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Shepherd
of the Hills
United Methodist Church

26001 Muirlands Blvd.
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949/837-2941

and

30605 Avenida de Las Flores
Rancho Santa Margarita,
CA 92688
949/589-1502

info@sothumc.org

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storycrossOur Story

Our Common Christian Heritage

United Methodists share a common heritage with other Christians. Methodism, like all Christian denominations, has deep roots in the early Christian Church, as well as in the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Augustine, Francis and many others.

Central to our faith is:

John Wesley and The American Scene

While studying at Oxford, John Wesley and his brother Charles, formed "societies" for fellow Christians to participate in a daily routine of study, prayer and social work. Because of the methodical nature of their passionate and constant religious observance, members of the societies soon became known as Methodists. This tradition continued as the Wesleys and other Anglican preachers spread the Gospel and Wesley's teachings among the colonies. After the Revolution the Methodist Episcopal Church was born. In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) and the Methodist Church joined to form the United Methodist Church - the nation's 2nd largest Protestant denomination.

General Beliefs

United Methodists affirm the basic tenants of the Christian faith; however, the emphasis has always been on the Christian lifestyle rather than assenting to a particular scheme of beliefs or dogmas. Here are a few of the key points to our theological approach:

Grace: Grace is God's loving action in the world through the activity of the Holy Spirit. It works in us even before we come to believe.

Human Dignity: God endows each person with dignity and moral responsibility. The fullness of true humanity is seen in Jesus Christ, God's personal revelation.

Conversion: Through the Holy Spirit, we are made into new, changed creatures. Christian experience may be expressed in many different thought forms and lifestyles.

Faith and Good Works: They belong together. Personal faith and social action are mutually reinforcing; they cannot be separated. While we are saved by grace through faith, we also affirm that faith without works is dead. Methodists believe that personal conversion and social transformation are keys to a healthy, honest spiritual life.

Baptism: For United Methodists, baptism is the sacrament of initiation that joins us with the church and Christians everywhere. It is a symbol of new life and a promise of God's saving love, God's forgiving love and our intention to live a life of faith and holiness. We baptize both infants and adults. A United Methodist receives the sacrament of baptism only once in his or her life.

For more information on the United Methodist Understanding of Baptism, click here.

The Lord's Supper: Jesus told his disciples that whenever they broke bread and took the cup in his name, he would be present among them. Through the sacrament of Holy Communion, we experience the real and immanent presence of the one who desires to be with us, to walk with us, to dwell within us in Spirit and Truth. We celebrate Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, reaffirm our need for continued grace and reclaim our calling to be "for the world the body of Christ redeemed by his blood." At SOTH, we celebrate Holy Communion once a month. All Christians (children, members, non-members, visitors) are welcome at the Lord's table.

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