Trinity Community Church Final Service June 30, 2019
Vision: Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
We welcome and celebrate the lives and loves of people of all ages, races, genders, traditions, sexual orientations, abilities or disabilities, political affiliations, theological leanings, immigration status, socio-economic background, hey, just everybody!
What is in a name?
In 2009 we changed our name from “Trinity United Methodist Church” to “Trinity Community Church: A United Methodist Congregation.” The goal is to put the community at the center of everything we do. Most people are not looking for a particular brand of church, but are looking for opportunities to make a difference in the community and in the world. We do not want to be the church where just the “Methodists” go; we want to be the church where the “community” goes. This church is of, by, and for the community. This church is of, by, and for you!
To reach out and impact the community, we have a dynamic mission and outreach with a four-part focus: Local, Metro, Conference, and Global. Visit our website often for more information about how you can make a difference in the community too!
What is the United Methodist Church?
Trinity is also very proud to be a part of the United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church is a mainline, connectional church that works together with fellow congregations and fellow denominations across the globe to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World. The larger denomination provides continual support and accountability both for our pastors and our lay members and holds the church together spiritually, theologically, and financially. Click on Kansas East Annual Conference to learn more about our connectional ministries.
The church was founded by John Wesley in England in the 1700’s and has grown into an 11 million member global church. Click on History of the UM Church to learn more.
The United Methodist Church shares similar traditional Christian beliefs that most other denominations share. For instance, we believe in the Trinity: God expressed through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in God who is the creator of all there is. We believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ who is the Risen Son of God. We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us individually and as a congregation. These statements are true for almost all Christian denominations.
United Methodists also have some beliefs that are shared by some but not all other churches:
Communion: We believe the Lord’s Supper is served in memory of Jesus Christ. We have an open communion table which means there are no rules about who may or may not receive communion. We believe this is the Lord’s Table and we are but servants of it. All who will receive the Grace of Jesus Christ are welcome here. Most United Methodist Churches (including Trinity) serve Communion on the first Sunday of every month and use grape juice instead of wine.
Baptism: Like most denominations, the United Methodist Church teaches, “The Baptismal Covenant is God’s word to us, proclaiming our adoption by grace, and our word to God promising our response of faith and love. Those within the covenant constitute the community we call the church.” Different from some churches, we practice baptism for infants as well as adults. We also baptize by sprinkling water (this is the most common for us), pouring water, or full immersion. The United Methodist Church also recognizes all baptisms by any other church that is done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We will not baptize anyone a second time because, “While our baptismal vows are less than reliable, God’s promise to us in the sacrament is steadfast.” (Quotations taken from the UM Hymnal, p. 32)
A unique belief of the United Methodist Church is John Wesley’s “Quadrilateral.” These are four avenues of faith that are most easily remembered as the acronym R.E.S.T. This is not the order of importance, but it is the only order that spells a word that is easy to remember!
God gave us brains to think. We are not to park our brains on the coat rack on the way into church and pick it up again afterwards. We have the ability to reason individually and together. A church that is not a thinking church can be a scary church! Our thinking, however is not sufficient, it is balanced with our experience of God, the Scriptures, and our tradition.
All the thinking in the world is no substitute for a personal experience of faith. Our individual experience of God in Jesus Christ is central to our understanding of faith. We nourish our experience of God in worship and prayer. We also filter our personal experience through our reasoning, the Scriptures, and our tradition.
We believe that scripture is the revealed Word of God that is the primary source of knowing God and living a life of faith. We believe we do a disservice to the rich diversity of the scriptures when we try to reduce it to a wooden literalism in every area. Our reading of Scripture is balanced with our own reason, experience, and tradition.
Tradition is the living faith of those who have gone before us and it is the foundation of the church. We are not alone. We are one church among many. We are very proud of our rich tradition here at Trinity and in the United Methodist Church. Yet, our tradition is empty remembering without our reason, personal experience of God, and the Scriptures.
Trinity is a not a place where everyone agrees on everything and pushes for conformity. Trinity is a place where we humbly acknowledge that no one has all the answers. We believe that we are all on this journey of faith together and there needs to be a place where people with very real differences can worship and celebrate life together. You are invited to share this journey! See you Sunday!
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