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Who We Are – First United Methodist Church of Ocala

Who We Are

OCALA FIRST United Methodist Church

“A Methodist is one who has “the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him;” one who “loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength. God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul; which is constantly crying out, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee! My God and my all! Thou art the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever!”  (from “The Character of a Methodist” by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism)

We share the core commitments of all Christians in United Methodist Churches across Florida.

Mission: To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Vision: Being changed in Christ and making a change in the world.

Purpose: Together we are disciples of Jesus Christ in the Wesleyan tradition called to participate in God’s saving work in the world.

Core Values

  • We love God and search the Scriptures to hear and obey God’s Word.
  • We welcome and serve all people, particularly the poor and marginalized, as an expression of God’s love for us.
  • We desire everyone to experience a life of worship and joy in God’s presence by faith in Jesus Christ.
  • We are changed by the power of the Holy Spirit as we learn to follow Jesus.
  • We believe that changed people are called to change their communities by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe all disciples are called to discover their gifts and to live out their unique mission.
  • We share our faith in the context of authentic relationships.
  • Because we follow Jesus together, we have a responsibility to hold one another accountable for our discipleship.

We invite you to join us as we grow together in Christ!

We increasingly find our identity in bridging the gaps across the City of Ocala. Our greatest joy and greatest challenge lies in building bridges between the haves and the have-nots, the older generations and the younger generations, the stranger and the resident of the historic district, the staunch traditionalist and the visionary innovator. God calls us to do this work through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. We as a Church emphasize putting our faith into action, and welcome anyone who wants to join us in this sacred work.

We hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We are evangelical, but moderates rather than fundamentalists. We value intellect and modern science, while at the same time looking to the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. All positions of leadership (clergy and lay) throughout The United Methodist Church are open to women and men. Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but we also recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, and to do so with grace and compassion.

Methodists have been known for our emphasis on a personal faith lived out in concrete ways in the world. We have historically valued well-informed and passionate preaching, worship that is lively, small groups where people can grow in faith, and devotion to the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, meditation, public and private worship, and partaking in the Sacraments (these are the “methods” of “Methodists!”).

[Thanks to Rev. Adam Hamilton of the Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS for some of this material describing Methodists.]