About Us

For 174 years, Newport-Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church has been a cornerstone of the Newport    community.  Though our world has experienced many changes since the church’s founding in 1850, our striving to reveal the love of God and neighbor remains a constant.

It is our vision to be a welcoming community that provides opportunities for spiritual growth for people at all stages of Christian faith.  We invite you to join us as we share Christ’s love for the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.

What Do United Methodists Believe?

UMC Handbook

Our Membership Vows

The Meaning of Baptism in the UMC

The Meaning of Holy Communion in the UMC

We believe in:

Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We live by two kinds of faithfulness:

Personal & Social

We follow three simple rules:

Do no harm.

Do Good.

Stay in love with God.

“‘What then is the mark?  Who is a Methodist, according to your own account?’  I answer: A Methodist is one who has ‘the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given unto him;’ one who ‘loves the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength.’  God is the joy of his heart, and the desire of his soul; which is constantly crying out, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee!  My God and my all!  Thou art the strength of my heart, and my potion for ever!'”

John Wesley-“The Character of a Methodist,” in Works, Vol. 8; pg. 341.

Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Understanding of the Christian Life

Founder of the Methodist movement in England, John Wesley was determined to foster the disciplined practices that would lead to faithfulness in the way of Jesus.  These practices were outlined in the “General Rules,” and instructions in them and accountability to them was centered in the classes that formed the United Societies of the early Methodist movement (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church-2004 (The United Methodist Publishing House, 2004).

1)  Do No Harm

“By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced.”

-United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2004.

When we agree that we will not harm those with whom we disagree, conversation, dialogue, and discovery of new insight become possible.  When our words and actions are guarded by this first simple rule, we have time and space to think about consequences before a word is spoken or an action taken.

“It may easily be believed, he [Jesus] who had this love in his heart would work no evil to his neighbor.  It was impossible for him, knowingly and designedly, to do harm to any man.  He was at the greatest distance from cruelty and wrong, from any unjust or unkind action.  With the same care did he ‘set a watch before his mouth, and keep the door of his lips,’ lest he should offend in tongue, either against justice, or against mercy or truth.  He put away all lying, falsehood, and fraud; neither was guile found in his mouth.  He spake evil of no man nor did an unkind word ever come out of his lips.”

John Wesley-“Sermon 4, Scriptural Christianity,” in Works, Vol. 5; pg. 41.

2)  Do Good

“By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity; doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all….”

-United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2004

The words of Jesus and of Wesley suggest that doing good is a universal command.  That is, doing good is not limited to those like me or those who look like me.  Doing good is directed at everyone, even when those who do not fit my category of “worthy” to receive any good that I or others can direct their way.  This command is also universal and no one is exempt from it.

“There is scare any possible way of doing good, for which here is not daily occasion….  Here are poor families to be relieved:  Here are children to be educated:  Here are workhouses, wherein both young and old gladly receive the word of exhortation:  Here are the prisons, and therein a complication of all human wants.”

John Wesley-“Journal from August 12, 1738-November 1, 1739,” in Works, Vol. 1; pg. 181.

3)  Stay in Love with God

“By attending upon all the ordinances of God….”

-United Methodist Book of Discipline, 2004

While the word “ordinance” is strange to our modern ears, John Wesley used it to describe the practices that kept the relationship with God and humans vital, alive, and growing.  Wesley names public worship of God, the Lord’s Supper, private and family prayer, searching the Scriptures, Bible study, and fasting as essential to faithful life.


Our primary weekly worship celebration is every Sunday at 11:00 a.m.   The sacrament of Holy Communion is typically celebrated on the first Sunday of each month and at other times throughout the year.

Children Are Welcome in Worship

Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes a child … welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5).  Children are our present and our future, our hope, our teachers, our inspiration.  They are full participants in the life of the church and in the realm of God. 

Following United Methodist tradition, children are welcome to fully participate in Holy Communion on the First Sunday of each Month.  Children’s Worship Bulletins and Sanctuary Sacks are also available as you come into the Sanctuary.  These Children’s Worship Bulletins have a secret code that unlocks hours of fun learning at home.  This secret code is unique to our church and allows safe and secure access to online games and activities that reinforce our weekly Scripture focus.  

NMO-UMC has been recognized as A Church for All God’s Children by the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church and has a Safer Sanctuaries policy for the protection of our children and youth.

Invitation to Holy Communion

The United Methodist Church celebrates an open Communion Table.  According to The United Methodist Book of Worship: All who intend to lead a Christian life, together with their children are invited to receive the bread and cup.  We have no tradition of refusing any who present themselves desiring to receive the bread and cup.  All ages are welcome to come and receive these gifts of God’s grace.

The Meaning of Holy Communion in the UMC

Worship Assistance Available

Hearing assistance devices and large print hymnals are available for your use.  Our Greeter will be happy to assist you with these items.

Worship Opportunities

Look for us live on Facebook Sundays at 11:00 a.m. at www.facebook.com/NewportMtOlivetUnitedMethodistChurch.

June 9/Third Sunday after Pentecost

Out of His Mind

Mark 3:20-35

When people heard Jesus preach, some concluded that he was “out of his mind.”  To be a disciple, a follower of Jesus, is to be given the grace to think about God, the world, and ourselves in a different way—the way of Christ.

June 16/Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

A New Creation

2 Corinthians 5:6-17

Barbara Brown Taylor speaks of that moment in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper when the minister holds up a whole loaf of bread as a reminder of the whole, perfect presence of God among God’s people.  But then that loaf is shattered, broken, torn, and the crumbs fall onto the table.  It is a reminder that our perfect wholeness, that peace for which we yearn, is not behind us but up ahead yet.  Wholeness is coming, but the broken loaf reminds us that it is coming not through what we’ll do but through what Jesus already did.  His brokenness is what will one day put our lives back together whole and complete, relationships and all.

June 30/Sixth Sunday after Pentecost


Mark 5:21-43

In his book, Turn My Mourning into Dancing, Henri J.M. Nouwen reminds us: “I have always been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted; then I realized that the interruptions were my work.”

If Christianity is about anything, it’s about forgiveness.  Not forgiveness as merely an end in itself or a legal means of escaping punishment, but forgiveness as reconciliation and total restoration.  When Jesus teaches about forgiveness, he pushes us to the extreme, indicating that our practice of forgiveness should be unconditional.  But that kind of forgiveness is a tall order!  Can we always forgive?  Should be always forgive?  Does forgiveness simply enable evil?  Do we sacrifice justice when we forgive unconditionally?  Beginning Sunday, July 7, we will embark on an eight-week journey into the healing and liberating power of forgiveness.

July 7/Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

The Question of Forgiveness

Matthew 6:9-15

Whether we look to the Lord’s Prayer or Jesus’ death on the cross or his resurrection or the great creeds of the church, we are never far from the theme of forgiveness—for if Christianity isn’t about forgiveness, it’s about nothing at all. Our worship will include the celebration of Holy Communion.

July 14/Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

The 490 Principle

Matthew 18:21-35

When Peter suggests sevenfold forgiveness, he is being generous and going well beyond what most are willing to do.  Forgive the same person for the same offense seven times?  Who would dare ask any more of is.  And yet, Jesus does.  He calls us to push the boundaries of forgiveness far beyond all that seems reasonable.

July 21/Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Who’s Your Ali Agca?

Acts 7:54-60

On May 13, 1980, Mehmet Ali Agca approached Pope John Paul II as he traveled in an open motorcade through St. Peter’s Square in Rome and shot him four times before being apprehended.  Two years later, John Paul II would visit Ali Agca in prison and offer him forgiveness.  This invites a question: Who is our Ali Agca?  Given a similar situation, would we escalate the violence and perpetuate the cycle of revenge, either in action or attitude, or would we absorb the blow, forgive the perpetrator, and end the cycle of revenge?

July 28/Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

No Future Without Forgiveness

Genesis 50:15-21

The story of Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers comes at the very end of the Book of Genesis.  Here, when Jacob has died and Joseph has the upper hand, we find Joseph telling his brothers , “Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people.”  Without forgiveness, the Bible doesn’t get past Genesis.  Without forgiveness there really is no future.

August 4/Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Forgiveness that Transcends Tragedy

Matthew 5:43-48

Only forgiveness has the capacity to rescue human society from the destructive vortex of violence and vengeance and provide us with a healing alternative.  Ultimately, it is the cross that liberates the imagination to discover how forgiveness transcends tragedy and how good triumphs over evil. Our worship will include the celebration of Holy Communion.

August 11/Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Forgiveness & Justice

Romans 12:17-21

A world bent on the justice of giving people “what they deserve” is a world that is endlessly cruel and marked by alienation, violence, and war.  The cross is where justice is reinterpreted by mercy in order to be redefined as reconciliation.  This alone is what God calls justice.

August 18/Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Putting an End to Hostility

Ephesians 2:13-22

In the hostile world of hate, war, and genocide, the cross appears.  The cross is God’s peace project designed to end the hostility and achieve reconciliation.  The cross not only achieves peace between God and the sinner but is also the place where God forms a new humanity.

August 25/Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The Prince of Peace

Colossians 1:15-20

As we draw to the conclusion of our worship series on forgiveness, we find that it is Christ who is at the epicenter of our relationship with God and our relationships with one another.  As his disciples, we are called to accept the Prince of Peace who rejects the warhorse and chooses the donkey on Palm Sunday, the One whose crown was made of thorns, whose throne was an instrument of capital punishment, whose acclamation was scorn, and who calls his followers to take up the cross and follow him.