Cedar Park First United Methodist Church is a fairly traditional church within the United Methodist Church. We feature a traditional worship service using piano and a blend of traditional and modern hymns. We offer Holy Communion every Sunday at the early (8:30) service and once a month, on the first Sunday of the month, at the later (10:45) service.
The denomination of which we are a part, the United Methodist Church, was created on April 23, 1968, when the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church united to form a new denomination, but it has had more than two centuries of organization in the United States and around the world. Methodism actually dates back to 1736 when John and Charles Wesley, two brothers who were Anglican priests, began a unique religious movement in England.
Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
In thinking and talking about our faith, we put primary reliance on the Bible. It’s the unique testimony to God’s self-disclosure in the life of Israel; in the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ; and in the Spirit’s work in the early church. It’s our sacred canon and thus the decisive source of our Christian witness and the authoritative measure of the truth in our beliefs. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we try to discern both the original intention of the text and its meaning for our own faith and life.
But between the New Testament age and our own era stand countless witnesses on whom we also rely in our theological journey. Through their words in creed, hymn, discourse, and prayer, through their music and art, through their courageous deeds, we discover Christian insight by which our study of the Bible is illuminated. This living tradition comes from many ages and many cultures. Even today Christians living in far different circumstances from our own—in Africa, in Latin America, in Asia—are helping us discover fresh understanding of the Gospel’s power. Another important tool that we use when we think and talk about our faith is reason. God has given us wonderful brains to use when we read and interpret Scripture. We use our reason in relating our beliefs to the full range of human knowledge and in expressing our faith to others in clear and appealing ways. A final important facet of our faith is our experience. By experience we mean especially the “new life in Christ,” which is ours as a gift of God’s grace. But we mean also the broader experience of all the life that we live, with its joys, its hurts, and its yearnings. So we interpret the Bible in light of our cumulative experiences. At the same time, we interpret our life’s experience in light of the biblical message.
If you are interested in learning more about Cedar Park First United Methodist Church or have further questions about what we believe, e-mail Pastor Peter or Pastor Bonnie.