Welcome! We are two church families bound together with a shared love of Christ and each other. We offer a loving community for you to use your God-given gifts for the Kingdom of Christ.
Please join our family in one of our two churches.
Sparta Center United Methodist Church
“The Little White Church on the Hill”
Sunday School: 9:30am
Worship Service: 9:30am
Note: Children will be excused from the Worship Service following Young Disciples Time to participate in Sunday School
Click Here for the address and directions to Sparta Center UMC
Dansville United Methodist Church
“The Downtown Church”
Sunday School: 10:15am
Worship Service: 11:00am
Note: Children will be excused from the Worship Service following Young Disciples Time to participate in Junior Church
Click Here for the address and directions to Dansville UMC
Our Faith Journey
What’s the bedrock of life for Christians? Is it Bible reading? Church participation? Prayer? Is it a belief that Jesus is God’s Son?
The foundation of Christian living is faith in Christ. Faith is the central loyalty that gives purpose and direction to our lives. Christian faith is grounding our lives in the living God as revealed especially in Jesus the Christ.
This faith does not happen overnight. It’s a journey. From birth to death we’re growing in faith. There are ups and downs — and sometimes long flat stretches where we seem to be stalled in our journey. But little by little, most of us deepen our relationship with God.
In part, this growth in faith is a gift. Through our participation in the community of faith, through our openness to God’s love, we receive this marvelous treasure. But faith is also a choice we make, an often difficult decision to put God and God’s reign first in our lives, no matter what the cost.
We cannot say that some people are “ahead” in the journey of faith and others “behind.” Faith is not something we possess by degrees. The journey is complex, different for each traveler and involving at least four intertwined pathways:
First and foremost, faith is trusting. To be a person of faith is to rely on God, to know that “the Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23). It’s to rest confidently in the power and care of the living, loving Lord who’s revealed in the Bible and in our own experience. Faith is to give ourselves to the movement of God’s Spirit in our lives and in our times, not knowing where it will lead.
Faith is also believing in someone. In the Apostle’s Creed, for example, we say, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” This is not the same as saying, “I believe that God the Father Almighty exists.” Rather, we’re confessing our confidence in God, our devoted loyalty, and our allegiance. Such belief may involve going beyond what we’re sure of and taking a “leap of faith.”
There’s more to faith than trusting and believing. Faith is more active, a matter of doing as well asbeing. So Jesus said to his first disciples, “Follow me.” To be faithful is to follow Jesus the Christ. It is to be one of his disciples, seeking to understand his will and his way — and to do it. Such discipleship is not an easy matter. Jesus said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25)
Christian faith is also a matter of hoping, of leaning into the future that God has promised. It’s living with the assurance that God is bringing in the time of shalom, God’s reign here on earth. As Easter people, we have a hope born of the Resurrection: God has already conquered sin and death, and the kingdom of love, righteousness, peace and justice is even now breaking in. To abide in hope is to watch and pray for God’s future and to join in the ministries through which it will be realized.
Surrounded by the love and encouragement of the community of believers, we persevere on the journey of faith, ever trusting, believing, following and hoping.
Source: UMC.org (Excerpted from The United Methodist Member’s Handbook, Revised and Expanded by George E. Koehler, pp. 62-63.)
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
A Shared Insight
I recently read an article by Charles Stanley from an IN TOUCH Ministries publication that is worth considering. His article is entitled 'A Real Enemy' , is based on Peter 5:8-10 and reads in the part as follows:
Imagine that you're a soldier during wartime. You've made it through basic training, mastered the weapons of war, memorized all the relevant warfare strategies and are heading to battle. You've seen the war in news headlines. Friends of yours have already been deployed and now that you're on the front lines, you witness explosions and desolation all around you. Without a doubt, you know that there is an enemy out to destroy you.
Now imagine a fellow soldier coming to you and saying'I really don't believe there is an enemy out there. I think it's a myth, or maybe just a metaphor for evil. It isn't real.' How ridiculous! Right there in the midst of combat, with fallen comrades and used ammunition littering the battlefield, how could an intelligent person ever fail to recognize the presence of the enemy? It is unthinkable. And yet this exact situation is taking place in churches all around the world. Despite the evidence of war and regardless of the overtly personal and custom-made nature of the attacks, an astounding amount of Christians simply do not believe in the existence of Satan. This is a tragic mistake.
There is a very real enemy stalking you right now waiting for the opportunity to destroy you completely. If you want to grow, an experience maturity in the Christian life, you must take this battle seriously. Put on your spiritual armor and follow the Lord into battle. He'll be by your side.