Sunday, April 12, 2009

Why I stay. . .

A young seminary student and future leader of our church named Jenny Smith has started what I hope to be something of a movement here in Reinbeck.  On March 9 she blogged  "We can't ignore the numbers. The United Methodist Church is in decline. Many ask, "Why do you stay? Denominations are useless these days."  (You can see her whole blog here.)  

She created the following list:
1. Our faith is active. We get our hands and hearts dirty in service & relationships.

2. Every United Methodist church is connected through a network of gatherings, prayer, service, money, agencies and leadership. I would never want to serve in building God's kingdom by myself.

3. I see God changing hearts and lives every. single. day.

4. I am fascinated by our founder who's only intention was to create a renewal movement inside the Church of England, not a new denomination. So our founding elements were refreshingly innovative.

5. We do our very best to love the person who's words we disagree with.

6. Our singular goal is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

7. Our focus right now is leadership development, starting new churches, ending global poverty and global health issues.

8. Every time I meet a young United Methodist candidate or clergy, I'moverwhelmed with the potential and hope of our new leaders. Yes, there are pieces of our church that are broken, but given the space & responsibility, God will use these new leaders to move forward in new ways.

9. The way we view the world is perfect for the times we're in. We hold things in tension. God is big enough for our questions. We are a middle ground between polarizing issues. Our hearts beat for grace and mission.

10. We're real people. Serving a real God. In a real world in need of real love.
She opened up a conversation with other United Methodists asking us why we stay in the UM Church.

I would like to focus the conversation just a little bit.  Asking you "Why do you stay in the Reinbeck United Methodist Church"  There are many things to love about our congregation,  I hear many of them, but I wish you could hear them from each other first person.

I would like to invite you to join in by sharing the things you love about our church.  Use this blog, email, facebook,a text message or an old fashioned note.  Just let me know what you love about our church so I can share it with everyone else.  Here are a couple more I want to add to get things started and then get to work on yours.

  • I stay at RUMC because i am surrounded by people who love me and share God's love with me.
  • I stay at RUMC because no matter how hard your faith questions might be, they are honest.
  • I stay at RUMC because there is plenty of room for my opinion along beside yours.  (We are indeed pluralistic!)
I could go on bu I want to hear it in your words.  Let me hear from you!


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