We Are United Methodists
The people of The United Methodist Church are part of the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Our worldwide connection includes approximately 12.8 million members.
The United Methodist Church was formed when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968. We trace our heritage to the movement begun in 1729 in England by John and Charles Wesley. Here are some distinctive characteristics of our denomination.
The United Methodist Church is:
Global: Today, we speak many languages and live in many countries—with different cultures, ethnic traditions, national histories and understandings of Christian faith and practice.
Connectional: Every United Methodist congregation is interconnected throughout the denomination via a unique, interlocking chain of conferences. The United Methodist Church practices representative democracy in its governance. Conferences elect delegates who are authorized to act and vote.
Inclusive: All persons are welcome to attend our churches and receive Holy Communion and are eligible to be baptized and become members.
Grounded in Scripture: United Methodists trust free inquiry in matters of Christian doctrine. Our faith is guided by Scripture, tradition, experience and reason. Scripture is of paramount importance as the witness of God’s creating, redeeming and sustaining relationship with God’s people.
Wesleyan: The United Methodist Church has a Wesleyan heritage and, as such, places an emphasis on mind and heart (knowledge and vital piety) and puts faith and love into practice (life). Concerned about social justice: For more than 200 years, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies have expressed concern for God’s children everywhere — the poor, the orphaned, the aging, the sick, the oppressed and the imprisoned.
Mission-oriented: Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In uncomplicated terms, this means we strive to nurture followers of Christ, who then reach out and teach others about the love of Jesus.
Ecumenical: United Methodists consider dialogue and missional cooperation between United Methodists and other Christians as a valid witness to the unity of the body of Christ.
Learn more at www.umc.org
THE WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Baldwin Community United Methodist Church is part of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference which is made up of approximately 800 local churches in 23 counties. The annual conference serves as a connection between the worldwide United Methodist Church and the congregations in the region.
Led by Bishop Cynthia Moore Koikoi, the annual conference is governed both by the denomination's Book of Discipline and actions agreed on by clergy and lay representatives of its local churches, who meet each in an Annual Conference session in June of each year. The Bishop is assisted by a "cabinet" of 10 district superintendents, who each oversee 60 to 70 churches in a geographic area within the annual conference, and an annual conference staff. Baldwin is part of the Pittsburgh District and the Rev. Dawn Hand is our district superintendent.
The mission of the Western PA Annual Conference is to provide leadership, connection and resources to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The annual conference's vision is to ignite and sustain a passionate, spiritual connection with Christ among all people in Western Pennsylvania.
The core value of the annual conference is love. We love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. This value is commanded by Jesus, inspired by our Wesleyan heritage including to spread scriptural holiness over the land, and witnessed through our integrity, accountability, and inclusiveness.
Five Areas of Focus
The Western PA Annual Conference is committed to working and cooperating around these five areas of focus:
- Developing principled Christian leaders,
- Creating new and renewed congregations,
- Engaging in ministry with the poor,
- Improving health globally, and
- Dismantling racism
Learn more @ www.wpaumc.org