Theological Foundation

As progressive United Methodist Christians who form the faith community of Clifton Church we are called to love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds. We recognize and value the rich diversity of our individually evolving spiritual journeys. We turn to scripture, tradition, reason, and experience as the primary sources for inspiration and revelation as we seek to faithfully discern the shape of God’s specific calling to us as individuals and as a faith community. We follow John Wesley’s “Three Simple Rules” as we grow in personal and social holiness: do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.

We love God by following the example and teaching of Jesus Christ while honoring, respecting, and learning from the paths God has chosen for others. We seek God’s presence and discern God’s dream for us through prayer, meditation and study, and by cultivating our awareness of God’s presence in the fullness of creation. We express our love for God in inspirational worship that moves us to love our neighbors and ourselves. We accept the gifts of Holy Communion and baptism as outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual grace that forms us as a community and reminds of the vision of God’s table spread for all.

We love our neighbors by acknowledging, as Jesus did, that all creation is made in the image of God. We endeavor, as Jesus did, to create and nurture authentic human community with persons of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities, religions, economic classes and nationalities. We stand, as Jesus did, on the side of the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized. We care, as Jesus did, for the earth, accepting our responsibility to be stewards of water, sky, and land. We work to form a vibrant faith community that worships, prays, plays, and serves together. We seek to equip each other for the work we are each uniquely called to do to in the world, which is to bring about peace and justice among all people, to honor and restore the sanctity of all of creation, and to bring hope to those Jesus called the least of our sisters and brothers.

We love ourselves by believing that we were created in God’s image and that we are loved for all time beyond what we can even imagine. We acknowledge our sacred worth and affirm that we are continuously being re-created for lives of meaning and purpose and therefore are gifted and called for ministry in the world. We readily accept and admit our own shortcomings and earnestly seek reconciliation with God and others, even those who consider us their enemies. We mature in our faith and love through thoughtful and intentional engagement in worship, prayer, study, and service and by pledging ourselves to the mutual journey and ministry of our faith community.