What to expect - frequently asked questions
Are you a newcomer to faith or just trying to get a sense of how First United Methodist Church Middletown is different from other faith experiences? Sometimes getting comfortable with a church is just knowing the basics about who we are and what we believe. Here's a quick guide to the most frequently asked questions that people may have about our church and its traditions.
Are you a Christian church?
We are a Christian church; we believe in a loving God who is the creator of all existence, who came to us in Jesus Christ, and who lives with us and in us today in God's Holy Spirit. We believe that God wants all of creation to be united with God through faith, and we invite everyone to join us in that journey.
Are you a Bible based church?
We believe that God has been revealed to the world through the words of the Holy Bible, and that it is our responsibility to understand the Bible with the help of other people. Together, we learn how to interpret the Bible through our understanding of Christian traditions, the experiences of our own lives and of other faithful people throughout history in all cultures, and with the gift of human reason, which allows us to make informed choices about how we approach faith.
What are your worship services like?
We worship with prayers, songs, readings from the Bible, a sermon (usually 10-15 minutes in length), greeting one another in peace, and offering voluntarily, as we are able, whatever gifts we wish to offer to the service of the church and its missions. It is a low-pressure experience, often with a mixture of music - some of it very traditional, some of it very contemporary. You can "come as you are," dress up, whatever you'd like. Children are welcome, and there is Sunday school education available for them. Youths and adult singles are very welcome, too. Our table for Holy Communion is open to all people to experience the presence of God's saving grace in this sacred meal.
United Methodist? What's that? Will I fit in?
The United Methodist Church is a global church, with people from a broad array of cultures and outlooks. We are a church that is open to people of all ages, outlooks and orientations; we all need God in our lives and other people seeking God to fulfill God's mission of bringing healing, transformation and hope to the world as devoted Christians. We encourage dialog and constructive service alongside people of all faith, even as we practice being the best examples of our own faith alongside them. People come to us from many faith traditions to discover their faith in new ways, and from no faith in particular.
How are you different from other churches?
Methodism is a unique Christian tradition. While we share many practices and beliefs with other Christian churches, we have some important differences that we believe are very valuable to people today: