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First United Methodist Church of Pampa is a biblically-based, Christ-centered congregation. We seek to enrich the lives of every adult, teen and child connected with our congregation as well as to reach out in service and love to our community and beyond. We hope you will join us for worship to experience the joy and encouragement that comes from joining with other people of faith as we walk our Christian walk together!

 

We joyfully celebrate the common foundation of faith in Jesus Christ which we share with all Christians, and we humbly offer the rich doctrines of our Wesleyan heritage trusting that God will use them to bless and enrich the people of our community.

You may be interested in checking out the brief summaries of our doctrine and beliefs as United Methodists which are located below.

 
Basic Christian Affirmations:
With Christians of other communions around the world, we confess belief in the triune God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We hold in common with all Christians the necessity and sufficiency of Jesus Christ for salvation. We share the Christian belief that God’s redemptive love is experienced in our lives through the activity of the Holy Spirit, both through personal experiences and in the community of believers. We recognize that the reign of God is both a present and a future reality. We share with many Christian communions a commitment to the authority of Scripture in matters of faith, a trust that our justification as sinners is by God’s active grace through our faith, and the sober admission that the church and human society are in need of continual reform and renewal.

 

Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases:
We give distinctive emphasis to what is called the “order of grace”. 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. This grace also first moves us to recognize our own sin against God’s love and our neighbor’s needs. This grace awakens in us a desire to repent, to be profoundly changed, so that we might live in love toward God and neighbor.

God’s justifying grace reaches out to us through the Holy Spirit 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 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 and in love for our neighbor. We increasingly receive the mind and the motives of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Practices:
Means of Grace
United Methodists encourage spiritual growth. Our heritage begins with John Wesley, a minister of 18th century England and the founder of the Methodist movement. Wesley taught that Christian spirituality should include “the means of grace” or “works of piety”. The means of grace included:

Centering in Prayer: Wesley encouraged daily private devotion, usually in both the morning and evening, as well as time for family or household devotions. He suggested that this prayer should include expressing: (1) love and gratitude to God, (2) repentance for our failure to love and serve others, (3) sharing our thoughts, feelings and requests with God, (4) interceding for needs of others, and (5) simply listening for what God might want to say to guide or correct us.

Searching the Scriptures: Wesley encouraged daily reading of the Scriptures. He suggested that we read the Bible seriously (with prayer), systematically (reading entire books or through the Bible), carefully (with good commentaries and scholarship), and fruitfully (immediately putting into practice what we learn). We are also urged to meditate on what we read, and to take every opportunity we can find to hear the Bible read by others in worship or small groups. Wesley asked Christians to always keep a Bible with them so they could read whenever they had time available.

Conferring with Others: Methodists welcome the opportunity to “confer” or converse with other individuals and small groups in order to encourage one another in the spiritual life, and to help each one to be accountable for responsible discipleship.

Worship and the Lord’s Supper: Methodist Christians are encouraged to worship often, at least weekly, and to share in the Lord’s Supper or Communion as often as possible, as a means of union with Christ and with other Christians.
Fasting: It’s not a discipline that is familiar or popular these days, but in Wesley’s era his Methodists were instructed to fast a day or so every week. The motives included: spiritual growth, self-denial (how many of us could use a little humility today?), voluntary simplicity, giving our surplus of food or money to the needs of the poor, and as a measure for good health. One can engage in fasting in a variety of ways to meet one’s own medical needs or to focus on spiritual growth in certain areas of one’s life.

Confessions/Creeds
While Scripture stands as our foundational guide for faith and practice, Christians over the centuries have sought to encapsulate the Christian faith within confessions (or creeds) which include our understanding of Scripture within more bite-sized statements. This enables us to review the big picture of Christian faith easily and often. Two of the richest and most loved confessions within Christianity are The Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed.

The Apostle’s Creed

The Apostle’s Creed is an early statement of Christian belief which is valued and often used in worship by many Christian denominations.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic [universal] church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed goes into more detail about the divinity of Jesus and the person of the Holy Spirit.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.