A Church Full of Yes


opening my heart and mind in a setting that serves me perfectly. I never would have known this by myself. I feel the church found me. And I am thankful every day.

… …to my wife and I starting our small family out on the right foot, rooted in faith.

…I’m thankful for the many Methodist congregations and ministers I have known that inspire me and so many to say “Yes” to the greater good, to say “Yes” to acting for social justice, and to say “Yes” to a higher love.  Thank you SPUMC for the many opportunities to say “Yes” to God’s Love.

growing as a reconciling Christian in response to hurt, need, injustice in the world – showing me how to remove the line of demarcation between my “Sunday self” and my “world self.”

forgiveness. I have a friend with whom I have been very close for 72 years. Two years ago this friend said some very harsh words which hurt me very deeply. I broke off my relationship with her. Over the past two years, I had forgiven her in my heart but it wasn’t until I listened to Rev. Ron’s sermon on forgiveness that I realized I needed to let this friend know that I had truly forgiven her. Thanks to Pastor Ron for inspiring me to say YES! to forgiveness

growing as a reconciling Christian in response to hurt, need, injustice in the world – showing me how to remove the line of demarcation between my “Sunday self” and my “world self.”

…It is easy to see a cruel world and churches dominated by rules and hypocrisy. Finding SPUMC through a personal invitation brought my wife and I back to active, participatory worship.

inclusiveness, happiness, friendliness, lots of activities to be involved in to help others, youth group for my middle schoolers and leaders taking time to get to know their congregation.

by connecting me with people of faith and showing me where my time and talents can be used. At least God knows I said “Yes” and I tried.

anchoring my faith journey, community outreach opportunities. SPUMC has given my children a faith basis, knowledge, witnessing adults in action. One of my children has made faith the center of his life.

…this church which has been in my life since I was 3. Originally it was just the place I had to come every week, but now through the ministry opportunities and programs like MYF, it has become my rock and supported me through my toughest days.

praying freely, Winter Relief, Bible Study Classes and seeing myself as a child of God while battling depression.

going back to college at age 40 to become an RN at the encouragement of my friends in the UMW and then going on to serve 30 years at Shock Trauma.

visiting homebound persons and selling pumpkins. A little inspiration: afterwards I hear God…Oh my gosh, I am the hands of Jesus!

making friends, singing, playing with Mr. Chris and doing the sound board with Mr. Clint. All this makes me more connected with God. (a middle schooler)

…I joined this church in the 80’s as it offered SO many ways to serve in the church, the community and the world. If you can’t find a place to serve in this church, you haven’t looked hard enough!

taking a stand for inclusion of all people in the church.  Not something I ever expected to do. Not something I thought needed to be done.  But that was before… I said “yes” to taking Pastor Ron’s Racism and Faith class. It has been both enlightening and heartbreaking.  The church has not always been inclusive to people of color.  We have discussed many stories of people who stood up against racism and sadly many who did not.   We have learned of challenging times that brought people together and more often tore people apart.

Saying “yes” to learning about racism has reinforced my beliefs against discrimination of any kind.  It has brought to my attention the efforts of many people who have said “yes” to getting involved, and people who have said “yes“ to saying this can’t happen anymore.  It has shown me the value and importance of saying “yes” to learning and listening to each other even when it is very, very hard. This knowledge has created a crisis of conscience for me as our church has decided to say “no” to the LGBTQ 1+ community as far as their involvement in leadership roles in the UMC and marriage.  So I said “yes” to being involved with the Sacred Worth group that has been organized in response, as many of us struggle with how we go forward.

I know this is a complicated topic for many.   But it’s not complicated for me.  I feel we need to say “yes” to anyone who feels called to pastor.  I feel as a church we should say “yes” to those who want to make a sacred commitment to each other within the church and get married. While our church continues to struggle with this topic I personally will continue to say “yes” you are heard to those who feel excluded or judged and even those who opinions are different than mine.  But I will say “no” to discrimination.

to generosity with my love, life and money. Yes to praying on my prayer bench at Kinder Park. After the series on the Lord’s Prayer, I say it while I sit on my bench.

putting yourself out there and in situations you may not normally participate in and an openness to new ideas.

making me feel worthwhile, made me realize God can forgive my past sins and help me try to forgive others.

helping out at Heaven’s Kitchen which gives me the chance to say “yes” to some people that life has said “no” to too often.

…meeting people by having lots of opportunities that makes it easy to say yes to something that interests you and fellowship with others.

sharing the love I experienced here with my children, sharing my talents with others and helping others for the joy it brings.

the music Chris has filled the church with has filled my heart with more faith and love. I love his story and how he came to stay at SPUMC…makes me proud to call this my church home.

…I was a “pew sitter” until I read of a need for a 3rd grade Sunday School teacher from Rev. Lee. I answered the call and taught for 13 years! What a joy it was to teach and watch the children and myself grow in Christ.

…service, the garage sale, pumpkins, Winter Relief, the Memorial Garden, Trustees, being in church on Sundays and setting an example for my kids.

losing myself in the wonderful music and working with a great group of people at Backpack Buddies.

Yes is a response. But someone needs to ask the question in order to elicit that response. I was asked to teach a Bible study and though I had never done that before, I said yes and went on to teach 13 sessions of DISCIPLE.

…it took 30 years, an invitation to ALL to come back and switching to the 8am service to be able to make friends at church. The 8:00am service was so welcoming!

being a Service Steward at the 8am service (greeter, card collector, passing the plates, lighting the candles) because people made me, a total stranger (and a woman!), feel so welcome. Wow!

helping our children come to and grow in faith, teaching them to serve others and to be grateful for our blessings.

openly discussing faith and the role of Jesus in our lives and young adult small groups.

all of the above and sharing them with our children, involving the in service activities and Sunday School.

praying for others.

my returning to worship because I feel so at home here.

more helping of others and bringing happiness into their lives.

coming to church more regularly.

Backpack Buddies, singing with Lee-Lee and praying. (5 year-old)

helping others, finding support and making new friends. Yes to learning more about God and my faith.

believing strongly, inspired by worship and my young adult small group.

through my children, participating as an adult volunteer for Sunday School and VBS, supporting the church financially via pledges so that the church can count on my giving and budget well, and through serving on church committees that use my professional abilities.

building on ideas from sermons; ideas for welcoming guests, ideas for prayer around the altar and ministering to people of all social strata. Yes to changing my mind about a few non-important church issues.

renewing my faith, working through depression from loss, and feeling nourished and supported by regular attendance to keep growing in faith and cope with hard challenges in life (illness, loss, etc.)

SPUMC! Our church is an inspiration for me. I love attending services and always leave feeling spiritually fulfilled.

the church choir program. Chris, Nicola and all the choir members were so welcoming and encouraging that I was finally able to let go of the fear of singing in public and share my gifts, small though they may be, with God, this church community and the world.

being forgiving and understanding of other points of view.

serving children through Sunday School, Backpack Buddies, leading children to know God more personally. Yes to fellowship and service through ALL and through leaders teaching in church and studies.

continuing to learn and grow in so many ways through classes and different mission opportunities.

overcoming my shyness and difficulty in making friends and joining Moms group which has expanded my comfort zone, allowed me to join Bible studies and and teach Sunday School.

enjoying the feeling that being a member of this wonderful congregation brings to me.

deepening my understanding of the Bible and our faith through the Disciple 1 & 2 courses and through sermons. Yes to sharing my faith more openly.

helping veterans find healing from the debilitating symptoms of PTSD and TBI – and especially the thoughts and plans of suicide.