United Methodist Discipline and Polity Application Essay

Pages: 5 (1655 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

United Methodist Discipline and Polity

Describe the nature and mission of the Church: what are its primary tasks today?

The United Methodist Church has its roots founded in Christianity and believes in the Holy Trinity, Jesus, the Holy Spirit that the bible reflects the word of God, and the ideas that human beings were made in the image of God; these are all highly Christian beliefs. According to the official website of the United Methodist Church, the church believes that it is their duty to make disciples of Jesus Christ (2011). What this translates to transforming the world. Basically, the UMC reaches out to individuals, welcoming them into the church and tries to connect them to the gospel so that everyone can embrace the gospel in word and deed as a larger community (umc.org, 2011).

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The church is aware that everyone comes from different backgrounds and has a range of different circumstances and believes that the gospel and the greater community of the church can not only make their lives better, but allows them to touch the lives of others and make their lives better as well. The church prides itself in being able to deepen and intensify the relationship that its members has with God: "Through worship, prayer, study, and honest sharing, we help one another discover that the Holy Spirit is not far off but present with us, wanting an open and loving friendship with each of us -- not only friendship but commitment as well. Through our congregation's various ministries we encourage one another to give ourselves to Christ, to ground our lives in the living God" (umc.org, 2011). This mission allows individuals to have richer and more rewarding lives and evolve into more complex, deeper and more thoughtful individuals. The UMC stresses that the members of their church aren't just disciples to Jesus, but disciples to the community and continue to serve the community and its needs.

Discuss an understanding of the primary characteristics of United Methodist Polity

TOPIC: Application Essay on United Methodist Discipline and Polity Assignment

Unlike other organized religions, there is no single individual or collective, aside from the General Conference, which has the power to make formal statements on behalf of the organization (umc.org/history, 2011). The General Conference consists of people from all over the world: 1,000 delegates, some of which are official clergymen and others which are civilians (umc.org/history, 2011). During this conference, legislations, ideas and codes directly connected to the church and its principles are discussed and adapted and resolutions are made regarding a range of moral, social, public policy and economic matters (umc.org/history, 2011).

According to the official United Methodist website, the conference is in charge of approving plans and budgets for related programs for the upcoming years (2011). Essentially, this collective of individuals is responsible for keeping the church's policies current and up-to-date with an ever-changing society, so that the church can react in a living and responsive manner to the needs of its people and a constantly evolving world.

Discuss your understanding of "Diakonia" the servant ministry of the church and the servant ministry of the provisional member.

Diakonia comes from the Greek and it literally translates to mean "service." Diakonia manifests itself in the form of leadership roles and ordination orders. For example, a deacon in a common leadership ordination in the church; these individuals have pledged to the "ministry of word and service to both the community and the congregation in a ministry that connects worship with service to God in the world. Deacons teach and proclaim the Word, assist elders in administering the sacraments, form and nurture disciples conduct marriage and bury the dead, lead the congregation's mission to the world and interpret the needs concerns and hopes of the world" (umc.org/defining, 2011). This clearly demonstrates the crucial position that these members of service fulfill; in terms of the United Methodist Church, service is not a lowly position but one which empowers the individual to make the world a better place. Similarly a deaconess or home missioner can be commissioned by a range of people, such as bishop or just on the suggestion of the Board of Global Ministries and is someone who wants to spread the belief and connection of Jesus Christ, working via service that orbits around love, justice and service (umc.org/defining, 2011). Thus, there is a majority of ways that an inspired and devoted individual can give back to the great and small community via the Church.

What is the meaning of ordination in the context of the general ministry of the Church?

Originally the Church used ordination as a way to set apart individuals who were interested in preaching, teaching, nurturing and healing others using the Church as a vehicle to achieve those tasks (nyac.com). The purpose of ordination is so that "…those who are ordained make a commitment to conscious living of the whole gospel and to the proclamation of that gospel to the end that the world may be saved" (nyac.com). Thus, the United Methodist Church views ordination as a very special, very serious thing and a really meaningful way that the beliefs of the Church can be shared with others. Those who are ordained have the beautiful task and challenging of teaching and proclaiming the word of God, in a covenant of mutual care and accountability (nyac.com). Thus, ordination is a profound and serious transition for an individual to make, allowing one a deeper relationship with God and with one's surrounding community members.

Describe your understanding of an inclusive church and ministry.

So much of my understanding of an inclusive church and ministry revolves around the idea of a church which is welcome and open to all members of the community. This needs to manifest itself as an authentic and proactive endeavor where members of the community truly feel welcome and invited to begin the journey with the United Methodist Church to having a fuller spiritual life and to better understand and appreciate the word of God. So much of the main idea of an inclusive church and ministry involves the inspiration of Jesus who made an incredible effort to forge rapport with people who were generally looked down upon by society. In this day and age, there continues to be all forms of discrimination and bias. While society has made incredible leaps and bounds in improving itself, there still continues to be things like discrimination, subjugation of women and violence. Even things like elitism and classism continue to be perpetuated in our society, as unfortunate as that is.

Members of the community need to know that when it comes to the church and ministry all people are welcome and all people are invited -- men, women, children -- of all races, classes and sexual orientations. Each individual needs to know that in the eyes of the United Methodist Church they are all seen as children of God and made in the divine image of the Lord and that they're all invited to begin the glorious journey of becoming disciples of God. Creating an inclusive ministry sometimes means acknowledging the fear that some people might have about that and telling them, that yes, it takes courage to make or even begin such a journey, but that the Church will band together around them. Essentially, with an inclusive church and ministry the journey is a collective one as the individual becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Explain what it means to: completely dedicate self to Christian life, responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and emotional maturity, integrity in all relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness, social responsibility and growth in grace and the knowledge and love of God.

Completely dedicating oneself to a Christian life refers to the act of trying to live as Christ did. This means making a commitment to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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