Rev. Don Gotham
Minister of Congregational Care
David Fox, Organist, Bell, & Chancel Choirs Director
Christopher Heldt, Contemporary Worship Leader
Director of Christian Development
Charlotte Ramsey, Secretary/Bookkeeper
Tara Blandford, Office Assistant
Utica United Methodist Church welcomes and receives people from a variety of backgrounds.
Since all who want to become members come with different experiences and backgrounds, there are a number of ways to become a member of The United Methodist Church:
Utica United Methodist Church can accommodate weddings up to 300 guests in our Sanctuary
SCHEDULING YOUR WEDDING
Weddings can be scheduled up to 15 months in advance for church members and 9 months in advance for non-members. All weddings must be booked at least three months in advance. Once you’ve chosen a date, typically, your rehearsal will be scheduled for the day prior to your wedding at 6:30 p.m.
Please contact the office for an updated fee schedule and deposit requirements. There are fees for the pastor, wedding coordinator, church organist, sound technician, custodian and building use. Fees must be paid in full prior to your wedding date, usually when the marriage license is brought to the church.
The ordained pastor of Utica United Methodist Church will officiate all weddings. Another pastor may assist at the invitation of the pastor of Utica UMC.
We don’t call these meeting “counseling” sessions. They are conversations that provide an opportunity to explore your faith, discover your strengths, choose a wedding ceremony, and prepare for the wonderful gifts that you provide to each other. You will meet three to four times with the pastor performing your wedding. Conversations are confidential and informal.
Please contact the church office for further information if you are interested in being married at Utica UMC by phone or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
God Initiates the Covenant - During the sacrament of baptism, we pray that “The Holy Spirit works within you, that being born through water and the Spirit, you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.”
God Has Chosen Us
Christians have understood the baptismal covenant in light of Jesus’ baptism. At Jesus’ baptism, the Father said: “This is my son.” While Jesus’ relation as Son is unique, for Christians baptism means that God has also chosen us as daughters and sons, and knows us intimately as a parent knows a child.
Why Baptize Babies?
From the earliest times, children and infants were baptized and included in the church. As scriptural authority for this ancient tradition, some scholars cite Jesus’ words, “Let the little children come to me…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Mark 10:14). A more consistent argument is that baptism, as a means of grace, signifies God’s initiative in the process of salvation. John Wesley preached “Prevenient Grace,” the grace that works in our lives before we are aware of it, bringing us to faith. The baptism of children and their inclusion in the church before they can respond with their own confirmation of faith is a vivid and compelling witness to prevenient grace.
Baptism Is Forever
Baptism is a sacrament of God’s grace and a covenant God has initiated. It should not be repeated. However, in his continuing and patient forgiveness, God’s prevenient grace may prompt us to renew the commitment first made at our baptism. At such time, instead of rebaptism, The United Methodist Church offers a ritual for the reaffirmation of baptismal vows.
Baptism Is the Beginning, Not the End
You may have heard people say, “I was baptized Methodist,” or “I was baptized Presbyterian,” which could mean that in baptism they got their identity papers and that was the end of it. But baptism is not the end. It is the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith. It makes no difference whether you were baptized as an adult or as a child; we all start on that journey at baptism. For the child, the journey begins in the nurturing community of the church, where he or she learns what it means that God loves you. At the appropriate time, the child will make his or her first confession of faith in the ritual the church traditionally calls confirmation. Most often, this is at adolescence or at the time when the person begins to take responsibility for his or her own decisions.
What Is a Sacrament?
The word sacrament is the Latin translation of the Greek word mysterion. From the early days of the church, baptism was associated with the mystery that surrounds God’s action in our lives. That means at best our words can only tell what happens, but not define it. We cannot rationally explain why God would love us “while we were yet sinners” and give his only begotten Son that we should not perish but have eternal life. That is the most sacred and unfathomable mystery of all. We can experience God’s grace at any time and in any place, but in the sacrament of baptism we routinely experience that amazing grace.
If you are interested in having your child baptized or if you are an adult and have never been baptized, please contact the church office for further information.
The Apostles' Creed says it all:
"I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” Amen.
The United Methodist Church denomination mandates the existence of the following four committees within each congregation:
Additional committees are in place as deemed necessary and appointed by the Church Council of each congregation. Utica UMC has the following additional committees:
Our nation was only 41 years old when five devoted Methodists met to organize the church which grew to become the Utica United Methodist Church. Two of the founders of Utica's first church were Utica's first settlers, Nathaniel and Jemima Squires. The Utica United Methodist Church began with those five members in 1823, making it one of the oldest churches in Michigan. The first pastor, Rev. Elias Patee, met in a log cabin by the Clinton River, near what is now Auburn Road and Cass Avenue. In 1839, two lots were purchased at what is now Brownell and Summers in Utica and a real church was erected. In 1855, the church was moved to its current location on the corner of Cass and Stead in Utica. This building is still used as a church and is the oldest church building in Macomb County.
In 1960, the need of a larger facility prompted the purchase of five acres of a former radish farm just south and east of the Utica City Limits. On December 5, 1965, the congregation worshipped for the first time in its new building on Canal Road in Sterling Heights. This church has a proud Christian heritage to pass on to its future generations of worshippers. Founded by John Wesley, the Methodist theology is based on scripture, tradition, experience, and reason.
HISTORY OF THE DENOMINATION:
John Wesley, an ordained Anglican priest in London, received an inspiration at a prayer meeting in 1738 which led him to become the first teacher of "Methodism." That night his heart was changed- “My heart was strangely warmed.” He and his brother Charles set out to form societies of "Methodists" who followed a daily routine of religious observance and social work, passionate preaching, daily discipleship and lives changed through the power of the Holy Spirit. In America several denominations of "Wesleyans" were formed, but in 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church joined to form The United Methodist Church - America’s second largest Protestant denomination.
To reach and nurture our community with the love of Christ.
To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
For more information about the United Methodist Church as a whole: www.umc.org
If you want to find a specific Bible verse, compare translations, read commentaries, or sign up for devotional emails, check out this website: www.biblegateway.com
Utica UMC sponsors a Boy Scout Troop. To see what they're up to or for more information about how to get involved: http://www.troopwebhost.org/Troop80SterlingHeights/
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