First Church...A United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church was created on April 23, 1968, when the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church united to form a new denomination. Methodism in the U.S. dates back to 1736 when John and Charles Wesley came to the New World to spread the movement they began as students in England.
United Methodists share a historic connection to other Methodist and Wesleyan bodies. United Methodist leaders often speak of the denomination as “the connection.” This concept has been central to Methodism from its beginning.
The United Methodist structure and organization began as a means of accomplishing the mission of spreading scriptural holiness. Methodism’s founder John Wesley recognized the need for an organized system of communication and accountability and developed what he called the “connexion,” a network of classes, societies, and annual conferences.
Within the connectional structure of The United Methodist Church, conferences provide the primary groupings of people and churches for discernment and decision-making.
Wesley described Christian conferencing as "spiritual discipline through which God’s grace may be revealed."
At every level of the connection, church leaders and members come together in conversation, or conferencing, to discuss important issues and discover God’s will for the church. The word, conference, thus refers to both the assembly and organization of people as well as the process of discerning God’s call together.
For more information go to www.umc.org