The United Methodist Church represents in my life: home, love, compassion, and community.
My favorite biblical verse that was taught to me by my grandfather, Reverend Dr. William P. Bailey, Jr: “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’” (I Samuel 16:7 NRSV)
When I think of this verse, I think of all the open hearts that have shown love and experienced love from the United Methodist Church, for so many years. I have been taught that our doors and minds should be open to all, especially those who are struggling in life. God loves everyone, there isn’t a list that says you have to meet this criteria or that, to be loved and accepted, or God will not love you. I have been taught that love and hope drives the United Methodist faith, especially for those whom other denominations have rejected. Here, in the UMC, all of God’s children are welcome!
My grandfather loved to fold his hands together, acting out with his hands and words – “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, and here’s all the people!” He would smile and then say, “God loves all those and more.”