“The people of The United Methodist Church are putting our faith in action by making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world which is our church’s mission” (emphasis mine). These are the words you will encounter first when you visit our denominations main website www.umc.org.
I like the emphasis on the people, not the institution. Church is not the building but the people—you and I, being made new by the unconditional love and grace of God through Jesus Christ—becoming the transforming energy of God in the world. Paul puts it this way in his letter to the followers of Christ in Corinth: “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, emphasis mine).
The summer season is upon us. The choir and the Sunday school will take a break. Sunday evening prayer service and the prayer circle will take a break also; instead we’ll have an alternative morning prayer service at 8:30 AM each Sunday during the Summer. Nonetheless, “the ministry of reconciliation” continues mightily through YOU, the people of First UMC:
- The 2014 Guatemala Vision Team is wrapping up the preparation for the journey—logistics and medical supplies as well as spiritual and cultural. We will have the commissioning and sending off service on June 1. Don’t miss the opportunity to sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” in Spanish!
- During the Utah Pride weekend: FUMC will host an interfaith rally (Saturday, June 7, 2 PM) and Utah Reconciling United Methodists worship service (Sunday, June 8, 8:30 AM). After the Sunday morning worship, we will participate in the parade with fellow United Methodists from the area United Methodist Churches.
- For the second time this year we will host Family Promise, June 29 – July 13, providing shelter, food and moral and spiritual support to families under hardship.
- The May 18th’s Wesleyan Heritage Celebration was indeed a wonderful celebration of our common Methodist heritage. Four churches—Centenary UMC, Salt Lake Korean Methodist Church, Tongan UMC and First UMC—came together for celebration and fellowship. It was a first step. In coming months we will seek to grow the collaborative spirit, seeking every opportunity for common spiritual nurture and mission.
People transformed and transforming: You are the church! I am the church! We are the church together! As John Wesley once said in his sermon A Catholic Spirit, “If your heart is as my heart,” if you love God and all mankind, I ask no more: ‘give me your hand.’”
Your servant in Christ,
Rev. Eun-sang Lee
Pastor, First United Methodist Church