Our Common Christian Heritage
United Methodists share a common heritage with other Christians. Methodism, like all Christian denominations, has deep roots in the early Christian Church, as well as in the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Augustine, Francis and many others.
Central to our faith is:
- The conviction that God has mercy and love for all people, in all experiences and walks of life
- The belief in Triune God as the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of the world;
- A trust and acceptance of salvation through Jesus Christ
- A commitment to the Bible as the primary authority of our lives
- The celebration of the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism.
John Wesley and The American Scene
While studying at Oxford, John Wesley and his brother Charles, formed "societies" for fellow Christians to participate in a daily routine of study, prayer and social work. Because of the methodical nature of their passionate and constant religious observance, members of the societies soon became known as Methodists. This tradition continued as the Wesleys and other Anglican preachers spread the Gospel and Wesley’s teachings among the colonies. After the Revolution the Methodist Episcopal Church was born. In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) and the Methodist Church joined to form the United Methodist Church - the nation’s 2nd largest Protestant denomination.
United Methodists affirm the basic tenants of the Christian faith; however, the emphasis has always been on the Christian lifestyle rather than assenting to a particular scheme of beliefs or dogmas. Here are a few of the key points to our theological approach:
Grace: Grace is God’s loving action in the world through the activity of the Holy Spirit. It works in us even before we come to believe.
Human Dignity: God endows each person with dignity and moral responsibility. The fullness of true humanity is seen in Jesus Christ, God’s personal revelation.
Conversion: Through the Holy Spirit, we are made into new, changed creatures. Christian experience may be expressed in many different thought forms and lifestyles.
Faith and Good Works: They belong together. Personal faith and social action are mutually reinforcing; they cannot be separated. While we are saved by grace through faith, we also affirm that faith without works is dead. Methodists believe that personal conversion and social transformation are keys to a healthy, honest spiritual life.
Baptism: For United Methodists, baptism is the sacrament of initiation that joins us with the church and Christians everywhere. It is a symbol of new life and a promise of God’s saving love, God’s forgiving love and our intention to live a life of faith and holiness. We baptize both infants and adults. A United Methodist receives the sacrament of baptism only once in his or her life.
For more information on the United Methodist Understanding of Baptism, click here.
The Lord’s Supper: Jesus told his disciples that whenever they broke bread and took the cup in his name, he would be present among them. Through the sacrament of Holy Communion, we experience the real and immanent presence of the one who desires to be with us, to walk with us, to dwell within us in Spirit and Truth. We celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, reaffirm our need for continued grace and reclaim our calling to be “for the world the body of Christ redeemed by his blood.” At SOTH, we celebrate Holy Communion once a month. All Christians (children, members, non-members, visitors) are welcome at the Lord’s table.
- Worship 9:30 AM: Relaxed Traditional – Traditional and new hymns with our Chancel Choir.
- Worship 11 AM: Contemporary / Modern Worship – Band, Candles, Families.
- Sunday school for children at each hour. Loving nursery care, too.
- Address: We are located at 30605 Avenida de Las Flores, Rancho Santa Margarita.
This Week at RSM Campus
On Sunday we continue our series on "Making All Things New," looking at Colossians 2:1-15. How does God make things new and for what purpose? This week join us as we talk about what newness and living out of fulfillment look like.
Church Wide News & Events
Pastor Craig’s Final Sunday at Shepherd of the Hills: Pastor Craig will celebrate his final Sunday at Shepherd of the Hills on June 16th. There will be one worship service at each campus that morning. • Rancho Santa Margarita Campus – 9:00 a.m. Worship, Pastor Craig Preaching • Mission Viejo Campus – 10:30 a.m. Worship, Pastor Craig Preaching Following worship at the Mission Viejo Campus, there will be a celebration luncheon of Mexican street tacos! After lunch, a gathering will be held in the sanctuary at Mission Viejo.
- Pastoral News: The Rev. Karl Stuckenberg to Be Appointed as the New Lead Pastor at Shepherd of the Hills...
- 'Celebrate Recovery': Launched April 10th at 6:30 pm at the MV Campus (part of "Connect"). The weekly gathering will serve as a support group for dealing with hurts, habits and hang-ups, providing a place to share, fellowship, and embark on a path to healing.
- 'Connect' Gatherings: Wednesdays from 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm, Mission Viejo Campus
- Event Highlights: See what events are going on at both campuses here...
- Shepherd of the Hills Happenings: Read our monthly newsletter here...
- Campus Scenes: View a short video of scenes and activities from our campus.
- View Current Sermons: If you missed or want to re-experience a recent sermon, we have audio and video for you.
- Newsletters: An archive of recent newsletters. See what’s been going on.
- Sermon Series: Read about what’s upcoming and what’s past.