FOCUS ON THE VISION
The Apostles’ Creed is the affirmation of faith most widely used by United Methodists. The Apostles’ Creed derives its name from its use in the Christian church from as early as A.D. 150 and the early belief that it was used by the apostles. Beginning in the third century, this creed was used at baptisms by the Roman Catholic Church. Through the years it has been used widely by both Roman Catholics and Protestants as the formative statement of the faith into which Christians are baptized. (Taken from www.umc.org
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** church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
The birth of Methodism included people from many religious and theological backgrounds. Today, we find within The United Methodist Church people from all walks of life, religious, social and cultural backgrounds. As we seek to grow disciples of Jesus Christ, the Apostles Creed is one resource that helps the local church.
How does your local church corporately remind the body of Christ of The United Methodist theological beliefs?
Do you use the Apostles’ Creed in worship? How might the creeds and hymns of the faith be used as a resource in your plan of discipleship within your local church?
How can your local church be creative in sharing these historical resources – through teaching, ministry with children and youth, art, singing, or the spoken word?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The scriptural passage above simply reminds me of those who have come before us. Our spiritual ancestors clearly found a way to express their faith in Jesus Christ and teach the beliefs in the corporate community of faith. As we move forward, how might we include an intentional, deliberate emphasis on Christian theological doctrinal beliefs?
May we embrace the opportunity as leaders in the faith to struggle with these questions related to discipleship and Christian education.
Rev. Denise Walton serves as the Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.