Birth and Life in Methodism
Our beliefs flow from the scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Our founder, John Wesley, was an Anglican Priest who longed to see the church revived. In his time the Church was in a deep malaise and people had become complacent. They were simply going through the motions of religion, but ignoring the earth-shattering reality faith in God makes in a person's life. So he did something about it. He preached outside, which at the time was strictly forbidden. He shared the Gospel with thousands of people at a time, even performing miracles (he even raised a man from the dead!). He also gathered people into small groups called bands or societies, so that people could encourage one another to grow spiritually and become people of deep faith. The group of Christians, called Methodists because of their methodical acts of piety, helped end the slave trade in England, led the temperance movement in the United States and grew to be one of the largest global Christian denominations in the world.
Our mission at Hillsdale United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We believe that making disciples means we take specific steps to grow in holiness and become more like Jesus. That's why we have a vision statement; it helps us translate our mission into action. Our vision is to be a faith community offering opportunities to all people seeking to know God, advance God's kingdom and do God's will by following Jesus Christ. We highlight three things in our vision statement - know God, advance God's kingdom and do God's will. Knowing God is about our worship and Sunday School. Advancing God's kingdom is about our missions and outreach. Doing God's will is about the small groups we participate in that encourage us to keep living the way God would have us live. These are the things the church has always done from the very beginning. Jesus encouraged us to gather together and remember him. Jesus constantly reached out to marginalized people and did transformational ministry with them. Jesus also modeled our modern day small groups when he chose twelve disciples to learn from him and follow in his teachings. Our church continues in this ancient tradition.
If you want to grow in your faith we invite you to get involved in these three areas of ministry. Join us for worship, do hands-on mission work and meet regularly in a small group. Studies have shown that the single most important factor in a person's spiritual growth is reading scripture (read more here). We hope everyone will participate in our Making Sense of the Bible study (a book written by Adam Hamilton). Its offered about once a year, focusing on one of the chapters about a relevant cultural topic, but you can read the book on your own anytime. We think this will give you a great headstart on reading the scriptures for yourself and how to interpret it in a way that makes sense for the world we live in.