*UPDATES COMING SOON*
God is calling the people of St. Mark’s UMC to Grow, Live, and Love as Followers of Christ.
In the Methodist tradition, we lift up a Wesleyan understanding of grace in the lives of believers. To begin with, we claim that there is “Prevenient Grace” – grace that goes before our knowledge. In other words, we believe that you are placed in the “sea of grace,” and that faith is being called forth in all of us.
We also believe in “Justifying Grace,” that is, knowing that Christ died for us, and receiving this gift of new life as individuals who say “yes” to the grace God has given to us. At some point, having been chosen by God since before we are even aware, we must also, in a faith response, choose God as well.
As adults who want to come to the faith, they are invited to a New Member Conversation with a Pastor and Member Classes. In these classes, we ask people about their faith journey, and hope to lead them to the next place on that journey. For many, this is their first chance to express their faith publicly and we allow them to do that through joining Sundays, when if needed, we will also baptize them, and they recognize God’s justifying grace for them. (We do not practice rebaptism, but accept whatever baptism has already taken place realizing God did not lie or make a mistake when you were placed in that “sea of faith.”)
All of the children, youth, and adults in our congregation are taught commitments that lead to ongoing abundant and eternal life. We understand this as “Sanctifying Grace,” by which we are made holy to be a living sacrifice of God’s grace.
For many in our church, faith has come gradually through God’s Spirit moving over time in our lives and through the ministry of the Church. For others, faith comes more like Paul’s Damascus Road experience