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Becoming United Methodists

August 3, 2011

Members of the delegation were asked, Who was the person or people who introduced you to the United Methodist Church?

Read their responses here…

Jenny – My introduction to the UMC came through birth.  My parents were part of the University Methodist Church Wesley Foundation in Madison.  My continued involvement in the UMC came because a local church provided a Sunday morning van to pick up college students on campus at UW-Eau Claire…a small, but big gesture of Hospitality!

Carrie – I’m a UMC PK.  I only really had one option on Sunday mornings and it included going to church with my family.  When I was four I ‘preached’ my first sermon to the empty pews after worship.  On vacations we played a game looking for the cross and flames in whatever town we were passing through.  It was a way to find ‘home’ even on the road.

Gail – My parents introduced me to the United Methodist Church.  Although I have had many teachers and pastors throughout my faith journey, my parents were the ones who took me to Church and Sunday School every week, Confirmation Class and MYF as I grew up.  I attended plenty of potluck suppers with my family; I even remember attending the charge conference at our local church as soon as I became a member. My parents encouraged me to participate in summer church camp, a Conference Bus “Caravan” throughout the state (c 1967) and a Conference sponsored United Nations Seminar in New York City (c 1968).  Mom and Dad were both very active in our small church; I am certain that between the two of them they must have filled every position available at some point.  (Mom even preceded me as a Lay Member to Annual Conference.)  Through coercion, financial support and example, my parents nurtured a love of the United Methodist Church in me.

Lisa – Both of my parents, as well as all four of my grandparents, were active United Methodists (and before that, Evangelical United Brethren) their entire lives, so I grew up in the UMC.

Tom –  When I was 5 or 6, my grandmother used to take us kids to the Wayne Street Methodist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Every week we’d ride in the back of her big old green Buick, all dressed up.  I remember Sunday School being a lot of fun, and that’s where I got my first bible.  Then as an older kid and for many years as a young adult I was in other mainline protestant denominations.  But when we moved to Wisconsin, we found the Lake Mills United Methodist Church.  We liked Tom Garnhart, who was pastor there then, and we liked the people.  And that has been my parish ever since, for more than 30 years.



From → Introductions

  1. Karen Rankin permalink

    Gail, where was your church in 1968 when you went to the UN Seminar. Your comment triggered great memories for me – I went to to a UN seminar with Iowa Methodist youth in 1964.

    • Gail B permalink

      I was with a group of about 30 teens from across the conference: Kenosha, Milwaukee, etc. (I was from a small, rural church called Paris Corners in Kenosha County.) We traveled by bus to get there and we stayed in the Paris Hotel while in New York City. I remember actually visiting in the United Nations building and also having a seminar in what must have been the UMW Building nearby where I first began to “understand”
      the Vietnam War. I also remember shopping at Sak’s and Macy’s, riding the boat around Manhattan, going into Harlem and Chinatown…. It was quite an experience for a country girl from Wisconsin. 🙂

      • John Lawson permalink

        I attended the UN/DC Seminar as part of the South Indiana Council On Youth Ministries in 1974. Our study topic was Southern Africa. A fascinating time in that part of the world as South Africa was still an apartheid state and Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola were struggling for independence from colonial rule.

        The next year I had the opportunity to work with Nhamo Mumbiro. Nhamo came to South Indiana as a part of our “third world missionary” program. He went on to become a District Superintendent in Zimbabwe and a good friend of the Lawson family.

        The UMC is truly a global church.

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