Summer 2019

JW’s Best and Why We Need Them Now More than Ever

An institution that has nourished many of us is shaking at the foundations these days: The United Methodist Church. As institutions go it is not exceptionally old, fifty-one years to be exact. Most of the senior members of Calvary are in their third iteration of a Wesleyan denomination: United Brethren, Evangelical United Brethren (1946), United Methodist (1968).

The shaking of the foundations has two main sources: the debates surrounding the interpretation of scripture on human sexuality and the changing climate of religious belief, specifically the increase in numbers of persons who identify themselves as having no religious belief, at least “none” as it relates to a religious institution. We talk regularly about these two subjects in the adult Sunday School class and you are welcome to join the conversation any time.

In these uncertain days I find it helpful to remember that there is a Wesleyan tradition, spirit, and character, a Wesleyan Way of being a Christian if you will, that transcends the ups and downs of the institutions that lay claim to the name Methodist. The Wesleyan Way is captured best in the sermons of John Wesley which were intended to be the basic teaching and formation tool of the people called Methodist. The sermons of JW amplified by stories from his long life (1703-1791), the wonderful poetry of his brother Charles, and a little help from Methodist scholars, past and present, remain a very effective tool. They spell out a unique path of salvation, separate the essentials from the nonessentials, and provide next steps for growth in love of God and neighbor.

Please join me in the worship this June as we listen together to the wisdom of three of my favorite John Wesley sermons. There will be more scattered across the coming year. In July our seminary intern, Kayla Shaffer, will share her call story and start our series on the The Gospel in Baseball. (Spoiler alert: she is a Yankee fan). Kayla’s last Sunday with us is the first Sunday in August. On that Sunday she will start the month long Listening for God on Broadway series with the musical, Beauty and the Beast. The summer’s worship projections follow below. See you at the sanctuary/ballpark/theatre!

Pastor Lew

 

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