The Local Church: A Community of Christ United Methodist follows Jesus for the transformation of the world. We believe God is shaping us into a community that is bold, inclusive, with, and for. This is who we are because this is who Jesus is. Here’s what we mean:
Jesus is at the center of all that we are and all that we do, and we seek to boldly carry his good news into the world.
In his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus embodied good news to the poor, outcast and those at the margins. He passionately welcomed the stranger, ate with those the world derided, challenged the powerful, and disrupted the status quo. He brought peace in the midst of turmoil, light to places of darkness, and communion to places of isolation and division. We seek to boldly do the same with our hands, feet, hearts, and voices. (See Matthew 25:31-40, Luke 4:16-30, John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:15-20.)
God’s love is for everyone, and we seek to be a community of belonging where all are welcome — no matter what.
Each and every person is made in the image of God, and every story matters. Whether seeker or skeptic, Democrat or Republican, atheist or Christian, old or young, pickup or Prius driver, you belong here and have a place at the table. Jesus is in the business of tearing down walls — in the world and in our hearts. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, no matter your race, ethnicity, creed, or sexual orientation, you are truly welcome here, and your story matters. We mean it. (See Genesis 1:26-28, Psalm 24:1-2, Luke 15:11-32, Acts 10:9-34, 1 Corinthians 12:4-26, Galatians 3:26-28.)
As followers of Jesus, God with us, we seek to be with one another, our community, and the world. We believe we are better together.
In Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — we encounter a God who is relational and whose very nature and being is community. God is calling us into that communion with Godself. Along the way, we discover that as we draw closer to God, we draw closer to one another. In a world fraught with division, isolation, and polarization, we believe that the simple act of gathering together to listen, learn, love, and serve can save our lives and change the world. We may not all think alike, but we can all love alike. We are committed to keeping the unity in community and staying at the table even when it's hard. (See Exodus 3:1-12, Luke 10:25-37, Acts 2:42-47, Romans 12:9-21, Ephesians 4:1-6.)
God is for you and me and all of us. In response, we seek to give of ourselves to the mission of God in and for the world.
God has a dream that all of creation would be mended. It’s a dream that the poor are cared for, the hungry have enough to eat, violence gives way to peace, and everyone has belonging. It’s a dream of second chances, abundant grace, and lives lived fully. God invites us to help make that dream a reality, so we live generous lives — for one another, our community, and the world. (See Matthew 28:16-20, Romans 8:38-39, James 1:27, Revelation 21:1-6.)
What's in a name?
Why The Local Church? In Jesus, God breaks into our world, takes on flesh and blood and breath, and comes to be with us.
In other words, Jesus is God made local.
And after his death and resurrection, Jesus sends his spirit — the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God — upon his friends and followers, instructing them to carry his good news to the places they found themselves each day. That same Spirit is with us still.
In the Church, God goes local.
So we think the name fits. Not only does it say something about who we believe Jesus to be, but it says something about our mission — what we're about.
We are committed to listening, learning, and loving our neighbors in Chatham County — committed to loving local, hoping local, celebrating local, and serving local. Whether you are a longtime resident of Chatham County or it's just becoming home for you, this is a faith community where you belong. Here you can put down roots. Here you can live and love local.
But wait, there's more.
The Local Church is a community of Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, NC. We are part of the same family, but The Local Church has its own expression and identity.
As a United Methodist Faith Community, the Local Church is rooted in the theology of The United Methodist Church (which, by the way, is a theology that is accepting, open-armed, and grace-filled). Does that mean you have to be United Methodist to be a part of The Local Church? Absolutely not. We welcome anyone and everyone. Whether you identify as United Methodist or not, you are welcome here!
To learn more about The United Methodist Church, click here.