Extending Radical Hospitality.
Welcome to Van Buren United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. We are glad you’re here.
We hope this website provides you with useful information about our church, our community, and our beliefs. There’s a lot happening at Van Buren UMC and we hope this virtual meeting will lead to an opportunity for us to get to know you over a cup of coffee, in service, or in worship.
In this section of the site, we’ve provided some basic information about who we are as a United Methodist Church and tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
So explore, engage, and discover Van Buren United Methodist Church.
We Are Christians
We believe in one God. We believe that God created and sustains the universe. We believe that God came into this world in a special way through the ministry, teachings, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the way that the love of God is present in the world.
“To become a Christian involves learning the story of Israel and of Jesus well enough to interpret and experience oneself and one’s world in its terms.”
— George Lindbeck (1923-), The Nature of Doctrine:Religion and Theology in a PostliberalAge. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, c1984, p. 34.
Doubts and Questions Are Part of the Journey
Faith grows and changes for everyone throughout life’s journey. Most of us have questions about our faith. We welcome people who are unsure what they believe and are seeking a community in which to explore their beliefs.
Respect for Other Faiths
We believe that God loves all humankind, no matter which religion we belong to, or if we belong to no religion at all. Several interfaith families belong to our congregation. We welcome the richness they bring to our community.
Together with many Protestant churches, we recognize two sacraments: Baptism and Communion. In a sacrament, God uses tangible, material things to express sacred mysteries.
Holy Baptism is the sacrament that initiates us into the church “through water and the Spirit.” In Baptism we become members of Christ’s church.
Holy Communion is the sacrament that nourishes us in our journey by using real food and drink to re-enact Christ’s last meal with his disciples. Over and over again, it gives us the experience of being part of the church as the body of Christ in the world. Our celebration of Communion is open to all who wish to participate in Christian community.
Our Sacred Writings
We believe that the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are collections of writings inspired by God and written down by fallible people. We believe they contain what is needed to give life meaning. We believe they are worthy of our study, preaching and meditation.
A Congregation of the United Methodist Church
We belong to The United Methodist Church, which traces its history back to John Wesley’s ministry of church renewal in England and North America. Through Wesley (1703-1791), we share in older Christian tradition reaching back in history through the Church of England and the Catholic Church back to the earliest Apostles. Today, the United Methodist church is a denomination of 8.5 million Christians in the United States and about one million more around the world. We are a member of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference(regional area) of the United Methodist Church.
The “Wesleyan Quadrilateral”
United Methodists have four guidelines, which help us make decisions. They were developed by John Wesley and are called the “Wesleyan Quadrilateral.” They ask these questions:
- Is this consistent with the teachings of the Bible?
- Is it consistent with the traditions of the church?
- Is it consistent with reason and common sense?
- Is it consistent with personal experience?
We Respect Science
We respect the insights and discoveries of natural science. We believe that God works through the laws of natural science. We accept the validity of evolution and understand it to be compatible with the Bible’s teachings.
We Are a Caring Community
Our commitment to a common faith draws us together as a church family. We value our experiences of community and mutual support. Our choirs, women’s circles, study classes, children’s programs, leadership teams, committees and mission trips are some of the large and small groups in our church which nurture community.
A Passion for Social Justice
During his ministry Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry, welcomed children, forgave sinners and sought out society’s outcasts. We seek to continue his work for human wholeness by addressing both immediate needs and long-term sustainable solutions.
We engage in a variety of social justice ministries with both local and global partners.
A Reconciling Congregation
National United Methodist Church affirms that all individuals are of sacred worth without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, education, marital circumstances, economic status, physical and mental condition, or criminal history.
We declare ourselves in support of the reconciling movement and welcome the full participation in the church of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender persons and their families, as a reflection of God’s unconditional love. We also recognize differences of opinion on issues of sexuality, and seek to journey together in faith toward greater understanding and mutual respect.
Learn more about our reconciling community.