Showing posts from January, 2014

Bishop Patrick Streiff: Why I am a United Methodist today

In my teenage years, a pastor who had been appointed to another church a year ago, came to visit us and asked me “Pat, have you ever thought of becoming a pastor?” Not at all! But his voice continued to work in my spirit. Two years later, in a time of prayer and searching for direction about my future studies, I felt a calling from God becoming stronger and stronger. My father, a secular scientist, was surprisingly tolerant and supportive. My mother, a faithful, life-long United Methodist, was afraid whether I could ever make a living from the low salary of a UM pastor. I shared my calling with a pastor, but told him also that I see my gifts rather in teaching than in being a pastor. He answered that the UMC in Switzerland has no specialized ministries and everyone begins as an ordained elder in local churches, but additionally uses his or her specialized gifts on a conference level. He added that this combination is very stimulating in his own experience. I was willing to try. I coul…