Here are my thoughts for the “Back Page” of the Fishkill UMC bulletin for July 28, 2019, the 7th Sunday after Pentecost (Year C). On August 18th, we will be having a hymn sing so feel free to add a comment with your favorite hymn or two. I would also appreciate your thoughts on what the hymn means to you.
This is about our collective name. To say that one is a Christian means that one
is a follower of Christ. It has been
that way for just over 2000 years now.
But what does it mean when we say we are a Methodist?
Now, if you have been
attending the new member class, you know the answer to that question. But just in case you haven’t been attending
or if you forgot, we are Methodists because John Wesley, along with his brother
Charles and a few of their college friends, to strengthen their faith developed
a program of regular prayer and service.
This regular program, or method, was derided by their
contemporaries. But to John Wesley’s
credit, he took this pejorative and made it a positive.
Instead of just being a
personal plan, Methodism became the plan for taking the Gospel from inside the church
to the people in the fields and factories.
Methodism changed the course of society.
But just as Wesley proudly
accepted the label, he also worried that those people called Methodists would
become complacent, creating a situation very similar that lead to the rise of
The world around us today calls for Methodists, individually and
collectively, to again step forward, to make a public statement of faith and to
speak out and work against injustice in all its forms. We may be called names, just as those who
came before us were, but we know that, with our faith in Christ and the method
of our faith, we can change the world.
That is what our name means. ~Tony