A Church of Many Cultures
We live in a community rich in cultural diversity. As a church, we want to reflect the heritage of many lands. For that reason, we have held a Filipino prayer service following Taiphoon Haian, offered annual New Year’s Blessings in the tradition of India, invited an author, Margaret Zhao, to speak about her life in China, and conducted services featuring the cultures of the Philippines and India. We often use songs in different languages and have international brunches. Our Book-a-Month Club has discussed books about Afghanistan, China, and Israel-Palestine. Our Interfaith Awareness and Wider Welcome Groups work at cultural inclusiveness in every way they can. The United Methodist Church is a global denomination, growing in numbers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
We invite you, people of all faiths and all ethnicities, to participate in the life of our church!
The Methodist Society of Amador Valley held its first service on July 17, 1966 in a parsonage garage on Santa Rita Road. Then after renting space in Fredericksen Elementary School in Dublin, at the chapel at Camp Parks Job Corps, at St. Augustine’s Church on Rose Ave., and at the garage of the Lynnewood Estate of R. R. Stuart on Foothill Boulevard, the congregation acquired the present site at 4444 Black Avenue. Groundbreaking took place June 4, 1972, and the Fellowship Hall was consecrated in early 1973. “Lynnewood” became the name of the church because the granddaughter of a founding member was named Lynne.
Since those early years, Lynnewood has expanded to include a large facility rented out to Quarry Lane Preschool and a new sanctuary that holds over 250 people. The community and the church have grown in size and in cultural diversity. The congregation has had fifteen ordained United Methodist clergy. Today we are a vibrant congregation inviting people of all ages, races, abilities, sexual orientations, and theological viewpoints. Our doors are open to all!
What We Believe
People asked Jesus what was most important, and he answered, to love your God and to love your neighbor. In a nutshell, this is what we try to do. We trust that God loves us unconditionally, and believe that our response to God’s grace should be to return God’s love as we accept and help all people. This is why our church has always been active in outreach to people in need.
Mission of the United Methodists
We have the same mission as all United Methodists: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” This means that we are always trying to become better followers of Jesus ourselves by our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. And we invite others to do the same.
We cultivate our beliefs by reading and studying the Bible, by practicing the traditions of our faith, by experiencing God in prayer and in worship, and by really thinking about what we believe. We draw on these four elements that build a quadrilateral for our understanding of how we are to live as Christians: Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason.
Our vision at Lynnewood is “Dare to question, love, and serve.” We want to grapple with questions of theology and meaning in life. We want to love all people and invite folks into new opportunities for spiritual growth. And we want to serve the needs of people less fortunate than we are whenever we can.
In keeping with our pursuit of embodying mutual respect with all people, Lynnewood took the bold step of declaring itself to be a Reconciling Congregation in December of 2016. Reconciling Congregations are United Methodist churches which adopt and live by a public statement of inclusion that reaches beyond the parameters articulated in the UM Book of Discipline. Over 800 United Methodist congregations throughout the country have publically declared their welcome to all persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Lynnewood is now among those congregations, and continues to discern what it means to extend truly wide welcome to all God’s children.
Service to the Community, local and global
Our faith means a lot to us, so we give both our money and our time. We have a strong commitment to helping others. We have stocked local food pantries, repaired homes damaged by tornadoes in Missouri, repaired schools in Haiti, and packaged items for world-wide disaster relief kits. Our drive to reach out to others locally and beyond is one of the key components of our vision: “Dare to question, love, and serve.”
Our church participates in an interfaith community, and we believe that there are many paths to God. Ours is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. But we do not try to convert people whose religious practice is different from ours. We live in a multi-religious world and believe mutual respect is the key to world peace.
As a congregation, we recognize that we have a lot to learn, and we certainly don’t know all the answers, but we believe we can work together to do some good in the world. We hope you’ll join us.
Reaching Out Globally
Every month we give a special offering to a world need. One of our favorite world-hunger organizations is Heifer Project International; every November we host a great-big potluck, called “Heifer Dinner” and make donations to help third-world families raise animals for their livelihood. In Rise Against Hunger events, we organize an assembly line for packaging food to send overseas. A Knitting Group knits warm, wool hats for babies in Afghanistan. These are just a few examples – Outreach is one of our busiest ministries.