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Welcome to Kearney First UMC!

Our Story

Whether you are a visitor to Kearney, a UNK student, a new resident, or a long-time resident of Kearney, there is a place for you!


Kearney First United Methodist Church is a community of faith rooted in the love of God. We believe worship is not just found in prayer, it’s something expressed in everything we do. Our philosophy is deeply rooted in the Holy Scriptures, life’s only guidebook. Come and join us to experience God’s grace for yourself!  You can learn more about who we are and what we do by clicking any of the following buttons.

Kearney First United Methodist Church

Our Vision, Our Mission, Our Calling

Love God. Love Our Neighbors. Make Disciples of Christ.

Our mission at Kearney First United Methodist Church is to be compassionate, inclusive and to walk with Jesus. Through gospel, service, worship and missions, we bring God closer to our hearts and closer to the hearts of those around us. As a fellowship of believers, we have the honor of proclaiming the glory of Christ to one another in a loving and caring setting.  We strive to grow in Christ, learn from Christ, and serve Christ.  We are a Christian community characterized by our Wesleyan Heritage of: doing good, doing no harm, and staying in love with God.

Image by Ron Graham

Foundations of Our Mission: Our What and How

What are we as First United Methodist Church?

This is our missional identity: We are a community seeking to love God, love others, and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

The Greatest Commandments & Great Commission

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).


“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

How do we live into this missional identity?

We are a community of practice; we participate with the Holy Spirit’s work in us and the world by:

  1. Talking to God through worship and prayer.

  2. Listening to God through scripture reading.

  3. Partnering with God through acts of service, kindness, mercy, and justice.

  4. Growing like God through acts of self-giving generosity.

  5. Sharing God’s good news with others through our words and deeds.

This is our method, our way of growing in love of God and neighbor as Jesus’s disciples. It’s our “scripture way of salvation” – a phrase from John Wesley, Methodism’s founder.

This language is rooted in our denominational heritage, scripture, and our baptismal covenant and communion liturgies (at right, phrased as “prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness”).

As a people committed to practicing our faith in community, we will grow into our mission of loving God, loving others, and making disciples of Jesus Christ. 

Membership Vows of Kearney First United Methodist Church

UMH, 34-39; rephrased from questions to affirmations

  • We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of our sin.

  • We accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.

  • We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior, put our whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as Lord in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races.

  • We will live as faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world.

  • We receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

  • We will faithfully participate in the ministries of Kearney First United Methodist Church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness

Image by Brandon Mowinkel

Values of Kearney First United Methodist Church

Kearney First United Methodist Church seeks to be a value-driven congregation embracing God’s call to love God, love our neighbors, and make disciples of Jesus Christ by being a community of practice. Our values seek to inform, guide, and steer our behaviors, decision-making, and ministry. They represent lasting beliefs or ideals of our church, which are both embodied and aspirational – meaning, we see them in part, and we believe the Holy Spirit is perfecting them in us through practice for the sake of God’s mission in and with us.

These values seek to answer, “In what Spirit will we live as a community of practice seeking to grow in our love of God and others as disciples of Jesus?”


Holiness is related to “integrity,” meaning, “knowing and doing the right thing all the time.” However, holiness also means seeking to integrate mind, heart, and body to reflect God’s character all the time.

“Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct, for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16, cf. Lev. 11:44-45, 1 Thes 4:7).


Graciousness begins with our belief that God acts in all people for God’s restorative mission in the world. We make space for others’ diverse experiences and interpretations of God. 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Eph 4:32).

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone” (Col 4:6).

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Lu 6:36).


Caring depends on growing relationships. We seek to prioritize others’ needs by being present to do good and to avoid harm.

How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth” (1 Jn 3:17-18).

“If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, ‘God in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?” (James 2:15-16)

“[For] I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25:35-36).


Equipping is about partnership with God and others as a faith community. We seek to lead by example, develop leaders, mentor each other, and discover our talents for ministry.

“He himself granted that some are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:11-12).

“[And what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well” (2Tim 2:2).

“And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb 10:24-25).

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