The church has left the building!

October 7, 2021

During the 1970s, I was one of the many young people who left the church after college. Occasionally I visited a church but did not connect until six years later when I became a part of Christ United Methodist in Plano, Texas. The preacher was theologically deep and relevant to life issues that were meaningful to me. The 1200-member church had multiple ministries and chances for Christian education. I became a part of the choir, helped with the toddlers, and then became a youth counselor. Transformative to my faith was a mission trip that our youth group took to Appalachia under the guidance of the Appalachia Service Project. I realized that church took on another, deeper meaning for me as I was confronted with another culture, poverty, Christian discipleship, and work (that might just matter) with those in need. I do believe that Christian mission is a part of my calling. As I have led groups to Appalachia, Juarez, Guatemala, and to my own community, I have said that we don’t go to show our superiority to people in desperate need. We go to learn what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

John Wesley got in trouble with the Anglican Church (for several reasons) as he declared, “The world is my parish!” Most ministers of his day concentrated strictly on the salvation of souls. His passion for others sent him outside the building. He was banned from preaching in some Anglican churches because he was too enthusiastic. His ministry challenged the social, political, and religious structures to bring about equality for the marginalized. Wow! His work included establishing schools, medical centers, chapels that worked to combat poverty and seek justice for all.

I had the chance recently to chat with Jan Kreidler, the mission chair at Trinity. Her faith journey was renewed years ago during a FaithQuest course where she began to think more about her faith and God. We talked about passion for missions. Hers and mine. I asked her why she cared so much. She said, “It’s important that we give back.” Implied of course is that the Holy One gives us so much. I agree with her that our money matters when we give for others, and that we are still missing a hands-on component that deepens our faith. I could listen to Jan all day as she tells stories from her three visits to the Congo. We will read in this newsletter more from the mission committee about the Noisy Can Offering this month. It is for the Water Project on the Ivory Coast. I hope to have many more conversations with all of you and with Jan about our church which leaves the building in so many ways. Thank you, Jan, for your continuing service as you live out your faith in Christ.

Some Concerns that we have:

  • Pastor Brad and Dorothy for Brad’s health issues.
  • For those who continue to go through physical struggles, those who are dealing with cancer, or other health situations. For those who are emotionally feeling lost and alone.
  • For those who haven’t been vaccinated yet; for all those who are ill from the Covid-19 virus; for those families who have lost loved ones to the virus; and for essential workers.
  • For peace in our country.
  • For Katherine Parker, missionary to Nepal.