There have been Methodists in Ritzville since before 1888!
Some of us spoke and prayed and thought in English, some spoke and prayed and thought in German, so even in this town that’s always been small, there were TWO Methodist churches for a time — German and English. (By the way: if you don’t know the saga of the German communities’ migration from Germany to Russia in the 1700s, and from Russia to the U.S. in the 1800s — all along maintaining their German language and traditions — you might want to look into it! An amazing history of immigration and the issues and values of assimilating slowly, remaining an immigrant community in a new homeland for generations.)
Today, Trinity continues to carry the stories and values of our complex background, including the heritage of the Methodist movement: ever since the 1700s, a movement of Christian faith-formation that teaches that, in a trustworthy and encouraging community, people can come to know God’s love for ourselves, recognize that we are God’s children, and grow in Christian faith and in practices of Christian discipleship.
Our Methodist roots ground us firmly in some basic convictions:
- Salvation: the conviction through Jesus Christ that God loves all people, and desires their salvation (soteria, wholeness, rescue), and justification (dikaiosune, “rightwising”, coming to right relationship with God and neighbor). God never gives up on anyone, even when we have given up on ourselves.
- Faith and Works: the conviction that although we our salvation is through faith and not through works, our faith will lead us to do good works, both in our own lives (holiness), and through active participation in shaping the society (justice).
- Community: the conviction that we belong together in communities of encouragement and support as we grow in our practices of Christian discipleship.
United Methodists are diverse across the world, and there are things we disagree with one another about, but about these basics of Christian faith, and sharing the love of God, we are united.