Spirit Alive: Sharing Stories that Make You Proud
Spirit Alive is a weekly blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond.
December 22, 2015Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond.
February 9, 2016
With Heart, Soul, and Mind:
Sharing Stories that Make You ProudAt first glance, it seemed like such a simple exercise...but it turned into an experience of standing on "holy ground."
At the January meeting of the United Methodist Association of Directors of Connectional Ministry, which was being held in Portland, we were all asked to introduce ourselves by saying our name, our annual conference...and then to share a story that responded to the question: "When were you most proud to be United Methodist?" At first, it seemed easy enough to do, but it quickly turned into a very powerful and lengthy experience lasting nearly two hours.
Person-after-person shared an amazing story from their life that took us everywhere....from Africa University to the Philippines, from a women's residence in San Francisco to a church in the heart of Ferguson, Missouri, from a food pantry in Alaska to the Katrina relief effort, from one United Methodist Volunteer in Mission expedition to the Imagine No Malaria campaign, from the inner cities of the United States to the far reaches of the world.
From there I went on to share just "one of the times" that I was most proud to be United Methodist. It took place in 2010 on a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission trip that I led to Manaus, Brazil, in the heart of the Amazon. What struck me most about that experience was that while our team spent a significant amount of our time putting up the walls of a church building that measured 75 by 100 feet, we were but a part of a much bigger chain of UMVIMs teams that over time were involved in this project. You see, when we got to Manaus, the roof and foundation had already been completed by previous teams, and when we left the Amazon other teams would come there to finish the project. I was proud to be a United Methodist who was a part of something this big!
Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. It seeks out where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities.