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Common Questions

New to Springfield UMC?

Get All The Answers You're Looking For

1. Can I meet the Pastor?


The Pastor is usually available immediately following the service to meet with visitors. There is also a reception room in Reformation Hall where visitors can receive additional information about the church.

2. What do I wear to Sunday Service?

Springfield is not a showy place. Please come in comfortable clothes.


3. What makes Methodist Churches different?

One aspect of Methodism that stands out is that the Church is not creedally dogmatic. If there is one word that sums up Methodism, it is Grace.

By and large, most Methodist Churches hold to the following tenets of faith and practice.

Grace: Grace is central to our understanding of Christian faith and life. Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. We read in the Letter to the Ephesians: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Our United Methodist heritage is rooted in a deep and profound understanding of God's grace. This incredible grace flows from God's great love for us.

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, described God's grace as three-fold: prevenient grace, justifying grace and sanctifying grace.

Prevenient Grace: God's grace stirs up within us a desire to know God and empowers us to respond to God's invitation to be in relationship with God. God's grace enables us to discern differences between good and evil and makes it possible for us to choose good. God takes the initiative in relating to humanity. We do not have to beg and plead for God's love and grace. God actively seeks us!

Justifying Grace: Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: "In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them." (2 Corinthians 5:19). And in his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul wrote: "But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8). These verses demonstrate the justifying grace of God. They point to reconciliation, pardon, and restoration. Through the work of God in Christ, our sins are forgiven, and our relationship with God is restored.

Conversion: This process of salvation involves a change in us that is known as conversion. Conversion is a turning around, leaving one orientation for another. It may be sudden and dramatic, or gradual and cumulative. But in any case, it's a new beginning. Following Jesus' words to Nicodemus, "You must be born anew." (John 3:7 RSV), we speak of this conversion as rebirth, being born again, new life in Christ, or regeneration.

Justification: This is what happens when Christians abandon all those vain attempts to justify themselves before God, to be seen as "just" in God's eyes through religious and moral practices. It's a time when God's "justifying grace" is experienced and accepted, a time of pardon and forgiveness, of new peace and joy and love. Indeed, we're justified by God's grace through faith. Justification also involves repentance — a whole-hearted turning away from behaviors rooted in sin and toward actions that express God's love. In this conversion, we can expect to receive assurance of our present salvation through the Holy Spirit "bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (Romans 8:16).

Sanctifying Grace: Salvation is not a static, one-time event in our lives. It is the ongoing experience of God's gracious presence transforming us into whom God intends us to be. John Wesley described this dimension of God's grace as sanctification, or holiness. Through God's sanctifying grace, we grow and mature in our ability to live as Jesus lived. As we pray, study the Scriptures, fast, worship, and share in fellowship with other Christians, we deepen our knowledge of and love for God. As we respond with compassion to human need and work for justice in our communities, we strengthen our capacity to love neighbor. Our inner thoughts and motives, as well as our outer actions and behavior, are aligned with God's will and testify to our union with God we're to press on, with God's help, in the path of sanctification toward perfection. By perfection, Wesley did not mean that we would not make mistakes or have weaknesses. Rather, he understood it to be a continual process of being made perfect in our love of God and each other and of removing our desire to sin.

Faith and Good Works: United Methodists insist that faith and good works belong together. What we believe must be confirmed by what we do. Personal salvation must be expressed in ministry and mission in the world. We believe that Christian doctrine and Christian ethics are inseparable, that faith should inspire service. The integration of personal piety and social holiness has been a hallmark of our tradition. We affirm the biblical precept that "faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." (James 2:17)

Mission and Service: Because of what God has done for us, we offer our lives back to God through a life of service. As disciples, we become active participants in God's activity in the world through mission and service. Love of God is always linked to love of neighbor and to a passionate commitment to seeking justice and renewal in the world.

Faith: Faith is the basic orientation and commitment of our whole being — a matter of heart and soul. Christian faith is grounding our lives in the living God as revealed especially in Jesus Christ. It's both a gift we receive within the Christian community and a choice we make. It's trusting in God and relying on God as the source and destiny of our lives. Faith is believing God, giving God our devoted loyalty and allegiance. Faith is following Jesus, answering the call to be his disciples in the world. Faith is hoping for God's future, leaning into the coming kingdom that God has promised. Faith-as-belief is active; it involves trusting, believing, following, and hoping.

6. Where do I park when I get there?

Parking places are clearly evident as you approach the church. They are to the side and rear of the church.


7. Will I be asked to introduce myself or be singled out as a guest?

You will be noticed and welcomed but not "singled out" or otherwise made to feel uncomfortable.

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