Vision & Practices – First Church, South Bend, Indiana
First Church seeks to be a diverse, inclusive faith community through joyful worship, missional outreach, bold advocacy, and restorative justice.
1. Receptive Hospitality
First Church seeks to be an inclusive faith community by welcoming everyone with open hearts, being intentional about seeking a diversity of speakers and worship participants with open minds, and creating an atmosphere of love with open arms.
2. Joyful Worship
Lift up your voices and sing with First Church’s offerings in joyful worship using diverse musical expressions, experiential worship, and participatory activities where everyone is included in the liturgy (work of the people).
3. Missional Outreach
Mission work and outreach is an essential practice for First Church and is a constant reminder of how God’s love can impact everyone. Therefore, as a congregation, First Church strives to provide excellent programs like the Soup Kitchen, Food Pantry, Heart & Sew, and the Upper Room/Recovery Cafe while also expanding into other missions based outreach where we seek to find the gifts of people in our community.
4.Bold Advocacy & Restorative Justice
First Church recognizes our own privilege even when it’s uncomfortable and will strive to listen to you as individuals, to hear your voice, to rethink our traditions, to open a dialogue among community leaders, and to actively voice our support, to boldly do what we say we will for social justice.
5. Faith Development
As a church community, First Church is dedicated to helping our members and any who pass through our doors develop a foundation in faith through fellowship and gathering together, continuing education and discussion based learning, and other discipleship experiences.
6. Extravagant Generosity
Afresh with the joy of serving God, First Church members give their time, talents, and financial gifts to experience a spirit of beloved generosity that becomes a way of life, a spiritual discipline.
We, the people of First United Methodist Church in South Bend, believe that having an open heart, open mind and an open door means we are called to welcome all people, because God welcomes all.
Each one of us is a valued, beloved child of God.
We believe that God’s love is expansive and unconditional, and that through Christ, God has called us to love one another as God loves us. Our faith teaches us to be nondiscriminatory.
First Church welcomes all people, regardless of age, gender, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, faith background or perspective, immigration status, marital status, family configuration, sexuality, economic circumstances, ability, gender identity or expression, physical, mental or emotional challenges.
First Church celebrates and values the inherent dignity of all people and the variety of humanity, which is God’s gift to us. We believe that in our unity in Christ there is a beautiful diversity. We believe that Jesus taught of God’s love and acceptance for all. We are all recipients of the grace of God; we are all one in Christ Jesus, all heirs of the Realm of God and all called to love.
All are welcome here.