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.
Ask The UMC: Has The United Methodist Church always had an official symbol like the cross and flame?
The official insignia of The United Methodist Church has been the Cross and Flame since its founding in 1968. The symbols and seals for other predecessor denominations were generally varied in... Read More
Ask The UMC: How often has there been a special called General Conference?
Since The United Methodist Church formed in 1968, only one special session of General Conference has been held outside of the normal four-year schedule. Read More
Ask The UMC: What does The United Methodist Church teach about tithing?
Tithing is commonly understood as the giving of one-tenth of one’s income for God. This standard of giving comes from several passages in Scripture. Read More
What is the difference between an apostle and a disciple?
In this week's Ask The UMC, explore the differences of two Greek words and the relationship between the two. Read More
Ask The UMC: Why don’t United Methodists make the sign of the cross? (Hint: We do!)
Why is making the sign of the cross sometimes viewed as foreign to United Methodists? The answer isn’t hard to find. Read More
Ask The UMC: What was the first school started by Methodists?
Education is a core value of The United Methodist Church that dates back to the earliest days of the Methodist movement. Read More
Ask The UMC: How did John Wesley understand original sin?
John Wesley addressed this directly, more than once. Read More
Ask The UMC: Why does The United Methodist Hymnal include more than songs?
The answer has to do with developments in both Methodist ritual and published resources over time. Read More
What did John Wesley mean by ‘moving on to perfection?’
The answer lies in Wesley's definition of sanctifying grace. Read More
Why do United Methodist pastors change churches?
The United Methodist Church’s unique system of deploying clergy has its roots in the earliest days of Methodism. Read More
May United Methodists drink alcohol?
A look at how The United Methodist Church views alcohol and its role in society. Read More
Can you explain Way Forward plans, COB recommendation?
The Council of Bishops considered three plans developed by the Commission on a Way Forward and indicated its majority recommendation for the One Church Plan. Read More
What does it mean to live by faith?
Faith is about having one’s life transformed by the One in whom we put our trust, not just assenting to some ideas that may comfort us in difficult times. Read More
Ask the UMC: When was The United Methodist Church created?
The United Methodist Church was created on April 23, 1968, when The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church joined to form a new denomination. Read More
Ask the UMC: When is Easter over? What comes next?
For Christians, Easter is a season of 50 days. The original purpose of the Easter season was to continue the formation of new Christians in the faith. Read More
Ask the UMC: Was Jesus Christ without sin?
Our historic doctrinal standards point in that direction. Read More
Ask the UMC: When did the church first ordain women?
Women served as preachers from the beginnings of the Methodist movement. Read More
Ask the UMC: What is the kingdom of God?
United Methodists recognize that the reign of God is both a present and future reality. Read More
Ask the UMC: When was the first African-American bishop elected?
The first African-American bishop served as a missionary bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Liberia. Read More
Ask the UMC: How do you become United Methodist?
Becoming a United Methodist begins with a commitment to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ through participation in a local congregation. Read More
Ask the UMC: What does it mean when we vow to ‘resist evil, injustice and oppression’?
A look at the biblical and baptismal history behind the renunciation of evil. Read More
Ask the UMC: Are Watch Night services connected to John Wesley?
A look at the history of Watch Night services and the connection to Methodism founder John Wesley. Read More
Ask the UMC: How long is the Christmas season?
Do you know the dates the Christmas season begins and ends? Read More
Ask the UMC: Did Charles Wesley write any Christmas hymns?
Wesley, a prolific hymn writer, wrote several hymns for Advent and Christmas, including a yuletide favorite. Read More
Ask the UMC: What does ‘communion of saints’ mean?
Every time Christians say the Apostles’ Creed, we profess belief in the communion of saints. But what does the term mean? Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
What are the church’s views on cremation, organ donation?
What is The United Methodist Church stance on cremation and organ donation? Read More
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
Does the church believe we can ‘command’ God to perform acts?
The United Methodist Church believes in the power of prayer, but not in "controlling" God. Read More
What does it mean to be a member?
Discover what it means to be part of a United Methodist congregation. Read More
Does the church have an official Bible?
Find out which versions of the Bible United Methodists use, and why. Read More
Why say “the body of Christ, broken for you”?
At a communion service, you may have heard the terms "broken" or "given." Learn why. Read More
What does The United Methodist Church say about fasting?
There is a strong biblical base for fasting, and the practice has been a part of Methodism from its early beginnings. Read More
Why is the Easter season 50 days long?
Ever wonder why Easter is 50 days long? In this week's Ask the UMC question, explore the reason behind the length of the Easter season. Read More
Do United Methodists believe in saints?
What does the church say about saints? How do United Methodists honor the faithful who have died? Read More