Who We Are
First United Methodist Church is a welcoming and inclusive community, inspired to grow with and in God.
What We Believe
The United Methodist Church does not require all persons to affirm a particular creed or doctrine. Therefore, within the UMC, there is a broad spectrum of theological understanding and social opinion.
You will find a diversity of theological opinions within our congregations. At FUMC Omaha, you will find opportunities for spiritual growth and reflections in a variety of ways. Welcome means that all are encouraged to travel their own spiritual path supported and encouraged by a community of acceptance.
What makes Methodists different
Methodism began in the 1700s within the Church of England by and Anglican priest, John Wesley. Wesley’s theology emphasized the Grace of God, and he believed God is with us before we are even aware of it. God’s grace continues with us throughout our lives and beyond. Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in scripture, illuminated by tradition, vivified in personal experience and confirmed by reason.
At FUMC, all are encouraged to reflect upon and apply experience and reason to personal spiritual insights. All are invited to journey into greater awareness of The Divine in a supportive community of grace.
Holy Scriptures are the compilation of people’s experience in seeking the sacred. They are inspired writings penned by human hands within a particular context. We interpret individual texts in light of their place in the Bible as a whole.
We apply scholarly developments in textual studies to discern application and meaning for today. We also note the gift of many other writings which were not placed in the biblical canon and draw upon the wisdom of those voices as well.
Eight Points of Progressive Theology
By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who:
- have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus.
- recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.
- understand the sharing of bread and wine in Jesus’ name to be a representation of an ancient vision of God’s feast for all people.
- invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting they become like us in order to be acceptable.
- know that the way we behave toward one another and toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe.
- find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, and find more value in asking questions than hearing answers.
- form ourselves into communities dedicated to equipping one another for the work we feel called to do: striving for peace and justice among all people, protecting and restoring the integrity of all God’s creation, and bringing hope to those Jesus called the least of his sisters and brothers.
- recognizes that being followers of Jesus is costly and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege.
Our History of Social Justice
This church has always been on the forefront of justice work; it is part of our DNA. We work for inclusion and justice for any marginalized or oppressed people because we understand that is what it means to follow in the Way of Jesus.
In 1858, when a pastor who supported slavery was appointed to First Methodist, the congregation refused to pay him until he was removed.
When Chief Standing Bear made his way to Omaha in 1877, he and his followers were in desperate need of food and provisions. The people of First Methodist Church responded immediately with care. The pastor from this church supported Standing Bear as the courts debated his full humanity under the law.
Tradition tells that the chairwoman of First Methodist provided transportation to voting polls for the African-American community when the Civil Rights Act passed.
In 1992, FUMC joined with 20 other congregations to form Omaha Together One Community, a faith-based coalition for community organizing.
In 2000, FUMC took bold steps to become a Reconciling Ministry Congregation working within the United Methodist Church for full inclusion and acceptance of all persons regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Welcome means that we believe that all people are made in the image of God and are of sacred worth. Today we continue to advocate equity, justice, and compassion for all people.