Wisconsin Rapids United Methodist Church is a WELCOMING place where people come to know God and through which God is changing lives. People are connecting with others, being the hands and feet of Christ, and growing deeper in their walk with Jesus. Above all, God is being glorified. Instead of just being another club or group in town to be a part of… our hope is to help people truly encounter God’s LOVE, GROW in our faith in and love for God, and GO as disciples serving God by serving others. We’ll be the first ones to admit that we’re not perfect though, and, if that’s something you can relate to, you’ll fit right in.
The Living God
. Christianity is not merely a set of doctrines, a list of do’s and don’ts, or even profound emotions. The faith is first a vital relationship with God through Christ made real in us by the Holy Spirit. This relationship of love transforms us and makes us know that we are worth something.
. We believe in God’s love, first as a gift that is free rather than a wage that is earned by “being good,” then as a demand to respond to God’s love with love toward God and everyone else. Finally, we believe in God’s love as a power to become more like Jesus.
The Bible.We believe the scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments are the inspired word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) We believe the Holy Spirit guided and directed human authors to create God’s written means of communication with us, which reveals God’s love and plan to be in relationship with all of humanity. The Bible is God’s blueprint for living the Christian life and is our source for faith and practice.
. We believe in one God, who exists in three distinct persons…the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is equally the one God in being, essence, character, power and eternal qualities.
. We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior who came to earth in the flesh to reveal God to humans and to restore all of fallen humanity to a personal relationship with God. We believe Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; he is both fully human and fully God. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and embodies the truth about God and the Truth of God. Jesus willingly died on the cross to demonstrate God’s love for sinful humans and to provide salvation for all humanity. His sacrifice in our place provides all humans the means to be reconnected with their loving Creator. We believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Jesus ascended into heaven, where he rules as our Lord (absolute authority) and advocate. Jesus will return to earth in the future to establish God’s perfect peace and justice for all time.
The Holy Spirit
. We believe in the divine personhood of the Holy Spirit as an equal part of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God present, living within each follower to empower a life that reflects the lifestyle, values and character of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the change agent in the lives of Jesus’ followers, illuminating God’s word for understanding and application in the life of each. The Spirit is involved in progressively transforming each follower into the image of Christ, and is actively working within the Christian community and world at large to bring about God’s plan of redemption for all people and all creation.
. We believe the Church (also known as the Body or Bride of Christ in scripture) is a spiritual organism made up of all those in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, who are called to live in fellowship and worship together. We believe in the priesthood of all believers: everyone in relationship with Christ is gifted, empowered and called to serve within God’s mission to reach the world. The Church is God’s vehicle on earth to bring about God’s justice and mercy for all people.
The Bible is the foundation of our mission and values and is our guide in all matters of faith and practice. You may hear us talking about the Bible as if it held all the answers to the most important questions in life: that’s because we think it does. You may see us acting as if it were a letter written straight from God himself. That’s because we think it is. Sometimes we don’t completely agree about what the Bible means, so we talk about that. More often, we know exactly what it means, but we struggle to obey it, so we help each other with that, too.
Prayer is big. We don’t pray because it is a religious duty. We pray because we think talking to God actually matters. It can change the world. It’s just about the only thing that can actually change our own hearts. We pray to tell God we love Him, to thank Him because He is so amazingly good, to tell him we’re sorry when we blow it, and to ask for stuff we need. The cool thing is, He listens.
We seek connection with others. Life is better when lived together, and no one can go it alone. So we’re all about building friendships, forming small groups, and taking care of each other when bad stuff happens. As a church, its why we partner here and around the world with many missions agencies and with the United Methodist Church.
We’re on a mission. Actually, God is on a mission. We see Him actively at work in the world making everything back right that has gone wrong. Feeding hungry people, healing sick people, building houses for homeless people, standing up for people who have been treated wrong. What’s awesome is, we are the ones He is doing it through, like we’re His “hands and feet” in the world. Life lived selfishly is boring; life lived on mission is an adventure, and we don’t want to miss it.
Strategies as to how all of these beliefs combine and form what we do … who we are: