The United Methodist Bishop of the Los Angeles Area, Grant Hagiya, has asked all churches in the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church to craft a statement titled “I See a New Church” with regards to the status and future of our denomination. The Fount’s Church Council produced, and the Charge Conference affirmed on December 5th, 2019, the following statement.
We see a new church emerging from the ashes of The United Methodist Church (UMC), burned down by conflict and deep division and ultimately an unwillingness to abide by the decisions of the vested authority in the denomination, the General Conference. As a volunteer organization, the UMC cannot hold together without the goodwill of the people and the integrity of its leaders.
We see a new church that holds to the “faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3), led by episcopal leaders and pastors who are “able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). A new church that focuses on the mission to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World” and is not distracted by divisive arguments that deny the biblical witness. In short, we see a new church that reclaims the “old, old story” of redemption and sanctification with a Wesleyan accent.
We seek to embrace our heritage as a local congregation which is a “Bible Teaching Church for All Ages.” The Fount is an evangelical and historically Wesleyan community of faith, holding to the historic, orthodox Wesleyan Protestant doctrines of the Christian faith. We believe that the Bible is the true Word of God, the divinely inspired guide for both faith and practice. This means that we place ourselves under the authority of the Bible, not ourselves over the Bible. If it says something that we do not like, our response is to understand it in context, interpret it for our time, and obey it without compromise. As such, our values as a church reflect the values of the Bible to the best of our ability to understand.
We see a new church that is sold out for Jesus and for the salvation of all people. A church that works to make new disciples of Jesus, and works tirelessly to help disciples grow in their walk with the Lord. A church that perceives the needs of the community and works to apply the grace of God in all situations. The greatest need of every person is to be in a saving and sanctifying relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
This is the new church we see and hope for.