Who We Are
The United Methodist Church is a global congregation working and living at regional and local levels to be faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ in every day and every way we can. Spirit-filled worship, intentional faith formation, and active service toward justice and mercy are just some of the ways we seek to love the God who created us, breathed life into us, and is faithfully our God.
The United Methodist Church is 12.5 million strong. We practice open hearts, open minds, and open doors through active engagement with our world.
John Wesley and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on God’s grace and Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
We are called by God to Reach Out, Inspire, and Serve for Christ.
We are commissioned by Jesus to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.
As a congregation we have been seeking to be faithful to God as we walk with Christ, and to serve God’s people in Port Orchard for over 130 years. Two different addresses, three different buildings, and many generations of believers striving to build God’s kingdom on earth as in heaven.
Reverend Shirley DeLarme—Pastor
With a heart for God and for people young and not-so-young, Pastor Shirley urges us to live our faith in the quiet moments, the big celebrations, the familiar spaces, and public places. She delights in discovering new things about people, places, cultures, and cooking, and especially new ways to live into who God has created us to be in Christ. She often encourages us to invite someone to church, to speak of our faith as we go to work or do our errands, and to be always looking for the next thing we could be doing to be more like Jesus here in Port Orchard. Shirley’s husband Lane is a significant partner in her ministry. Their sons and daughter-in-law are much loved blessings who actively witness to their faith in the choices they make and the way they live their lives.
Patty Novogradac—Administrative Assistant
Patty is a vibrant and friendly first contact for anyone who comes to the church through the front door or through the phone lines. As our administrative assistant, her many talents help our ministries connect and succeed.
Jeff Mitchell—Music Director
Jeff knowledgeably gathers up the enthusiasms and talents of many musicians and vocalists, and with gentle teaching and direction leads them in making beautiful music that touches our hearts and glorifies our God.
Katie Aosved—Youth Director
Katie creates a safe and fun environment for teenagers to learn about and experience God’s love in Christ, and to grow in their faith.
Emily makes sure that our facilities are clean and fresh so when people come in they can enjoy their surroundings and feel God’s peace in the healthy environment.
Chris Koller—Piano/Organ Accompanist
Chris graces us each Sunday with his extraordinary talents on the organ and piano. He is also here on Thursday nights to help the choir practice.
Ashlei Shipp—Nursery Attendant
Ashlei watches over the babies and toddlers in her care with love. You will find her in the nursery each Sunday morning during worship looking after the needs of children while their parents participate in the Sunday celebration.
Becky Blake—Web Presence Curator
Becky is responsible for our presence on the internet. She maintains our website and is charged with keeping it up to date and relevant.
Our United Methodist Theology
United Methodists are a diverse denomination and we do allow room for a diversity of theological views. Wesleyanism, so named after its founder, John Wesley, has never been a confessional or creedal tradition; Methodists have never been required to subscribe to a set of theological propositions. However, Methodism does have coherent theological positions and the sacraments have prominent roles in our conception of how God works through the church for the salvation of human beings.
For us Holy Communion, or the Eucharist, is an experience of God’s grace. God’s unconditional love makes the table of God’s grace accessible to all. Anyone who comes to the table is welcomed. We use unfermented grape juice instead of alcoholic wine, leavened yeast bread, and a gluten free option.
Holy Communion is an instrumental Means of Grace through which the real presence of Christ is communicated to the believer. Exactly how remains a mystery. Holy Communion is more than remembrance, or intellectual recalling. It becomes a re-presentation of past gracious acts of God in the present, powerful enough to make them truly present now. Christ is risen and is alive here and now, not just remembered for what was done in the past.
Through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, God meets us at the table. God, who has given the sacraments to the church, acts in and through Holy Communion. Christ is present through the community gathered in Jesus’ name (Matthew 18:20), through the word proclaimed and enacted, and through the elements of bread and wine shared (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The divine presence is a living reality and can be experienced by participants.
As Christians, our identity comes from Christ and is obtained through baptism. Baptism celebrates that, putting off the old, renouncing sin and the evil powers of the world, and pledging our loyalty to Christ, we become new in Christ.
We believe that in baptism God initiates a covenant with us, and thus calls us to be a people with a special mission in the world, and calls us to a life of faithfulness.
We understand baptism in the light of Jesus’ baptism. At Jesus’ baptism, God said: “This is my son.” While Jesus’ relation to God as son is unique, for Christians baptism means that God has also chosen us as daughters and sons, and knows us intimately as a parent.
As God’s sons and daughters we are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation, given new birth through water and the Spirit, and initiated into Christ’s holy church.