I'm not a member. Can I take Communion?
Yes. Anyone who professes their faith in Jesus Christ (even a faith that is developing or being questioned) is welcome to take Communion.
Why do Methodists not serve alcholic wine? Jesus drank wine, so why don't Methodists serve wine?
We serve wine that does not have alcohol because we believe that Communion should be available for all. Some folks struggle with how much alcohol they consume. We want to include everyone and we want our chapels to be a place where there is no alcohol so that folks who have struggled with addictions in the past do not have anxiety about how to receive Communion. This is a concern for equality and inclusivity.
I'm LGBTQ+. Can I come to church?
Yes, you certainly can. Whilst the Methodist Church does not currently offer same sex marriages at this time, all are welcome at our chapels, regardless of sexual orientation.
I'm not sure what I believe. Can I still come to chapel? I don't want to be judged.
No one wants to be judged! Our chapels have room for doubt, curiosity about faith, questions, developing faith and wherever you may be on your faith journey. We offer an opportunity to explore spirituality and ask the big questions of life.
I want to support the church but I can't always attend. How can I help?
There are lots of ways to support the church. Of course, we would love for you to join us for worship services and events, but if you are unable, you can help us in many ways.
Pray for us and our leaders/minister. Prayer supports us in unseen ways and we depend on them.
Donate your resources-we are always looking for an extra person to help set up special events or hospitality. You can also donate your time with helping to maintain our buildings if so inclined. Sharing our website or Facebook page also helps us, too. We also accept financial donations as well. Please contact the minister for more information.
I want to come to church but I can't stand seeing Christians being hypocritical.
Neither can we! We acknowledge that there have been situations where people who identify as Christians have displayed some questionable behaviour and we are equally appalled by inappropriate behaviour by other Christians. In some cases, Christians have committed serious abuse while holding power in the church. We believe that these situations require accountability- in legal courts and within the church. All our leaders are safeguarded and are also accountable to one another for our behaviour. Our chapels are striving to be places of welcome, honesty and transparency in our daily lives. When we fail to live our Christian life, it affects the whole body of Christ and the image of Christians around the world. We hope that you will not paint us all with the same brush and be open minded to explore who we are as church.
I want to come to church but there is someone I know that I don't like that attends your church.
Jesus doesn't say we have to like our neighbour, he says we have to love them. We all have people that we don't like or perhaps had a 'run in' in the community in the past, especially in our smaller communities. If this situation is keeping you from coming to church, consider coming anyway, not allowing that situation to taint your experience what the church offers. You might be surprised at what healing could occur. Churches are not immune to broken relationships. We are not a hotel for saints, but a hospital of broken people. And all are welcome.
Why should I become a Member and what does that mean?
Membership with the Methodist Church is an official commitment to living the Gospel in the tradition of the Methodist Church. The Methodist church focusses on being a practising Christian and therefore we accept and receive discipline from our peers. Discipline doesn't mean punishment, but rather encouragement and guidance on how to live a Christian life. Being a Christian means being part of a Christian community that shapes our personal faith. Christianity does not happen in isolation but "God in community".
Membership is renewed yearly and if a Member has not attended church in a while, without good reason, the minister may follow up to consider if the relationship is still viable. Membership can be revoked if a Member is not in good standing with the church, but this is rare and is taken seriously.
What makes the Methodist Church different from other churches?
The Methodist Church has a leadership model whereby no one person has more authority than another. We have lay people that are a vital part of our chapels and some folks are stewards with certain responsibilities. We work on a conciliar democracy and vote on matters. We have a church council and are part of a circuit and a District. A Circuit is very much like an electric circuit board- each chapel contributes to the circuit to keep things running smoothly. No one chapel is in isolation but may be unique from other chapels with the same minister. At the heart of the Methodist Church is our focus on the everyday- living the Gospel in our unique contexts. No two Methodist Churches are the same. Some chapels use the Worship Book whilst others have worship services tailored to the needs of the congregation.
We do have practises that are universal for Methodist chapels across the country. This is to ensure fairness and equality amongst the chapels, and, it is how we have decided to be church together. Every community needs guidelines to live by- with some stronger emphasis on certain guidelines than others. We use the Constitutional Practise and Discipline which details our doctrines and beliefs and how each chapel, Circuit, District and the Conference should function. These disciplines have been evolving and adapting to our contexts for over 300 years and reflect the wisdom of past mistakes to ensure a better future. These disciplines allow us to have set guidelines so that we do not spend all our time trying to figure out how to be church but spend our time being the church.
I think I am called to be a lay preacher. What do I do?
The call to preaching is a scary yet wonderful experience, which is why any call to ministry is usually a time of discernment, exploration, affirmation and testing. This is common in most denominations where a group of peers will explore if lay preaching is a call or something else. A time of probation and testing is required for all lay preachers and is meant to encourage, strengthen and affirm the call to preaching. There is a course that is undertaken to equip preachers to be sharers of the Gospel.