Who We Are
We are people on a journey of life and faith. There’s nothing extraordinary about us except that we have learned that God’s creative love is the connective thread that holds the universe together. We have learned that we need companions to walk the faith journey. We are trying to be a faith community who values diversity and accepts all people just as they are. We believe in following Jesus Christ more by what He told us to do rather than others telling us what to believe.
We welcome all people, gay or straight, young or old, male or female. Bend Church is more about people than place, but our downtown location is a special place in the heart of Bend. Open doors, open hearts, open minds. This congregation tries hard to create a safe place for everyone to ask their questions about God. None of us has it all together. We all need the grace of Jesus Christ.
So Bend Church is a family where you can come dressed in your most comfortable clothes. We love to laugh and are not afraid to shed tears. Mostly we just want to be real people who face what life brings with a God who loves us no matter what.
Our Core Values
To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World
Our Core Values
- We value faith in God’s love as experienced through creation, through Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
- We value respect for each person’s unique faith journey and for their system of beliefs developed from their life experiences.
- We value hospitality and work to welcome every person who desires to participate in our community of faith.
- We value service – our faith put into action by sharing God’s love to address the needs of all God’s children no matter if they are members of the congregation or part of the outside community.
- We value continued growth in discipleship through regular worship attendance, participation in educational classes and small group learning opportunities, through the practice of prayer, and through responsible stewardship of the gifts God entrusts to us.
- We value wholeness and healthy lifestyles and the care of God’s creation and provide opportunities for physical, mental, and spiritual healing to our congregation, our community, and the environment.
- We value interfaith dialogue and ecumenism by working and being in fellowship with other faith communities in Bend.
- We value our place in the Bend community as a center for compassionate ministry. We strive to live up to our goal of being the church at the heart of Bend where people can live centered in faith, fellowship and service.
- We value being part of a church involved in mission and are ready to take our faith outside the doors of our church to help meet the needs of the hungry, the homeless, the lost, and the lonely.
(From the RETHINK CHURCH initiative of United Methodist Communications)
Bend United Methodist Church has roots that are strong and deep. In 1906, a year after the city of Bend was incorporated, the Methodist Church in Bend was chartered and has been growing ever since.
Its first building, called The Little Brown Church, was built in 1912 at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Sisemore Street, where it still stands.
Continuing to expand over the years, the church broke ground on a new building at its current location on Bond Street in 1922. A Christian Education building was added in 1955.
In 2006, Bend United Methodist Church celebrated it’s 100th Anniversary and hearts were filled with joy and thankfulness for the opportunity to serve the Bend community. The focus on hospitality, service, compassion, and justice — the foundation of our values in the early days — continues to be our focus today. And we look forward to growing into the next century, Living Lives of Faith, Fellowship and Service.
The beautiful stained glass windows in our church have a rich history. But over the years, they darkened and the protective covers lost their clarity. So, in 2013, the church decided to give them a much-needed facelift to restore them to their former glory.
The windows, which line three sides of the church’s sanctuary, feature images from the Old and New Testaments and memorials to some of Bend’s early prominent citizens and church leaders. To learn more about the restoration project, we invite you to view the video here.
What is a Methodist?
The United Methodist Church is the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States and includes approximately 12.5 million members worldwide.
The Church had its beginnings in the 1500s in England. In the 1700s, John Wesley, a minister in the Church of England preached a “method” for the practice of Christian faith, which included devotion to prayer, study of the Bible, and helping others. He and the first “Methodists” supported prison reform and the abolition of slavery. His central message was, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
In 1735, John Wesley traveled with his brother, Charles, also an Anglican minister, to America where he trained preachers, called Circuit Riders, to travel by horseback to the most remote areas of the country to deliver the Good News of the Gospel in open areas and tents.
Building on this heritage, Methodists continue to work for social justice, religious and political freedom, service to others in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ, and acceptance of all people regardless of age, race, color, creed, and sexual identity.
In the tradition of John and Charles Wesley, our members study Scripture, encourage thoughtful debate, and confront the tough issues of our day. We still lead with our hearts, keep our minds open, and welcome everyone through our doors.
Learn more about the United Methodist Church here.
“Kids love coming to church” – young mom
“I know I matter.” -foster home resident
“I always feel so welcome when I walk in.” -a returning guest
“What a vibrant church, so many exciting things going on.” – out-of-town visitor
“Great nursery and care for my two kids.” – a visitor
“Family Church! Funky & Fun! Love going every Sunday.” – Megan
“Old, young or in-between Bend Church offers a community of caring to anyone who wants to come.” – Leah