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What is a faithful community?

 

WE ASKED ...

"If you described your local church as a 'faithful community,' what would you be saying about the congregation of which you are a part?"

YOU SAID ...

Unity is a faith family reflecting the kingdom of God by empowering and engaging families and individuals in making disciples for Jesus! We have a Hispanic service with interpretation, English worship, youth worship and children's worship. Our food pantry feeds hundreds of people a month. Our intercessory prayer is powerful. We work with human trafficking and anti-bullying. The Holy Spirit is shown through the dedication and love in every person here. All are welcome.

Tamara Bennett, Unity United Methodist Church, Northwood, Ohio

We are a United Methodist community of faith, where God's love flows for all through worship and service. We are united in our goal of inclusiveness. We are United Methodist in our ties to the connection. We are a community working together to offer Christ to others. Our faith rests in our trust in God as revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. Our motto is "All are welcome. All are accepted," and "all" means "all."

George Brightwell, Wellspring United Methodist Church, Georgetown, Texas

The church in which I serve is filled with a generous and loving spirit that pours forth in truly Christlike ways. The actions of the people in our community of faith loudly proclaim to hurting people beyond our walls that the love of Jesus is as real, relevant and life changing as it has ever been!

Jennell Bryan, First United Methodist Church, Canton, Ga.

My church is a faithful community when we participate in fulfilling our mission statement to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We are faithful when we follow John Wesley in acts of mercy and means of grace.

Susan Connor, Sullivan (Ill.) United Methodist Church

A faithful community knows and follows the commandment to love God and to serve one another in love. Members faithfully participate in community worship; engage in the ministry of the church, both within the church and in the larger community; and enthusiastically and generously give of their time, talents, financial support and witness.

Arlene Dempster, St. Mark's United Methodist Church, San Diego

To find faith, follow the joy. Our church is full of smiling people who truly love our Lord so much that they want nothing more than to serve the community. Talk to us, and you will hear glory stories about clothing and food giveaways, English lessons and medical and shopping transportation. The pastor's door is open to the community. We share each other's celebrations. Faith is evident when there is joy in discipleship.

Roseanne Driscoll, Faith Fellowship United Methodist Church, Mansfield, Mass.

My church is always faithfully devoted "to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:42)

Steven Ellison, First United Methodist Church, Easley, S.C.

I almost never use the word "congregation" when describing our community of believers. I use the word "church" to indicate the building. I imagine our group to be like the very first followers of Christ. When we say "faith community," we are professing our faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We are seeking to live like Christ: loving God, loving others and serving the world.

The Rev. Melinda Harwood, Oskaloosa (Kan.) United Methodist Church

Our church nurtures children and youth and engages them in ministry. When they sing, they are leading us in worship, not performing. Once a year, when the children lead an entire worship service, the fifth-grade students stand near the exits to administer a blessing to each of us as we leave the building. This is a place of acceptance and inclusion of all God's children.

The Rev. James E. Magaw Sr., Gay Street United Methodist Church, Mount Vernon, Ohio

We are a loving and open community, seeking to live into our mission statement to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.

Claudia Jean Roberts, Fremont United Methodist Church, Portland, Ore.

Several weeks prior to finishing each issue of Interpreter, we send a question to all readers for whom we have email addresses, asking them to respond with a short answer of 50-75 words. These are some of the answers from July-August 2014. We invite you to join the conversation.