What We Believe at Glendale // in word + action
What sets us apart from the next church down the street? Good question. Most church website belief pages say some version of the same thing – or are vague enough in what they actually believe to appear welcoming to all people – but once you get connected, may come to find out that their welcome + acceptance has a full stop – mainly for our siblings who are LGBTQ+. Below we share a little about what we are all about – but much of what is different about us will have to be experienced in person or online through worship and our small groups. You will find a growing, inclusive + affirming community of faith that believes God’s love + grace are available for + shared with ALL people – with no exceptions and no exclusions. You will find a group of people who don’t just go to church to be seen, but who genuinely care about and for one another – not only in the good times, but in those challenging life moments we all experience.
As United Methodists, we believe that the living core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture, illuminated by tradition, enlivened through personal experience, and confirmed by reason. In other words, there is no need to “check your brain at the door” when you walk through the virtual and/or physical front doors of Glendale. Bring your questions + doubts with you – we will explore them together. And really, it is safe to assume that there are others already within our community who have some of those same questions + doubts that you do. You’ll be in good company to explore those alongside us.
We live out our faith through our witness against racism and work to abolish inequality and discrimination, to reject criminal justice systems based on racist policies and practices and work for restorative justice, to speak against irresponsible use of the earth’s resources and become good stewards of God’s creation, to oppose war and the death penalty and work for peace with justice.
Historically, Methodists did not simply avoid evil in their own lives, they organized and worked with others to fight it as it appeared in the larger society. This organized mission + work continues today at Glendale.
Communion // An Open Table for ALL
We believe that The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion or the Eucharist – whichever you want to call it, is open to ALL people. There are no barriers or conditions to receiving Christ’s invitation to the table. Not baptised? No problem. Not a member of the church? Definitely not an issue there! Communion is one of God’s many gifts given freely to us – it is a tangible act that we are each invited to celebrate in community. We give our thanks to God for the gifts of creation and salvation through communion.
Communion at Glendale is always served with grape juice – not wine. This provides a truly open table experience that all people can be apart of.
Baptism // God’s Gift Offered Freely
Through our baptism as United Methodists, we are each called to “resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” In baptism, we reject the power of sin and begin our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. Haven’t been baptised? We provide a safe community of faith to explore, start, restart (many of us have been there) and/or deepen your relationship with God. Want to talk about baptism or your spiritual journey thus far? Pastor Steph would love to grab coffee sometime! Reach out to her here.
Our Wesleyan Means of Grace
We United Methodists are BIG on God’s GRACE!
Through grace, God claims us as their own and gives us hope through not only life on earth, but for life eternal.
God’s Grace: Prevenient ◉ Justifying ◉ Sanctifying
All humanity is surrounded by divine love, God’s prevenient grace, that prompts our first wish to please God and which gives us our first glimmer of understanding about God’s will on Earth. This grace also first moves us to recognize God’s love and our neighbor’s needs. This grace awakens in us a desire to be profoundly changed so that we might live in love toward God and neighbor. It is already right there for us – even before we even know it.
God’s justifying grace reaches out to us through Christ with acceptance and forgiveness, so that our hearts might be decisively changed. We hope through Christ to experience profound personal transformation. We receive God’s assurance that we are all accepted children of God.
God’s sanctifying grace works in us to nurture our growth in love. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we become more like Christ and are enabled to increase in the knowledge and love of God + in love for our neighbor. We continue to receive the mind and the motives of Christ – which moves us to continue moving towards Christ-like perfection.
We believe in an inclusive triune God — Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit. We believe in God’s self-revelation
as three distinct, but inseparable parts.
We believe in one true, holy, and living God who is creator, sovereign, and preserver of all things visible and invisible. God is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness, and love. God rules with gracious regard for the well-being and salvation of ALL people.
We believe that we best know and understand God in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. He is the source and measure of all valid Christian teaching. We believe in the mystery of salvation in and through the redeeming love of God found in the teachings of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and promised return.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that God’s love is realized by the activity of the Holy Spirit, both in our personal lives and in the church. The Holy Spirit is a constant presence in our lives, by which we find strength and help in time of need. The Spirit comforts, sustains, and empowers us.
To learn more about The United Methodist Church, check out UMC.org/beliefs. But like we said above, we hope you will come experience Glendale to really see what we are all about. Have questions about who we are or what we believe? Reach out to Pastor Steph Dodge.