But there is more. And, it is simply this. The United Methodist Church has provided a place for me to continue to grow in the love of God. It has given me a place in the world to engage my faith and to serve others. In our day and age, we often take the “institutional church” for granted and often belittle it for lack of relevance, its slowness to change or the cumbersome way it goes about being church. But, for me, it has provided a structure, a place, a people, a continued “way of being” and the opportunity to serve without which my life would be much diminished. To be able to worship in a church where all are welcome and where at the bottom line, it is all about God’s love, feeds my soul. To be able to serve in professional ministry that is accountable to others through the annual conference, the fellowship of elders and the people with whom I serve, inspires me to the intentionality of following Christ. To participate in the rich history of our tradition equips me to be open to the new things God is doing in my life, in the church and in the world. Yes, I am still a United Methodist after all these years; thankful that God isn’t done with me, or our church, just yet!
Rev. Dr. Beverly Jones is the university chaplain at United Methodist related Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. An active member of the New Mexico Conference, Beverly has held appointments in the local church and as district superintendent. She serves on the Conference Envisioning Team, Ministry Leadership Team and is a member of the 2012 General and Jursidictional Conference delegation.