has to be practiced. There can be no separation of what we believe (doctrine) from what we do (practice). We also believe that it is our mission to bring God’s grace into the broken systems of this world. Whether it be poverty, famine, violence or injustice, we have the responsibility as God’s people to combat that which ails the world with the power of the Holy Spirit.
As United Methodist Christians, we believe strongly that God wants us to use our heads and our hearts, science and reason, compassion and sensitivity when sorting through the complex issues of the day. One of the “methods” we Methodists we rely upon is something we call the “Quadrilateral,” weighing carefully the four (“quad”) sources of divine guidance: Scripture, tradition, reason and experience.

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.  As Christians, we believe that God’s love 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. As a church, we represent a wide variety of theological positions. We don’t ask anyone to “leave their brains at the door,” but rather we believe that our faith is enhanced as we take in the collective wisdom of the sciences and humanities, other cultures and life experiences. When faith is shared from the breadth of our diversities 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.The United Methodist Church holds to the traditional teachings of the Christian traditional over the centuries, while also remaining open to God’s on-going revelation in our world, church, and lives.  

We affirm the historical creeds of the church, with a particular emphasis on our beliefs that:

God is good.

God’s love and grace is for
 all people.

Christ is our Teacher
and our Savior.

God will comfort, guide, and forgive every person, no matter who they are and what they’ve done.
United Methodists are big believers in God’s grace. We don’t have to do anything to “earn” God’s love. Just like all good and loving parents, God’s grace is unconditionally available to all God’s children.
In the life and teachings of Christ, we are offered a way of living that centers on compassion, mercy and love for all people

Faith is
a verb.

We believe in putting our faith into action. Serving others and the Christian faith go hand-in-hand.  As Christians we are always seeking to find ways to exercise our faith in acts of mercy, compassion and justice. 

The Christian life is best lived in community.

The church is a community of Christ-followers that provides us with a place of worship, support, friendship and prayer as we seek to be faithful disciples.

Discipleship 24/7.

Faith and worship isn’t just for Sunday mornings. We seek to live our lives in ways that reflect our faith commitments throughout the week.

The heart of our Christian faith is
Christ’s ministry of outreaching love

Each person is called to be a sign of God’s love in the world.  We don’t always have to preach with words,
the way that we love one another and live our lives is a witness to God’s love.

Proud to be a Reconciling Congregation

All people are welcome at First United Methodist Church. We are proudly part of the Reconciling Ministries Network and welcome all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, physical or mental capacity, and education, socio-economic or marital status. 

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

We, acknowledge that the land upon which we worship was the ancestral homeland of the Tongva People for thousands of years. Approximately two thousand Tongva people still live in the Los Angeles area. We honor their connection to this region and give thanks for the opportunity to live, work, worship and learn on this sacred land.

We believe that God created all persons as people of sacred worth, dignity and moral responsibility. 
As disciples of Christ, we seek to be persons of love, compassion, justice and peace.