Welcome to Trinity United Methodist Church! We are so glad you visited us on the web. We invite you to join us in worship this Sunday and every Sunday at 9:30. We are a diverse group with one common goal of living our lives to please Jesus Christ. Feel free to follow us on Facebook or Instagram too. We hope to see you soon. We are located at 1508 Greenwood Ave in Jackson, Michigan. Stop in, say hello!
What does being "inclusive mean to you"?
As Methodist we have a motto, "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" but have you ever thought about what that really means? As we begin the new year I thought it might be a good time for us to recommit ourselves to what it means.
Open Hearts mean that we are committed to being in loving Christian ministry with all people without prejudice. It means that we try to exhibit the unconditional love of Christ in all our interactions with people. An open heart begins with a deep look at ourselves and to realize that we are far more sinful persons than we want to believe or admit, but that we are also much more loved by God than we can possibly imagine. This experience of God handling us with grace becomes the transforming experience--the heart, we take in interacting with other people. How can I criticize or critic you when I have been so touched by God's grace myself? An open heart just wants to share that grace and love with everyone.
Open Minds mean that my goal in connecting with you is not to change you, to convince or convict you but rather to connect with you. If I come to you with an open mind it does not mean that I do not have opinions but rather that I want to hear and understand your opinion more that I want to share my own. I ran for State Representative and knocked on about 10,000 doors and did a lot of listening. One teenage girl wanted to argue with me about abortion. She would give me her argument for why it should be totally banned which was strong laced with fundamentalist Christian thought. I would respond with "have you thought about this"?....and at one point she goes, "Aha...I gotcha....you can't argue that, can you"? Open minds is not about finding the "gotcha moment" but rather the "aha moment" when you can say "now I understand why you feel or think the way you do".
John Wesley famously said, "In essentials...unity, in everything else... tolerance". This is something we Methodist struggle with as I think all of America is struggling. There are those who want to make some things essential that others of us think are non-essential. But in the Methodist tradition you all have a home in our tent. So George Bush, a Methodist in good standing and Hillary Clinton, another Methodist in good standing would look at many things in the Bible and in life very differently. To have an open mind is not about agreement but rather seeking understanding.
God is a reconciling God who constantly reaches out to the stranger, the outsider and invites them into a relationship. I think this is the heart of what we mean when we speak of "Open Doors". It is about working and living in the world in such a way that heals wounds and animosity between people wherever it is found. John Wesley always put social and personal holiness together. I am not holy unless I am working toward making our society more holy and holiness is all about being perfect in love. Open doors is not only about opening the church to everyone but making sure the world is open to everyone as well. This is why the Methodist church has historically been on the edge of social change and justice.
The church large and the church small (local) struggles with these ideas of open heart, mind and doors but I hope as we begin this new year in prayer that we will pray that we as individuals and as a church live out this high and holy calling.
Our new sermon series starts soon...it is the New Testament challenge...does that mean there will be a pop quiz?