During my lifetime, the United Methodist Church has allowed me to grow in grace. Some of the benchmarks of my faith as a United Methodist Christian began in the Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Feazel, Mrs. Fischer, and Mrs. Ruleman while teaching me the stories of the Bible also taught me the love of God for all humanity. The predecessor of the United Women of Faith, the Women’s Society of Christian Society, mesmerized me with Sunday night mission studies. Once again, the UMC taught me that we are all children of God.
As a member of UMYF, we learned to embrace all of our community as we volunteered to help inner city children in a recreational and reading summer program. We collected clothing, worked in soup kitchens, and enjoyed dances in the fellowship hall. Once again, I was taught how to give and receive the love of God as a child of God.
As an adult, my faith continues to be stretched, challenged, and strengthened by my life within the my church community. One of the best examples occurred when I moved to another community. As a new member I visited all the UMW circles; one evening the program was, “Our Response to People with AIDS”. What in the world could these 80-plus women teach me. I was astonished at the depth & breadth of their knowledge both globally and locally as well as their expression of Christian love.
When asked what the most profound theological statement of faith was, Nels Ferre’ responded, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” The United Methodist Church has taught me God’s love, grounded me in Biblical knowledge, provided me a social conscience, and challenged me to grow in belief. Why would I look elsewhere?