Why I am a United Methodist

Interpreter Magazine asks its readers, “Why are you a United Methodist?”

Interpreter is the award-winning ministry magazine for lay and clergy leaders in local United Methodist churches across the United States. Articles in the magazine connect readers to God, other United Methodist leaders, ideas and resources to use in ministry. Published six times each year by United Methodist Communications, each issue includes a cover package of features providing ideas and resources addressing an area of interest or concern to local churches.

Several weeks prior to finishing each issue of Interpreter Editor Kathy Noble emails a question to readers asking them to respond with a short answer.

For the May-June issue, Interpreter asked, “Why are you a United Methodist?”

Here’s what people said …

Becoming a United Methodist offered me the opportunity to enhance my faith journey in the direction of serving others. The feeling I receive in helping various ministries has enriched my life 10-fold. When serving others, you forget about increasing your own qualify of life, but instead (think of) wanting to improve others. Being a United Methodist turns one thoughts of wanting to be helpful into action.  My teachers are my United Methodist brothers and sisters. Ron Baker, Messiah UMC, Springfield, Virginia

I am a United Methodist because several clergy and lay leaders taught me about the way, showed me the way, encouraged me to follow the way, and asked me personally to put my foot on the way. John Barnes, Glen Mar UMC, Ellicott City, Maryland

We are United Methodist because of our legacy to build up the community of faith and grow children into courageous young disciples of Christ spreading the good news in model and action. Sarah Benson, Mount Olivet UMC, Manteo, North Carolina

I choose to be a United Methodist because I like what I feel is at the heart of this denomination – an openness to thinking and questioning, rather than relying on spoon-fed, easy black-and-white answers; being in community with others who have opposing views and diverse lifestyles and finding strength rather than weakness in that; being a missional church that is often first in line in helping others around the world and at home, BEING the church in action. Lori Borger, Manchester UMC, Ballwin, Missouri

I am United Methodist because of our theology and my heritage.  I agree with Wesleyan practices, especially our theology of God’s grace and in faith based on Scripture, tradition, experience and reason. Also, even though I explored other Christian beliefs, my heritage is that my second greatgrandfather was a Methodist clergy who did circuit ministry in Louisiana in the late 1800s. The Rev. Lindy Broderick, Oak Grove /Weaver UMC and Provencal UMC, Shreveport, Louisiana

I am a United Methodist because I was raised a Methodist. I cannot believe the things that other denominations do. I believe that everyone is accepted at the Lord’s Table, not by just being a member of that sure denomination or by giving to the offering. Mary Burch, First UMC, Crowley, Texas

I’m a United Methodist because I ascribe to John Wesley’s practical theology and his teaching on grace. I also love that we are short on dogma and long on love, lived out by serving others. I also consider Methodism to be the thinking person’s way, due to Wesley’s statement in “The Character of a Methodist:” “As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think.” William Burnette, First UMC, Lexington, Tennessee

Only The United Methodist Church and its concept of church family has given me an intense sense of belonging, support to explore what my God-given purpose is and the knowledge that everyone can make a difference in their community, nation and world. What else could I ask for? Sabrina Daluisio, Lima (Pennsylvania) UMC

The United Methodist Church is one, holy, connectional, apostolic and diasporic church. If you are a member of the local church, your feet are in the local church and your wings are in the global church. When you share the fruits of your labor in the local church, you support the ministry of the local congregation and participate in the mission of the global church. Hence the United Methodist Church is a glocal connectional church! The Rev. Jacob Dharmaraj, president, National Federation of Asian-American United Methodists, New York Conference

I discovered that this denomination recognizes everyone as being able to be used by God, not just an elect few, but everyone who calls his name (and sometimes some who do not). The United Methodist emphasis on justice, hope and love is hard to ignore and inspires us to act. Kellie Frissell, Bethel UMC, Stockbridge, Georgia

I am a United Methodist because we are a connectional church and reach outside the walls of the brick-and-mortar building to serve others and make disciples of Christ not only in my community but throughout the world. Katie Goss, Albright UMC, Ponca City Oklahoma

I am a United Methodist for many reasons. Among them are its stands, its openness to many diverse people and the opportunity to work at our weekly Soup’s On program, where we feed up to 300 people every week  I am also involved in Kairos prison ministries, where I go into the state prison and share the Lord with inmates. It is good to belong to a denomination that truly welcomes and accepts all others. John D. Henry Jr., Roberts Park UMC, Indianapolis, Indiana

Read more, including a response by Ted Kilvington, Robbins United Methodist Church, Lansing District, West Michigan Conference.

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