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The United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church traces its roots back to the eighteenth century and the leadership of a Church of England minister named John Wesley. Today, 8.5 million United Methodists live in the United States and another 1.5 million worldwide. The mission of the United Methodist Church is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” As United Methodists, we have several distinct features. One is our emphasis on God’s grace for salvation, redemption, and its place in the whole life of faith. Our life in Christ is a gift from God and cannot be bought or earned. We also believe that we must live our faith in the world by serving, sharing, and giving. This “social gospel” helps us to express our faith in what we say and do.

The Cross and Flame

The United Methodist Church is symbolized by the cross and flame. This symbol was adopted in 1968 when the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The cross represents Jesus and the flame stands for the Holy Spirit. The two tongues of fire not only symbolize the Holy Spirit’s coming at Pentecost (Acts 2), but also the two branches of the church that merged in 1968. This symbol is recognizable around the world.