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The Rev Mike Slaughter: Why I am United Methodist

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When I was asked by the United Methodist Church to write a blog about why I choose to be United Methodist, I decided there are two influential drivers. First, it is an inheritance from my parents. My dad was raised Roman Catholic; my mom was from a Southern Baptist tradition. My birth convicted them to return to church but left them with the dilemma of "which church?" The neighborhood United Methodist congregation fit the bill. Part of our Methodist DNA is to see all Christians, everyone connected to Christ, as equal. That's why we have an open communion table and don't practice re-baptism. My boyhood church provided a safe place for both my Catholic dad and Baptist mom to experience acceptance and inclusion. This inclusiveness and our United Methodist emphasis on Holy Conferencing make us stronger as a faith movement. We embrace the Christ worthiness of all who come to the table, no matter how much we may disagree politically or theologically on the nonessentials.

Meredith Hoxie Schol - Route 122: "Leading Toward Transformation rather than Managing Collapse”

In addition to my appointment to the work of the Connectional Table, I am also deeply involved in the life of a small urban congregation on the northwest side of Chicago.  I love it dearly, and I’d like to think it is a church I would have found on my own, but, as luck (or itinerancy) would have it, my husband was appointed there in January 2012.  In our (almost) two years there, we have been a part of some really exciting work of the Holy Spirit, as this congregation on the brink of closure has more-than-doubled, largely because of new attendees and members under the age of 40.

I carry this story of this small church with me and tell it everywhere I can.  Not only am I proud of the work my husband has done, but I think it points to the reality that there are people (and I’m talking young people… those ever-so-elusive millennials everyone is blogging about these days) who are still looking for Christian community, and for the life transformation that comes along with finding a church …

Rev. Harald Rückert: Why I Choose the United Methodist Church

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The UMC in Germany – as in all other European countries – is a minority church. The Lutherans and Catholics are dominating in the public. Methodists, Baptists and others in Germany are small Christian churches, and were often suspected to be a sect.

My parents and grandmother were Methodists. They were proud of it and felt at home in this community. Unfortunately our church was located on the other side of town and therefore I could not participate in the children’s programs very often. Instead I went to the children’s Sunday School class of the Lutheran Church and became a boy scout in the YMCA – both just around the corner from where we lived. But in spite of that, there was no doubt: I am a Methodist!

This feeling became stronger when I entered the confirmation class in our Methodist Church. I found friends. I was invited to the trombone choir and had the opportunity to learn the trumpet. I was trained to lead a children’s group. I was allowed to play music with some friends on Su…

Rev Tim Rogers: Why I am a United Methodist

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The United Methodist Church has been God’s agent of change in my life.  We frequently hear that we should get out of our comfort zone in order to grow.  Well, I like my comfort zone.  I am not happy when I have to leave it.  I am a small-town boy who resents change.  Little did I know that by answering the call to ordained ministry, and choosing to stay in the denomination I grew up in, that I had signed up for a lifetime of change.

I doubt that my experiences as a United Methodist pastor have been unique.  My first appointment came when the phone rang unexpectedly during my middler year in seminary. Two of my appointments have been to places that I could not identify on a map beforehand.  One was to the one place I told my wife we could never be appointed to.  One came with a question from the cabinet: would I like to? My answer: no I would not.  I served that appointment for seven years. I signed up to serve as a United Methodist clergy with the expectation that I would tend the fait…

Bishop Jeremiah Jungchan Park: Why I am a United Methodist

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Once a Methodist, a Methodist forever. That’s how I was born and raised. My father was a Methodist pastor in Korea and I was a Methodist before I was born. My Christian identity has never been separated from my identity as a Methodist in Korea and now a United Methodist in the U.S. it will never be.

I am a United Methodist because I affirm the spirituality, theology, practice, and tradition of Methodism. I wholeheartedly embrace the evangelistic zeal for making disciples of Jesus Christ and the missional passion for transforming the world. I believe in a healthy balance of personal holiness and public and corporate witness to social holiness, holding the two in harmony and tension. I believe in discipleship as a process. No one has arrived. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, everyone is on a journey of faith with God and with one another. All of us are encouraged and challenged to continue to grow, expand, and change in the understanding and practice of discipleship. I also believe in th…

Benedita Nhambiu: Why I choose to be United Methodist

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Why I choose to be a Methodist? Initially there was no other alternative. Both my parents were Methodists and in Chicuque, the small missionary village where I was born, being Methodist was what one would be, if not unchurched.
While still an infant, my parents had to move to another country where there was no Methodist congregation close to where we lived. Because of that, I was baptized in a Presbyterian church and had my first Christian Education classes, Bible Vacation Schooling and Sunday Schooling in that Church. By then, church was that building and that particular congregation we attended.
When we came back home, being already a preteen, I was surprised to hear about “conferences” of all sorts. It took me a while to understand what was going on: it was so confusing! The fact that the pastors seemed to be rotating yearly from one congregation to other was not helping as well. But the most interesting thing was that everyone could be involved in church work: Men and women, youth a…

Connectional Table - Online Communion Reflection

I am SUCH a United Methodist.

The opportunity I now have to serve our church by supporting the Connectional Table constantly calls upon memories of the places and spaces where I’ve learned to be a United Methodist: from the local churches that baptized and confirmed me, to the annual conference youth programs that instructed me, through my United Methodist seminary education with a field educational component at a General Agency. I am truly a product of our connectional structure.The United Methodist Church, as a whole, has developed the ongoing call of God in my life to serve the church and the world.
This development has given me a deep appreciation for the way our connectional, worldwide church makes disciples in a variety of contexts.As I have experienced first hand with my work with the Connectional Table, this might mean our work together feels clunky, and perhaps (to the dismay of many) slow-moving.Working together in a denomination as large and diverse as ours requires challen…