What Keeps Us Here?
It’s no secret that we are in a precarious time as The United Methodist Church. As the special called session of General Conference approaches in February of 2019, we don’t know what we will look like as a church after that. The United Methodist Church will continue in some form, we just don’t know what that will look like.
Events like this cause all of us, clergy and laity, to ask ourselves, “Why am I here? Why am I a United Methodist?” There are certainly lots of other choices and options out there. So, what keeps us here?
Serving as a superintendent has given me a glimpse into the inner workings of the church, with all of its faults, frailties, and weaknesses. I see that the church is in the hands of fallible human beings who are doing their best to serve God and to honor the rich heritage to which they have been entrusted, while at the same time looking for how to be the church of the 21st century. Sometimes it seems like there’s got to be a better way!
Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” I feel similarly about The United Methodist Church. For me, even though it seems like there has got to be a better way to “be the church,” I haven’t found one that works for me.
Even though the itinerant system can be hard on pastors and churches, that system has brought me to serve in places that I would have never chosen if I had a choice; and I was incredibly blessed because of it. I have learned from those communities, made lifelong friends in those communities, and been shaped as a pastor in those communities.
Likewise, our United Methodist understanding of God’s grace, and of the way that we put our faith into action, keeps me here. I love being a part of a world-wide church; going somewhere on the other side of the world, and seeing the United Methodist cross and flame. I love that at The Lord’s Table; all are wel-come and invited. I love the quote from John Wesley, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.”
Those are some of the things that keep me here.
Canal District Office:
Rev. Ed Peterson
800 E Market St.
Akron, OH 44305
Phone : 330-252-0299
Office Hours: Monday through Thursday
9;00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
©2016 EAST OHIO CONFERENCE. All Rights Reserved.