This Sunday on the liturgical calendar is “Heritage Sunday.” There are many different ways that congregations commemorate this special day. Sometimes, as was the case at MUMC last year, congregations honor long-time members. Sometimes important historical happenings and moments in the congregation are recalled in a spirit of thanksgiving. Sometimes former pastoral leaders return to share memories from the past and offer hope for the future.
This year we are going to celebrate the day by remembering and rehearsing our essential mission and reason for being here in the first place. The morning message, entitled: “Missouri United Methodist Church,” will focus on our primary purpose as a fellowship of Christ followers here in the heart of “The District” in downtown Columbia, MO. The message will have four points: “Missouri”, “United”, “Methodist” and “Church.” Each word in our congregational name speaks volumes about who we are and why we are here.
With our true identity and essential mission in mind, I share the following humorous collection called, “You Might Be A United Methodist If…” Here’s a brief sampling:
You Might Be A United Methodist If…
…you don’t take Rolaids when your heart is “strangely warmed.”
…you know that a circuit rider is not an electrical device.
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…the “Upper Room” is considered essential reading.
…names like Aldersgate, Asbury and Epworth are vaguely familiar.
…you consider the church potluck the third sacrament.
…you accept the fact that the hymn, “O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” has almost as many stanzas as tongues.
…you’ve ever owned a pair of “Cross and Flame” boxer shorts.
…you know the Wesleyan Quadrilateral isn’t a trick football play involving four lateral passes.
…you realize that the Book of Discipline isn’t a guide to effective parenting.
…you know that “UMW” stands for United Methodist Women, not United Mine Workers.
…you realize that sprinkling, pouring and immersing are not ways of seasoning food, but rather, acceptable modes of baptism.
…you understand that an “appointment” has nothing to do with keeping a lunch date.
I think it’s healthy to laugh at ourselves and at the idiosyncrasies that make us who we are. I also believe that it’s important for us to pause, every once in a while, to take a more serious look at ourselves. We will do just that this Sunday.
We are truly a blessed people in this branch of the Body of Christ we call United Methodism. I hope you’ll be here in worship as we celebrate that blessed calling and rich heritage.