Start here to explore whether Medford UMC might be a good fit for you. Whether you are looking for answers about our congregation, the United Methodist denomination or Christianity in general, we invite you to explore the brief answers to some questions common among those searching for a church home. We often begin exploring faith in response to changes or challenges in our life – sometimes good things but more frequently losses and difficulty. Faith is a gift from God that helps us through the hardest things we face.
We believe that God made us, that God loves us, and that God came into this world in the person of Jesus Christ to make that love known (Genesis 1:27 & John 3:16). Because God loved us so much, we also love others (1 John 4:19). We believe that living in the love of Christ and serving others brings us joy and peace – both now and in eternity (Ephesians 2:10, John 15:1-12, John 14:27). We also believe that we tend to make faith much more complicated than it needs to be. At its core, it’s about love: God’s love for us, and our love for others. In the gospels, people ask Jesus about the bottom line of his teaching. He says that the most important commandments are these: love God and love people (Matthew 22:34-40).
What’s your mission as a church?
We believe faith should be simple: it’s about loving God and caring for people. When we live these two things out the way Jesus taught us, God transforms us from the inside out. So our mission is straightforward: LOVE God. SERVE People. TRANSFORM Lives. We believe if we can do the first two things, God will take care of the third.
As a United Methodist Church, what do we believe?
One of the great things about the UMC is that we value the questions as much as the answers. We believe that faith is a process of ongoing growth and learning.
The United Methodist Church was created on April 23, 1968, when the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church united to form a new denomination. But the roots of Methodism in the U.S. date back to 1736 when our founders, John and Charles Wesley, came to the new colony of Georgia with ideas about faithful Christian living they developed as students in England. Together they led a revival movement that revitalized the Church of England and spread to the newly formed United States. You can learn more about our rich history and tradition here.
Open Communion Table
You do not need to be a member of a United Methodist Church, or any church, to receive Holy Communion with us. In the words of our liturgy, “Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another.” Click to learn more about how United Methodists celebrate Holy Communion.
Grace is central to our understanding of Christian faith and life. Grace can be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. We read in the Letter to the Ephesians: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — not the result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). God’s love for us is pure gift. There is nothing we can do to earn it. All we can do is give it away. Visit umc.org for a more thorough discussion of the United Methodist understanding of grace.
The UMC has assembled a helpful page for those wanting to explore UM beliefs, with several sections and a link to FAQs. In the interest of keeping things simple, though, know that the UMC affirms what the Christian Church has professed through the centuries through the Apostles’ Creed.
A Balanced Faith
The Methodist movement has always been marked by a drive toward balance. We want an educated faith – John and Charles Wesley were educated at Oxford – but we also believe that we can’t JUST be in our heads. Both head AND heart are needed to serve God well. We believe in personal salvation and life eternal, but we also believe that the church has to be committed to serving people in the here and now and standing for social justice. This grows out of our understanding that Christianity is never about just the individual but about a community where we can be encouraged and grow in our relationship with Christ. We believe in faith, but we also recognize that faith is meaningless without actions to back it up (James 2:17).
What is special about Medford United Methodist Church?
A church of our size can offer an array of programs and opportunities for service, without losing the connections that make a church feel like home.
From September to June, we offer three distinct worship experiences (click here for times): an intimate weekly communion service, a contemporary service with a praise band in our Family Life Center, and a traditional service featuring bell and vocal choirs. Each of these services is unified around one common message, typically planned as a series lasting 4-6 weeks. We believe the message should be clear, relevant and something that we can carry into the world.
Mission & Vision
Our mission is simple and straightforward: LOVE God. SERVE people. TRANSFORM LIVES. Our vision is to make God’s grace visible in our community. In every interaction anyone has with our church, we want people to walk away with a deep sense of God’s love for them. We believe strongly in forming partnerships with other faith communities, Medford Township, and local organizations. These relationships reflect the love of God for all people and help us to make our community a kinder and better place to live. And so we reach out to the community in tangible ways: by hosting the homeless, cleaning up local parks, providing space for recovery groups and scout groups, and in myriad other ways. We witness to God’s grace by showing that grace to others.
Methodism arrived in Medford NJ in the early 1800’s as people met together in homes to discuss the word of God. A congregation was organized in 1821 and the first church building was constructed in 1824 in Medford Village. With continued growth, a second, larger church was constructed in 1854 on Branch Street. Then, a little more than 100 years later, Medford United Methodist Church felt a call to be part of the growing community and followed the population to the outskirts of town where its third church building was constructed on Hartford Road. That building has been in continuous use by the congregation since 1973. In 1982, we added an education wing to accommodate our growing preschool. In 2017, again prompted by the needs of our community, Medford United Methodist Church added a 9900 square foot Family Life Center to its campus.
Our preschool, established over 40 years ago as an outreach to the community, has had an impact on generations of families.
What does it mean to be a Member of MUMC? How do I join the church?
For United Methodists, Christianity is a social religion in which our faith grows through face-to-face connections with others who share the same journey. It is in the context of these relationships that we experience what it means to be the body of Christ in the world. While membership is not required to attend a United Methodist church, it demonstrates our commitment to Christ and one another. Our membership process is designed to develop people as disciples and not just church members. To join Medford UMC, simply speak with one of our pastors, or contact the church office. We hold six-week classes several times a year and will be happy to assist you in becoming a member of our congregation.