Beliefs and Practices

This local congregation is a part of the global United Methodist Church. We share a theological heritage with our brothers and sisters in other Christian denominations. At the same time, we are proud of our distinctive Wesleyan emphases such as our fundamental understanding of God’s grace, the importance of holiness in our hearts and in all aspects of our lives, and a call to mission and service as we work toward the kingdom of God. Our congregation is a part of the Aurora District of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.

We believe…

…in the primacy of God’s grace and love, which is available to all people.

We believe that God’s grace, the love and mercy of God, is a free gift available to all people. God is at work in our lives before we are even aware of it. God created every living thing and called it good. God wants to be in a relationship with us. The nature and self-sacrificing love of God is revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God offers us forgiveness and healing; We can choose whether or not to respond to God. When we respond to God’s grace, we continue to grow in the love of God and in the love of everything else God created throughout our lives.

…in the use of scripture, tradition, experience, and reason in formulating belief.

We look to scripture as our primary source for faithful understanding, yet we acknowledge that the scriptures carry with them the fingerprints of ancient people, eras, and customs. We also rely on our tradition, personal and collective experience, and sound reason in helping us to determine the way of Christ. As a community, we struggle together to become who God is calling us to be.

…that how you live your life is as important as what you say you believe.

Our faith is demonstrated in our practice. We are called to love not only each other, but all the people of the world. We are dedicated to living in ways that uphold the common good and we work together for justice and mercy. We believe in serving those who are on the margins of society and we advocate on behalf of those who have no voice.

…that this congregation exists to worship God, nurture disciples of Christ, and challenge all people to live faithfully.

We are companions on a journey. Together we seek opportunities to learn, grow, and serve. Our hearts, our minds, and our doors are open to you. We hope you will join us.

 

The Sacraments in the United Methodist Church

Baptism

Baptism is an outward act that demonstrates our initiation into the Body of Christ. Through this sacrament, we accept God’s promise of ongoing grace, the offering of continual forgiveness and transformation throughout our lives. In the United Methodist Church, people of all ages can be baptized. Babies and small children are recipients of God’s grace as are adults. Parents and sponsors make commitments on their behalf during baptism that they can reaffirm when they are confirmed.

If you have been baptized in another denomination, you do not need to be re-baptized. Through baptism, you become part of the whole body of Christ – not simply a member of a local congregation. If you would like to learn more about baptism or would like to schedule a baptism, please contact the church office at (815) 436-9651.

Baptism form (PDF)

Holy Communion

We celebrate an open communion table in the United Methodist tradition. This means that you all are welcome to come to the table of grace regardless of your age, your past, or your faith tradition. We come to the table seeking God’s grace and remembering the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Children are especially welcome to join with the congregation in receiving the bread and the juice. If parents prefer, children can come forward for a blessing from one of our pastors. Gluten-free communion wafers and juice are available for those with special dietary needs. Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month at all worship services. Holy Communion is available weekly at the 10:00 am service (8:30 am during the summer schedule).