What we Believe
Who is welcome
At Nampa First UMC, we welcome all persons. We love young and old, persons of all ethnicities, tattooed and pierced, single moms and dads, divorced people, married couples, single forever people, widows and widowers, members of the LGBTQIA community, wealthy and poor, employed and unemployed, and so much more. A core practice of our faith is to follow Jesus' call to "love your neighbor" and that means you too!
United Methodism is the product of a Methodist moment started by John Wesley. They broke away from the Church of England to develop a new "method" for their connection with God. A key element was to experience the "means of grace" through prayer, communion and baptism, and much more.
Our teachings are grounded in Scripture, informed by Christian tradition, enlivened by personal experience, and tested by reason.
We are a mainstream United Methodist Church, part of a large world-wide denomination. While we share a set of over-arching beliefs, United Methodist are people who are diverse in thought and idea. Our beliefs and church structure are found in a book called, "The United Methodist Book of Discipline," which is available here. Sit down before you try to read it...it is a mouthful and frankly, local churches sometimes differ in their practices and belief structures. So, it's always best to check out your local church. Come visit!
In the United Methodist Church, all persons are encouraged to receive Holy Communion (sometimes called Eucharist or the Lord's Supper). As an extension of our belief about who is welcome, everyone is invited to the table. But, if you prefer not to receive, that's OK too. We receive usually by intinction. You'll receive a piece of bread and dip the bottom part into the cup and receive both together. We use grape juice instead of wine because we believe everyone is welcome. Therefore, we do not offer alcohol specifically to support those who continue to fight against addiction.
During COVID, we have modified our communion practice to include individually sealed containers. That way, we keep you safe.
We believe baptism is a means of grace, or a way in which we encounter God. Through the sacrament of baptism, God is present and active. The sacrament is an "outward and visible sign" (or something we see, done with water) of an "inward and spiritual grace" (or something God does in us). We baptize using water which can be sprinkled, poured, or fully immersed as seen in some traditions. We believe all methods are valid.
We believe God works through baptism in a variety of traditions. So, if you have been baptized elsewhere, you do not need it to be repeated to attend our church.
There are two types of baptism in our churches.
Baptism for teens and adults: When they are old enough, teens or adults may make a choice to be baptized. In this moment, they make a promise to live a life with Christ as its center. The congregation makes a promise to be present on their journey as well.
Baptism for children: The UMC baptizes infants as well. In this case, the parents make a promise to raise the child in a way that points to Christ. The congregation promises to be present for the child and parents. Plus, God claims this child as God's own. Then, when the child is old enough, they may choose to participate in Confirmation, an opportunity to confirm the vows made by their parents at their baptism.