United Methodist focuses on ‘practical’ worship

Clear Lake United Methodist is located in north Keizer on Wheatland Road North.

The United Methodists believe in what founder John Wesley called, “practical divinity.” 

They have an emphasis on Christian living and putting faith and love into action. They are a global denomination with s mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” according to the United Methodist website.

Keizer Clear Lake United Methodist Church incorporates the global mindset by being an “open door church.” They partner with five other United Methodist Churches (UMC) in the area to provide the best service to the most people, particularly with the youth (middle and high school) and young adults ministries.

The youth group (grades 6-12) and young adult groups (age 18-29) meet weekly to provide a space for younger people to fellowship with people their own age. 

“All of those people in that age range get together from all those churches. It was like three over here and six over here, so it was just better to bring them all together,” said Rev. Alyssa Baker, one of the pastors for the Salem United Methodist Churches. 

The Open-Door churches in Salem have six pastors, but they rotate through the different churches.

Baker said the preachers operate on what they call “circuits.” Circuit one includes a downtown UMC and Keizer Clear Lake UMC. A preacher will start downtown at Salem First UMC, preach, leave after the sermon while someone else finishes the worship service, and drive to Keizer Clear Lake UMC to preach there. After the service at Keizer Clear Lake UMC, they will drive back to the Salem First UMC and preach for the second service.

The second circuit is Morningside UMC and Trinity UMC.

Baker said all the churches read the same scripture but the pastors sermons are unique to the individual who’s teaching it.

Keizer Clear Lake is an older congregation according to Baker.

They have two worship teams, one more traditional that has a piano and organ, and one more contemporary that will play newer songs one might hear on the radio.

Becoming a member is a fairly simple process that usually just means being involved and sharing the same beliefs.

“Sometimes people take a class, but it’s case by case,” Baker said. She said that if someone was baptized by a different denomination re-baptism is not required.

“We believe baptism is the work of the Holy Spirit and as United Methodists we recognize your baptism no matter what denomination you come from.” she said.

One thing that sets the Methodists apart from other denominations of Christianity is their focus on the different ways one can experience Christ. It is not only focused on prayer or scripture or worship, but incorporates all of those elements.

A typical Sunday at Keizer Clear Lake UMC starts with worship. After a couple songs there is a meet and greet time which is followed by more singing, a time of prayer and then a reading of scripture.

The children, first through eighth, grades are invited to go to Sunday School and the pastor will give the sermon.

After that, offerings are collected, then they update the church on what the other open-door churches are doing. Services conclude with a time for corporate prayer. After service is over, congregants will stick around and talk. Once a month there is a time of communion.

The United Methodists as a denomination belief in serving the communities where they are placed. Keizer Clear Lake UMC is involved with the Keizer Community Food Bank.

They have a quilting group that meets to make quilts for those experiencing homelessness, and a group that meets to work on individual projects.

They have a community garden that donates food to the food bank. They have a feed the children ministry which helps feed Lake Labish Elementary School.

Due to COVID-19 concerns service is canceled until further notice. Baker said that the church is attempting to live stream sermons on Facebook, but they are still new to online church and it is a process that will take time to perfect.

The church can be found on Facebook as Keizer Clear Lake United Methodist Church. 

Keizer Clear Lake UMC is located at, 7920 Wheatland Rd N. Under regular operating circumstances service is at 10 a.m. with Sunday school for children from 4-years-old to 5th grade. 

For more information visit their website at To see the UMC statement of beliefs, visit