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Glossary: S

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Something consecrated or holy. Traditionally, a Christian ordinance manifesting an inward, spiritual grace by an outward, visible sign or symbol. United Methodists recognize two sacraments: baptism and Holy Communion. Source:... More


The main worship room or auditorium in a United Methodist church building. The sanctuary for United Methodist includes nave, chancel and choir areas. Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan... Read More

secretary, General Conference

The person elected by the General Conference to be responsible for the proper development of all the official records of the General Conference. The secretary of the General Conference is... Read More

seminaries, schools of theology

Institutions of The United Methodist Church established for the primary purpose of educating persons to serve effectively as ordained and diaconal ministers. The schools of theology are also to engage... Read More


A building linked with significant events or outstanding personalities or both in the origin and development of The United Methodist Church. An historic shrine is designated because it is considered... Read More

site, historic

A location or building judged by the Jurisdictional or Annual Conference presiding over it to be of historical significance for its connection with events or personalities involved in the development... Read More

Social Creed, the

A set of affirmations concerning United Methodist beliefs about the relationship of the church to the social issues and the world. The Social Creed is approved by the General Conference... Read More

Social Principles, The

A document setting forth the basic position of The United Methodist Church on important social issues. The Social Principles represent the effort of the General Conference to speak to human... Read More

Speaking for the United Methodist Church

The provision enacted by the General Conference that establishes clearly how the positions of The United Methodist Church are to be given. This regulation in The Book of Discipline states: ... Read More

special Sundays

Those Sundays authorized by the General Conference to be set aside for a denominationwide emphasis. The General Conference has approved special Sundays to be observed both with an offering and... Read More

Standard Sermons of John Wesley, the

Forty-four sermons of Wesley published in the first four volumes of his sermons. The Standard Sermons set forth those doctrines Wesley embraced and taught "as essentials of true religion." These... Read More


A pastoral charge comprising only one local church. This is in contrast to a circuit, which contains two or more local churches. Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K.... Read More

Status and Role of Women, General Commission on

The agency whose primary task is to challenge The United Methodist Church to a commitment to the full participation of women in the complete life and mission of the church.... Read More


The devout investment or use of money, time and ability. In biblical times, a steward supervised a household or an estate. Today, as God's children, we deem God the source... Read More


A long, narrow strip of material worn by ordained and diaconal ministers. Deacons and diaconal ministers by custom wear the stole over the left shoulder only. Ordained elders, including bishops,... Read More


Residing in the office of the bishop and extending to the district superintendent, the task of overseeing the work of The United Methodist Church. Those who superintend carry primary responsibility... Read More