Central United Methodist Church
Monday, September 25, 2017
Endicott, New York
Pastor's Corner

Dear Friends—

For several years now, the United Methodist Church has been marketing itself with the idea: Rethink Church. All across the denomination, congregations are creating new ways to be in ministry, new ways of reaching people hungry for God’s love and grace. Many of those ways are definitely not “traditional.” These congregations don’t presume that people will come to church on Sunday mornings, and are developing opportunities for people to worship God and to serve God and the world, outside the sanctuary and outside the “usual” times for worship. As you might imagine, many congregations rebel at such an idea and create reasons why that “just won’t work here,” so many new leaders in the church are instead creating new forms of church that don’t look anything like what most of us have really seen, like bible studies in tattoo parlors, hymn sings in bars, one-day mammoth mission blitzes in communities, corner lunch offerings….the list goes on.

It makes me wonder: What might it be like to rethink church here in Union/Endicott? Could you be part of that? Could you ‘rethink’ church? Could you begin to think of church as something that isn’t a place or a building, but a force for good in the world—a force for God in the world? Could you ‘rethink’ church as people, wanting to make the world a better place, God’s place, where all is made whole and right? That’s the idea.

I’m pretty sure Jesus would approve. He never once said, “Go to church.” He said, over and over again, in so many ways, “Go to God.” “Be God’s.” Can we think of church as the way we grow in our understanding of this, and the place where we begin to move beyond ourselves into the lives and hearts of others? It’s an awesome calling and challenge, but I know it is the work God calls us to do.

So, I enter this Fall program season with this question in the back of my mind: Are there ways we can rethink church here at Central?  What are the ways we can be God’s presence in this rapidly changing community? How can we think beyond the building? How does that start and what does that look like? I’m interested in what you think, and what ideas you might have—I’d love to talk to you about this, any time.

Still in One Peace,