First UMC Lafayette

Sharing the Love of God through worship, education and outreach.

What We Believe

Our beliefs are based on Scripture, our traditions, experience, and reason.

Scripture has revealed to us the living God in the doctrine of the Trinity, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe in God the Creator, the sustainer and ruler of the world.

We believe Jesus is the full revelation of God, the Incarnate One who was both fully human and fully divine. Jesus gave us the perfect example of attention to faithful living throughout his teaching, healing, blessing, self-sacrificing life. Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus took away our sins and gave us eternal life. We are to be disciples of Jesus Christ in our worship, devotion, mercy, and justice. Through our discipleship, we are to transform the world one heart at a time, beginning with our own.

We believe the Holy Spirit is always and everywhere present in our daily lives. The Holy Spirit is the comfort, guidance and strength we receive from God even before we know our needs along our spiritual journey. Through the Holy Spirit, we come know God and ourselves as spiritual beings. The Spirit is a constant companion and guide all our lives through.

We recognize the two Sacraments ordained by Christ: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These Sacraments are outward and visible signs of an inward, spiritual grace.

Baptism marks us as brothers and sisters of Christ and calls us into a new relationship wth God. The form of Baptism, whether sprinkling, pouring, or immersion, is not as important as the symbol of the Sacrament. Baptism is God’s naming and claiming of us to be children in God’s kin-dom. Our understanding of the Sacrament is not a requirement to its effective change and call on our lives. We baptize infants and children, therefore, as well as adults. And we acknowledge the Baptism of other faith traditions because we believe the Sacrament is about God’s activity in our lives.

The Lord’s Supper, instituted by Christ, is Christ’s table, or Eucharist, or Holy Communion. In the United Methodist Church, Holy Communion is offered by Open Table to all who come in faith seeking beloved community with other another and a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ regardless of denominational affiliation or profession of faith. We partake of the Sacrament in memory of Christ’s death and with the promise of the forgiveness of our sins. We believe, as we eat the bread and drink from the cup, we are united with Christ’s presence in, under, with, and through the elements and through the Holy Spirit.

We have inherited a rich and varied tradition that has evolved into a diverse unity rather than a rigid uniformity. We confront the social, spiritual, and moral issues of the day by thoughtful debate with open minds. We believe truth comes from God and yet we recognize empirical knowledge and scientific discoveries are part of God’s world. We use the gifts of reason and logic God has given us in all matters of faith. Our life experiences also bring us to a greater understanding of God’s truths as revealed in Scripture and through the ancient traditions of the church.

We believe the faith we profess should be confirmed by the work we do in God’s kin-dom here on earth. Faith and works are therefore inseparable.  We believe grace is the unmerited, undeserved gift of God’s love that is necessary for us to experience the life God has for us. God has given us the gift of freewill and therefore, we have the power to say “yes” to God’s grace and forgiveness. Freewill empowers human beings to choose God’s will. Saying “yes” to this grace leads us into both a new life and a new identity.

We believe in the power of prayer. We believe God’s will is done when faithful people lift one another in prayer and surround one another with God’s love. We believe in miracles when God says “yes” to our prayers. We also believe that sometimes God’s answer is “no,” or “not yet.” We believe God hears our prayers and the prayers of all people.

We believe in an inclusive church and welcome all people who are seeking to live peaceably with one another and with God. We are a Reconciling Congregation, meaning we declare our commitment to the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in all our ministry areas. Our faith community chooses to explicitly convey that every person is considered to be worthy of God’s forgiveness and love and a blessing to our Beloved Community.

While we worship in our church, the walls of our building do not determine the limits of our church. We know the Kin-dom of God extends throughout the world and our ministries include not only worship but also evangelism, stewardship, education, outreach, and missions. We are to ‘make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world’ in all we say and do.

While we use liturgies in our worship that include traditional creeds, we believe our living God cannot be contained or reduced to a creed. The historic creeds contain these truths as testimonies of our heritage, and we believe these truths can be restated in new forms of worship for our modern world. We have deep regard for the historic traditions of our denomination, and at the same time, we look for new forms of innovation gifted by the Holy Spirit.