Friday, February 11, 2005

Why I'm a United Methodist

I just couldn't resist stealing Will Willimon's title.

So, I guess it's decided now. I am a United Methodist. Methodisto sum. Yo soy una Metodista Unida. Ego eimi o methodomenos o sumphutos. And why? Well, I think the most important thing is this: the people called United Methodists are my people. Just that alone is enough. In addition, there are several things that I still prefer about The United Methodist Church, including: open communion, the Social Principles, inclusive language, the hymnal(s), UMCOR, itinerancy, camping ministry, and several other things that I just can't think of at the moment. I do really enjoy some of the liturgy and ritual of the Episcopal Church, but most of the important things from that are still quite possible in a United Methodist Church, and I will continue my involvement in the Order of Saint Luke, which is working toward just such liturgical renewals in the church. It really is the people, though.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, that's pretty much where I am, though there are not surprisingly style differences....

For me, it's more about demographics. In the U.S., where I anticipate staying, there are a lot more brown United Methodists than there are brown Episcopalians.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(That last was me, BTW-- Mary Ann.)

I'd be curious to hear how you reached your decision, if you're willing to talk about it.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(That last was me, BTW-- Mary Ann.)

I'd be curious to hear how you reached your decision, if you're willing to talk about it.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go David. It is the people and not the steeple!!!!!

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go David. Remember .... it is the people and not the steeple!

9:27 PM  
Blogger david said...

Well, I had lunch with a high ranking Episcopal priest, and started to realize among other things, that I would always be an outsider in the Episcopal Church. Then I had a 3 hour chat session with my mom. At the end, we both decided that for better or worse, we're United Methodists.

10:24 PM  
Blogger John said...

I became a United Methodist for a similar reason. I was choosing between the UMC and the Southern Baptist tradition, and although it seemed like the SBC would be better fit because it is unashamedly evangelical, I felt very strongly that God was calling me into the United Methodist Church. I followed that path and in the passing time, I've affirmed in that decision. My notably, I ended up marrying a Southern Baptist, who told me that my theology is simply too liberal for SBC standards.

10:31 AM  
Blogger gavin richardson said...

what's that song in one of those hymnals? "i am the church you are the church, we are the church together... let's be the church together"

i agree, it's about the peeps

1:07 PM  
Blogger david said...

"We Are the Church," number 558 in The United Methodist Hymnal.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be interested in a discussion between you and John Wesley perhaps you both would both agree on an itinerant ministery!

Yours in the Blessed Hope,


8:10 AM  
Blogger david said...

I do tend to be a fan of itinerancy. For one thing, it's a valuable weapon against preacher-worship, one of the idolitries to which we seem to succomb. Second, I quite like the idea of going where I'm sent. I'm okay with trusting the Spirit (even working through the Bishop and Cabinet) to send me where I'm needed, not where I want to go.

The one negative, though, is that with a guanteed appointment system, it's awefully hard to get rid of questionable pastors. In a call system, they just wouldn't get hired by anyone, but in the itinerant appointment system, we actually have to bring someone up on charges. The side effect is that the denomination makes it really hard on people in the ordination process, trying to weed people out early.

9:42 AM  
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