Bob Freeman, Pastor

Greetings and a very warm welcome to you from the people of First United Methodist Church of Urbana.

We strive to be a place where you can bring both your heart and your mind to search for a deeper experience of God.  We hope that you will find a place of worship that reminds you that a new way of the heart is always available, that change for the better is always an option in our lives, and that love is more important than doctrine. We are seeking to be a Christ-centered Church.  Our mission is “Help people to get connected to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; to one another; and to the Community!”

We commit ourselves to include all persons in worship and in its ministry, working to create a church without barriers.  We find all people to be of sacred worth and welcome everyone who comes here seeking the love of God.  Following the example of Jesus, we will know no circles of exclusion, and work to become a witness of love and peace for all.  Jesus takes the words of all 613 commandments of the Law and cuts to the chase of God’s will, cuts to the core of God’s purpose.

We remember Jesus saying:

I know that you’ve read the Scripture, but let me give you the divine purpose for every Scripture that you’ve read.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment, and the second is like it.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and all the prophets.  (Matthew 22:37-40)

You do not have to check your mind at the door when you come to this church.  That means that even as we worship God in spirit, we can at the same time critically look at what we believe and why we believe it as we continue to worship God with our minds.  We can honor our own experience of God with a complete totality of our being.  President Lincoln was quoted as saying on more than one occasion, “When any church will inscribe over its altar as its sole qualification for membership the Savior’s condensed statement of the substance of both the law and the Gospel, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself’—that church will I join with all my heart and soul.”

I hear again the essence of Jesus’ message.  It’s love.  It’s all about love.  Love for God and love for one another.  Come and join us, and come as you are.  You are welcome here.