United Methodist Church Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Beloved in Christ Jesus:

I suspect that every year is the 50th or 100th or some number anniversary of an important event or day. We all pay attention to this kind of thing in varying degrees and often conditioned by our personal, family or group interests. The year 2018 is a real marker for a number of 50ths, and I fully expect that some of them will be featured in various ways in West Ohio.

There were many shaping and shaking events in 1968. One that I want to call your attention to now is the 50th Anniversary of the formation of The United Methodist Church. It formally took place on April 23, 1968. We will have ample opportunities to look back a bit, take current stock and to claim a new future in the power of the Holy Spirit.

That said, I invite you to click this link to the sermon delivered by Dr. Albert Outler on April 23, 1968 at the formation of The United Methodist Church. While some of the language reflects the times, the aspirations and questions raised in the homily are as, if not more, relevant for us today as we seek to be the church that God calls us to be. I wish you thoughtful and prayerful reading and re-reading of this sermon.

As I close, verse 3 of the hymn The Voice of God Is Calling is ringing in my being. It is for me and you both prayer and aspiration:

We heed, O Lord, your summons,
and answer: Here are we!
Send us upon your errand,
let us your servants be.
Our strength is dust and ashes,
our years a passing hour;
but you can use our weakness
to magnify your power.
(UMH # 436)

All the best in Christ Jesus,

+Gregory V. Palmer