Saturday, August 18, 2012

United Methodist Visit

You can read Part 1 here
Part 2 here.

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,[a] where our ancestors worshiped?”

21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:19-24 NLT (emphasis mine)

(NIV Study Bible Notes on John 4:24:
"God is spirit...worship in spirit and in truth. The place of worship (see vv.20-21) is irrelevant, because true worship must be in keeping with God's nature, which is spirit. 'True worshipers' (vs. 23) must worship God in the power (enablement) of his Spirit (reading 'in the Spirit') and in accordance with truth. In John's Gospel, truth is associated with Christ, a fact that has great importance for the proper understanding of Christian worship.")

What captured my attention was reading that the place of worship is irrelevant since true worship isn't defined by the geographical place/location. (And dare I say a specific denomination too? It actually took me many years to come to that conclusion.)

I need life application from the sermon, stronger leadership, more Christ.

Wonderful Husband and I visited a local United Methodist Church:

My thoughts:
  • Different order to worship (I'm such a Presbyterian! Ha!).
  • But I liked it better. 
  • Getting all the church "stuff" (announcements, offering, etc. "out of the way"), then moving on to full worship mode (sermon, closing hymn, benediction, postlude).
  • The use of technology was good/different too. There were hymnals in the pews but the lyrics were also projected onto two large screens. The pastor showed a film clip from "The Ten Commandments," then he moved into his sermon about facing the "pharaohs" in our lives.
  • The pastor? Very good. I took notes!
  • Scripture was read from the both the Old Testament and New Testament.
  • He also used a Youtube clip from the song "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden." (Do you remember that song? I do!)
  • Bottom line, God never promised that facing our "pharaohs" would be easy but a broken spirit can be rebuilt into a whole soul through our relationship with Christ.

Wonderful Husbands words when I asked what he thought:

"They had me at the Doxology."

(We used to sing the Doxology every week at our church, but haven't in a long time.)
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

My husband is a man of few, yet meaningful words.

I have a friend who attends this church and some neighbors too. We didn't see anyone we knew, maybe because we like attending the early service which in this case begins at 8:15 a.m.

We picked up a Visitor's Bag on our way out which was very informative. It contained the latest newsletter, information about the church, worship, different ministries/opportunities, and one thing that really caught my eye is that they have a Card Ministry where "cards are sent to acknowledge both the cares and concerns of our members, to recognize their joys and special occasions."

Oh that made my heart happy! (In case you didn't know, years ago my friend Charlotte commented on my card ministry. I sent cards out for various reasons but must admit that I've hit a bit of a dry spell lately.) 

Wonderful Husband was out of town the following Sunday so I went to the church by myself. Another good worship experience and we'll visit this church again.

From a post at Her.meneutics:
"As Christians, we must seek after a personal relationship with Jesus Christ without neglecting the importance of a faith community providing discipleship and accountability along the journey." Lesley Sebek Miller 

I need life application from the sermon, stronger leadership, more Christ. I am adding to my list my need/desire for a faith community.

To be continued....


  1. I love that you are sharing this. It is interesting to me because I have never visited any other church (I'm not looking for a different church). Whenever I read about other churches, I find the differences intriguing and the similarities delightful!

  2. Thanks Amelia! It is proving to be quite an adventure and education for me and I'm glad to have you along for the ride.


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