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Creekside United Invites the Cumming Community to Renew Their Relationship with the Christian Faith

By Marina I. Jokic

Methodism, although quite similar to other mainstream Christian denominations, appoints its pastors by a bishop which means that they can be transferred annually at the discretion of the Conference rather than the church. In addition, American Methodist denominations typically give lay members representation at regional and national Conferences at which the business of the church is discussed and executed.

Theologically, Methodists believe in infant baptism as opposed to baptism as a profession of faith, points out Beckley. Open Communion is practiced as a result of the belief that anyone who loves God is welcome into the faith. These are just some of the unique characteristics of Methodism in a nutshell.

What makes Creekside a particularly desirable choice for new members is the openness and unconditional acceptance of its congregation. "We are a congregation that loves each other, our community and our world," adds Beckley. Creekside's goal is to contemporize its worship service by integrating more contemporary music, offering many ministries that allow members to engage in fellowships, service, study and mission.

At the same time, the pastor adheres to the Biblical texts as much as possible, while trying to translate their wisdom into modern terms. Teaching Biblical lessons while also providing real-world opportunities to apply them is a crucial aspect of Creekside's philosophy. In fact, teaching and practicum are inseparable in a religious context, bringing Christian doctrine into action.

More specifically, Creekside has a vibrant youth group that meets on Sundays and Wednesdays during the school year. Sunday school is geared to middle and senior high school students, who are divided according to age groups. Youngsters are involved in service projects throughout the year, most notably in the Community Outreach Project.

As part of the COP, students spend a week at Creekside in July and travel out to the community, providing construction, landscaping, visitation, and other service-related assistance.  At the end of the day, they attend a worship service, which culminates with a live band performance. The adults of the congregation also participate in the COP, serving as leaders, chaperones, chefs and any other necessary function.

In terms of clubs and activities, one of the most meaningful ministries for many at Creekside is their Mission Team.  Through participation on the team, Creekside facilitates a feeding ministry called Feeding the Five Thousand, which delivers food to vulnerable populations in Forsyth County and helps foster spiritual connections. In their partnership with the Abba House, Creekside offers Teen MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers), which is a ministry specifically designed to help young mothers. The team also leads a mission in Ecuador, both through financial support and annual mission trips.

"It is our desire to be a congregation that focuses intently on making disciples of Jesus Christ through inviting people into a relationship with Him, helping people to grow in that relationship within His Church," emphasizes Beckley.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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