A letter from our Pastor
Pastor Greg Lindenberger
Welcome to Hastings First UMC website. Our hope is that you will discover things about us that will encourage a visit to our church. Our people are warm and gracious; young and old; traditional and contemporary; relatively new and quite experienced. That may not sound any different from other church websites. We truly believe we have something to offer you and have included some interesting facts about our church below. We pray this is helpful.
Mostly, we want you to know we are imperfect people who gather to share a journey toward a Perfect God. If you would like to join us on that journey, “Come and see” (John 1:39) what the Lord is doing in our midst.
Not only were we the first United Methodist Church in town, but we are THE first church in town starting in 1872 when Hastings was barely a town. We were here, serving the community in the open, hospitable way we always try to be. Many other churches got their start meeting in our church.
We’ve moved three times in our 140+ years, and there is no church in the area that has endured more challenges and changes than ours. Strong willed people with an even stronger faith.
We are an open church that welcomes differences and celebrates diversity. Our unity is not in the uniformity of our opinions but rather in the mutuality of our concerns. Our faith is based upon our core belief that Jesus Christ is LORD. You may observe different opinions on particular issues affecting our church life, but we try to be respectful of each other and we know that WHAT we believe matters to each of us, but it is WHO we believe in that holds us together and gives us our strength and reason for living.
We hold to The Wesley Quadrilateral in forming our faith. With Scripture as our guide, Reason, Tradition, and Experience are all needed to make responsible decisions and form our beliefs and values.
The United Methodist Church is a global church, and we support missions all over the world: orphanages in Nigeria, colleges in Africa, new churches and pastors in China and the former Soviet Union, an emergency relief organization that may well be the best in the world (UMCOR), hospitals, rural and city missions in every country, just to name a few.
The United Methodist Church tries to be that church that balances personal piety (each of us welcomes a personal relationship with the Lord) AND social responsibility (because of our relationship we care for the most vulnerable people in the world, the lost, the broken, the hurting, and the victims of injustice everywhere).
We are people who are sometimes accused (by some who misunderstand us) as doing “works righteousness”. That is not us, but we do understand that our faith is something that Jesus calls us to live out in the world. It makes no sense to say you love Jesus and then do nothing to love your neighbor suffering from the ills of the world.