What We Believe
What is a United Methodist?
At Albany UMC, we are followers of Jesus Christ. We are grateful to be members of the United Methodist Church, a connection of 4.2 million people in nearly 35,000 congregations across the world. We are growing deeper in our knowledge and love of God through the journey of discipleship—a way of life that places Jesus Christ at the center of everything.
Along the journey of discipleship, we are learning together:
We are learning to confess our human condition—Sin.
God made humanity to perfectly reflect the love and faithfulness of our Creator. Because of sin—the power of evil, apathy, and destruction at work in our lives—all people fall short of God's perfection. Sin is more than just doing wrong. It is a spiritual condition that harms all of us, limiting our freedom, our happiness, and our ability to live in peace. We hurt so badly from the pain of sin that even though we try desperately not to, we often inflict this same pain on the people around us. Sin can sometimes fill our lives--and our hearts--with fear and shame.
We are learning to rely on God's grace.
God rescues us from our downward spiral through grace—the power of God's love in action. We can't earn grace—it is always free. Through grace, God faithfully calls out to us until our hearts are ready to listen. Through grace, God heals us from the power of sin with the ultimate act of love: the offering of Jesus Christ, God's only Son. Through grace, God pours the Holy Spirit into our lives until love for God and love for our neighbors fills everything we think, say, and do. Grace makes us holy, happy, and free.
We are learning to know the Word of God—Jesus Christ.
Two thousand years ago, God became a human being in the person of Jesus, a teacher and healer who lived in a poor, rural community called Nazareth. Jesus was the Christ—the Messiah who would deliver God's people. By the power of Jesus' life, ministry, miracles, death on a cross, and resurrection from the dead, we have been given salvation: complete freedom from the power of sin here in this world, and the promise of eternal life in the world to come. We stand confidently on this promise which God has revealed to us us in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. When we listen for the Holy Spirit's guidance, the Word of God comes alive in the pages of these holy and inspired writings.
We are learning to share the Good News.
Since our beginnings in the 1700's under an English preacher named John Wesley, United Methodists have been following Jesus' commandment to proclaim the Gospel to all people in all nations (Acts 1:8). God has given us hope, life, and freedom in Jesus Christ. Now, by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is for us to share this hope, life, and freedom with those who need it most.