Who We Are

The mission statement of the United Methodist Church is: 

“The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

  • John Wesley is considered the father of Methodism. 
  • He was an ordained deacon in the Church of England. 
  • John and his bother, Charles, created “Holy Clubs” with their friends to hold each other accountable for their discipleship and personal religious instruction. 
  • The daily practice of the “Holy Clubs” was so regimented and methodical, they were called “Methodist” as a derogatory term. 
  • Wesley began “open-air” preaching to reach more people than he was able to in a church. 
  • Wesley was deeply involved with many social issues of the time, including prison reform and abolition. 

What we believe

Rather than giving us a set of beliefs requiring assent, Jesus said, “Follow me!” 

“Beliefs” for Jesus was about engaging in relationship with God, not about an effort to accept a specific set of intellectual propositions. Wesley asserted that “All learning without love is but splendid ignorance.” This is not to undermine the importance of belief, but to put it into context. The United Methodist Church takes theology seriously and has developed articles of faith which have grown out of historic Christian doctrines and which shape our journey of understanding. 

As Christians...

  • Trinity-we believe there is one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
  • God-we believe in one God, who is a loving God. 
  • Jesus-we believe Jesus is the Son of God and that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. 
  • Holy Spirit-we believe that the Holy Spirit is God living in us, enabling us to live a Christian life. 
  • Bible-we believe the Bible is the inspired word of God. The United Methodist Church holds that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, brought to life through personal experience, and confirmed by reason. 

AS protestants...

We recognize two sacraments: Baptism and Communion. There were the two in which Jesus himself participated. 

  • Baptism-This is the sacrament of initiation into the church and joins us with all other Christians. It is a symbol of a new life with God and a sign of God’s forgiveness. Baptism is one-time event. There is no need to re-baptize a person. 
  • Communion (The Lord’s Supper)-This is holy meal of bread and fruit of the vine (grape juice) that recalls the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is through the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper that the Holy Spirit through Christ is present. God, in the acts of the Sacraments, brings the Spirit to us. United Methodists believe in an “Open Table,” where everyone is invited to partake in Communion. At Warrenton UMC, we have Communion on each Sunday at the 8 a.m. service, and on the first Sunday of each month at the 9:30, 9:35 and 11 a.m. services.

As Methodists...

Grace might best be described as the undeserved, unmarried love of God toward us.

  • Prevenient Grace (preparing)-God’s grace that is always reaching out towards us, even when we might not realize it. It is this grace that gives us our first inclination of God’s presence, a desire to respond to God, and also our ability to discern between right and wrong. 
  • Justifying Grace (accepting)-This grace is a gift from God that offers us forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God through the work of God in Christ. We respond to this grace with joy, gratitude, and repentance - a turning away from that which separates us from God and others, and a turning toward a life that expresses God’s love. 
  • Sanctifying Grace (sustaining)-Grace that allows us to continue to grow in our faith as we experience God’s ongoing presence in our lives. Through study and acts of devotion and service, we learn to know and love God more; and as we do, our thoughts and lives begin to more clearly reflect God’s character. 

Connectionalism-We are connected to all other United Methodists by: 

  • A common faith tradition. 
  • The Book of Discipline.
  • The leadership of the Council of Bishops. 
  • A common mission.
  • Finances-“Apportionments” are made by each local church to be used for the greater good of the United Methodist Church and its missions. 

Clergy-There are people who are “ordained,” or set apart for a servant leadership role. They are not members of the local church they serve, but are members of a conference which, in our case, is the Virginia Conference. There are two types of clergy, both ordained by a bishop: Deacons, who lead and support Christians in their various ministries by connecting the church to the world; and Elders, who lead and support Christians in their various ministries as well as perform the sacraments of order the life of the church.