The basics of life and ministry of the UMC is the Gospel of the Bible. The Church has a sophisticated understanding of the bible, which combines tradition, reason in the way of common sense and personal everyday experience. This Comes along with a great freedom for personal confession in everyday life through a faith which is active in Love. (In der Liebe tätig sein)
The UMC explicitly wants to facilitate and bear up this variety. Church founder John Wesley said: "In all questions which do not hit the roots of Christianity, we stick to the rule: Think and let think! The UMC still is a missionary Church that invites people into a personal relationship to God. A Person who testifies his/her faith in front of his Church becomes a member of the Church. All Methodists and Methodist parishes are part of a worldwide network and take charge for each other. Wesley called this system of attachment: Connexion. It characterizes the structur of our church. The Leadership of the UMC are equally formed by lay people and pastory.
Methodist proclamation aims for change in personal life and in the society. This opens our eyes towards the poor, the disfranchised, the neglegted of our society. Methodists played an important role in ending slavery in England 200 y ears ago.
In 1908 the church passed a statement about social issues: "We see the natural world as God's creation and seek ist preservation, improvement and faithful use through humanity." In 1946 Social Principles it sais: "We assure that in God's eyes, all people are equally valuable, and therefore we work towards a community in which the value of each human being is respected, kept and strengthened."
These commitments are not empty words. Homes for Elderly people, Hospitals, a socio-therapeutic home, accommodation for Holiday camps and hotels are signs of the ministry of the Church towards society. Also Local churches are commited in their neighborhoods, e.g. with visits to elderly or lonely people lunch tables, work with children and youth, day care centers and work with marginalized people.