Greetings!!! This is my very first post on my very first blog site! I going to use this site to attempt to inform, challenge and renew the the minds of those seeking to be in right relationship with God.
When I was young I was a member of a pentecostal denomination, I went to one of this "fellowships" Universities, and even became a minister in this fellowship, but about three short years ago I felt that I was no longer a very good fit for this fellowship and moved on. I found a home in a church, in a town in Oklahoma...the farthest place I expected to find what I was searching for. I found the First United Methodist Church. I didn't know much about the people called Methodist. I know my grandparents were life long Methodist and that my father was still a member of the Methodist Church in the town that both he and I grew up in, but I never attended. The little bit I knew about Methodism was that a man name John Wesley was it's founder and that we was important to "us" as Pentecostals because "we" grew out of Wesleyan principals of holiness and sanctification, but other than that, I didn't know much.
We joined that faith community in that town we lived in and shortly afterward I was hired to be the youth director...what I didn't know about Methodism, I was about to find out very quickly. I learned about PPRC, UMPH, UMW, UMM, UMYF and all the other local church acronyms. I learned about Church Council, Charge Conference and Annual Conference. Shortly after that I was introduced to more acronyms because I felt God calling me into Ordered ministry as an Elder, acronyms like DCoM, BOoM, and GBHEM. That fall I entered seminary and learned one more very important acronym...MEF...which is were the money to attend seminary comes from :).
It was a blitz of polity and procedural things that I learned in that short year. I also learned about the episcopacy, the superintendency, and the itinerantcy, terms that are very important for Methodist Clergy to be aware of. :) Now it may sound like I didn't learn anything spiritual during that first year, but I did, I learned three simple rules to following God and leading a holy life. All that stuff and all the great doctrines and theology that make up the Methodist Church and all that complicated polity...all of it really is summed up in three simple rules, that Father Wesley himself invented for the early Methodist... These three rules will ensure that any Christian keep the faith and remain in right relationship with God and other people. Three rules, three simple rules, Do good, do no harm and stay in love with God.
If your doing good, your helping people, your giving to charity, your being selfless and living a redeemed life with God and man. If you are doing good, than you are not doing any harm. Make sure that every choice you make harms little to no one or thing. Do not harm each other with words, actions and even thoughts and do not harm our plant by being a poor steward of our natural resources. Finally stay in love with God. How can we remain in love with God? Wesley said attend upon the means of grace, live in and out acts of grace and live a life of piety. The means of grace are the sacraments, especially the sacrament of communion, which this blog derives it's name from. The table is were we come together to ingest grace, to be filled with Christ, after all, "you are what you eat." To be made one body, through sharing of one loaf. Acts of grace and a life of piety is bible study, prayer, and fellowship with a faith community. This is how we stay in love with God.
So, in my first year as a Methodist, the year that has led me down this road which I am on now, serving as a pastor, a seminary student and a candidate for Ordained Ministry, taught my three simple ways to be a committed follower of Christ. I learned that the people called Methodist, which I am proud to be, live a simple and visible faith, that involves three simple, but very biblical rules to living. So I will continue and I will press on and I encourage you to join me to do good, do no harm and to stay in love with God. See you at the table.
Grace and Peace,