Who We Are

Avery United Methodist Church is a Christ-filled community of hope in Washington, PA. Located in the heart of the Gabby Heights neighborhood across from Trinity West Elementary School, Avery serves as a spiritual center for people who live and work in Gabby Heights and the surrounding area.

Here you will find a casual worship setting, a variety of ministries for all ages, opportunities to engage in mission and service, and most of all, a congregation that truly welcomes people from all walks of life. We look forward to meeting you at our next event, worship service, or on the streets of Washington, PA!

We are proudly affiliated with the United Methodist Church, a global denomination of almost 13 million members.

What We Believe

United Methodists share many basic affirmations in common with all Christian communities, which you can read about here. However, there are distinctive theological emphases within the United Methodist Church, including:

Grace, which is central to our understanding of Christian life and faith.

Faith and Good Works

United Methodists insist that faith and good works belong together. What we believe must be confirmed by what we do. Personal salvation must be expressed in ministry and mission in the world. We believe that Christian doctrine and Christian ethics are inseparable, that faith should inspire service. The integration of personal piety and social holiness has been a hallmark of our tradition. We affirm the biblical precept that “faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (James 2:17).

Mission and Service

Because of what God has done for us, we offer our lives back to God through a life of service. As disciples, we become active participants in God’s activity in the world through mission and service. Love of God is always linked to love of neighbor and to a passionate commitment to seeking justice and renewal in the world.

Nurture and Mission of the Church

For Wesley, there was no religion but social religion, no holiness but social holiness. In other words, faith always includes a social dimension. One cannot be a solitary Christian. As we grow in faith through our participation in the church community, we are also nourished and equipped for mission and service to the world.

“From Wesley’s time to the present, Methodism has sought to be both a nurturing community and a servant community. Members of Methodist Societies and class meetings met for personal nurture through giving to the poor, visiting the imprisoned, and working for justice and peace in the community. They sought not only to receive the fullness of God’s grace for themselves; but…they saw themselves as existing ‘to reform the nation…and to spread scriptural holiness over the land.’”

 

We seek to be a church for all people:

We recognize racism as a sin and seek to eliminate it.

As followers of Christ, we embrace love and affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God and therefore work toward societies in which each person’s value is recognized, maintained, and strengthened.  (United Methodist Social Principles)

Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation

“Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.

We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting the rightful claims where people have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically attendant to contractual relationships that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law.

Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.” (United Methodist Social Principles)

Here at Avery UMC, some members passionately support efforts for full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the life and leadership of the church, including ordination and marriage. But some other members agree with the current United Methodist stance that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. We agree that all persons are of sacred worth, even those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning. We wrestle with these issues together, seeking to understand differing points of view and recognizing that we can all practice Christian discipleship regardless of our theology of human sexuality and gender identification.