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Photo illustration by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications

Photo illustration by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications

Ask the UMC


Do you have questions about The United Methodist Church? Need help deciphering the hows and whys of who we are or what we believe? Maybe you have a faith question you’ve been pondering?

We invite you to ASK THE UMC. And check out some recent Q&As below.

United Methodists understand the need to confess their sin before God and one another. Photo courtesy Pixabay/CC0 Creative Commons.

Ask the UMC: What is the Methodist belief about forgiveness of sin?

United Methodists understand the need to confess their sin before God and one another. But do Methodists confess their sins to God or the pastor? Read More

Photo showcases pumpkins and gourds. Photo by Roland zh / WikiMedia Commons.

Does The United Methodist Church have a position about Halloween?

Find information about this secular holiday and alternative ways to celebrate the season when you Ask the UMC. Read More

Different hands hold up the Cross and Flame of The United Methodist Church. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Ask the UMC: Where is the church headquarters?

United Methodists make decisions together while in conference, or conversation, and prayer with other church members. Read More

The Rev. Anne Lau Choy baptizes an infant at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Fremont, Calif. Photo by Brian Teodoro.

Ask the UMC: Do United Methodists swear oaths?

At baptism, marriage and ordination, United Methodists "vow" (promise) simply and directly that they affirm or will do what is asked of them. Read More

A tire swing sways in the wind from Hurricane Rita over the remains of a beachfront home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in Ocean Springs, Miss. Rita made landfall in East Texas Sept. 24, 2005, nearly four weeks after Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Ask the UMC: How do United Methodists understand human suffering from natural disaster?

When tragedy strikes, it is common for us to ask why. We turn to our faith for answers, but answers don’t come easily. Read More

Statue photo courtesy Ulleo, Pixabay.

Ask the UMC: Is our time of death predetermined?

Some people say that when you are born, the day of your death is written in the book. What does that mean? Read More

Children and youth often serve as acolytes in The United Methodist Church. They may carry in the light of Christ, the processional cross, banners or Bible. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMCom.

Ask the UMC: Where did the use of acolytes originate?

Is the role of acolytes to carry the light of the Lord into the world? Read More

Ask the UMC: What is grace? Is it different from peace?

United Methodists understand grace as a gift from God. Peace is found in our response to God's grace. Read More

Photo by John Hain, courtesy of Pixabay

Ask the UMC: How do we love our enemies?

This is a question many Christians struggle with. Agape love is hard. It requires action, not just a general sense of goodwill or affection. Read More

Photo by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications

Ask the UMC: What is meant by the term ‘image of God’?

Genesis 1:27 tells us that humans are created in the image of God, but what exactly does that mean? Read More

The church recognizes that marijuana may have medical benefits for some conditions. Photo by Jennifer Martin, Wikimedia Commons

Ask the UMC: Is using marijuana for medical reasons acceptable?

The United Methodist Church has long supported abstinence from illegal drugs, but is the church’s stance on medical marijuana different? Read More

A panel on the back wall inside of Joannes de Dooper Church in Pijnacker, Netherlands, depicts the wedding feast at Cana. Photo by Hpruxpbvm, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Ask the UMC: Was the wine at the wedding at Cana alcoholic?

During the temperance movement, there was an argument that somehow the wine in the Gospels was miraculously non-alcoholic, but is there evidence in the biblical text to support that argument? Read More

Communion is not an individual, private sacrament, rather it is celebrated by the whole gathered congregation. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications

Can a layperson celebrate communion privately at home?

Mark W. Stamm offers an explanation in his book "Sacraments and Discipleship: Understanding Baptism and the Lord's Supper in a United Methodist Context." Read More

A stained-glass window featuring John and Charles Wesley is found at the Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Epworth, England. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

Can God really love me?

United Methodists who struggle to feel accepted and loved by the Savior should remember that John Wesley struggled with similar feelings. Read More

Bishop Scott J. Jones baptizes the daughter of the Rev. Emily and Stephen Cannon during the 2015 Great Plains Annual Conference. Photo by Todd Seifert, Great Plains Conference.

Ask the UMC: What is expected of godparents?

Being invited to be a child’s godparent is an honor and a serious responsibility. Read how godparents play a special role in the life of a child. Read More

Jeremain (left) and Jeremaih Robinson pile up ruined furnishings from a home that was heavily damaged by flooding in Baton Rouge, La. The 16-year-old twins were part of a volunteer team from First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

What is UMCOR Sunday?

Gifts to the UMCOR Sunday offering (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing) cover the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s costs of doing business. Read More

A small group meets at McKendree United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

Ask the UMC: What ‘methods’ might Methodists use?

The “method” of Methodism is shaped by the Methodist rule of life, known as the General Rules. Read More

Historic St. George’s United Methodist Church has been called one of the sites all United Methodists should see because it has been a Methodist house of worship continually since 1769. Video image by Jess Warnock, courtesy of United Methodist Communications.

Where was the first Methodist annual conference in America?

The first annual conference in America was held in 1773 at a church that is still in existence today. Read More

At the time of Jesus, cremation was widely practiced by the Romans, but rarely by Jews and Christians because of their belief that the bodies of believers would one day be physically resurrected. Photo by MaryW, courtesy of Pixabay.

What are the church’s views on cremation, organ donation?

What is The United Methodist Church stance on cremation and organ donation? Read More

The United Methodist Church continues to have a presence in the Philippines. Photo courtesy Philippines Central Conference. Cropped from original; please do not use.

Is the UMC in Canada, Australia, Latin America, Asia?

Get a history lesson about the Methodist presence in these parts of the world. Read More