Many newcomers ask us about the differences and similarities between the Methodist church and other Christian churches. Here are some aspects of the Methodist church that may answer some of your questions.
- At the risk of stating the obvious, we’re Christians.
- There are 8 million United Methodists in the United States and another 3.5 million in countries around the world. The Methodist family, however, numbers more than 70 million worldwide, and more than 12 million in the United States. Our particular branch of this larger family, the United Methodist Church, is the largest.
Both women and men can serve as clergy/pastors. Methodists believe we are all in ministry together. Our decision-making bodies always include clergy and lay church members.
- Like other Protestant churches, Methodists celebrate two sacraments – Baptism and Communion (sometimes also called Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper). Our communion table is open to all. Yes, that really means everyone.
- Methodists believe that many of the things that separate people from each other are more important to them than they are to God. One of our founders, John Wesley, once said something we take seriously to heart today: In essentials: unity; in non-essentials: diversity; in all things: charity.
- Our name, Methodist, at first was a term meant to ridicule our theological founders, who believed in a systematic way of practicing the Christian faith. It was something they referred to as “practical divinity’ and the emphasis on spiritual practicality and application is still something that characterizes us today. These earliest Methodist were quite intentional in living their faith by:
- The study of scripture and other works of theology
- Works of mercy
- Regularly receiving Holy Communion
- Christian Holy Conferencing (a dated way of saying that they gathered regularly with one another to encourage each other and hold each other accountable in their Christian life and faith)
- Financial generosity
Methodists to this day find these means of grace to be essential. At Emmanuel United Methodist Church you will find regular and plentiful opportunities to engage in these central practices of the Christian faith.
If you are interested in becoming a member, contact Rev. Kim Capps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-725-5200. To find out more about us, check out the links below.