Why am I a Methodist? I suppose the basic answer to that question is that I was born into a family which was partly Methodist and, as a result, I was baptised in the local Methodist church and attended Sunday School there. When I think back to my childhood some of my happiest memories are those associated with that church which became like an extended family.
Of course, many people of my age (I'm in my 50s!) went to Sunday School as children but are no longer involved in the church at all so what kept me there? During my teenage years I became increasingly aware of God's love for me shown in the person of Jesus Christ and I decided that I wanted to live my life as a follower of Jesus. I began what would sometimes be called a journey of faith. I became a member of the Methodist Church and later trained as a Local Preacher.
My journey eventually resulted in me becoming a Minister in the Methodist Church and I've now been serving the Church in this way for almost 24 years. My work as a Methodist Minister is very varied but it's always a privilege to share with people at significant times in their lives - sometimes at joyful times such as marriage or the birth of a baby, sometimes at difficult times such as bereavement or personal crisis.
Of course not everyone who joins or belongs to the Methodist Church becomes a Minister but, in the Methodist Church, we encourage everybody to use their own particular gifts and skills in the service of Christ, the Church and the world.
What I really like about the Methodist Church is that everyone is welcome. Whoever you are, whatever your experience of life, whatever doubts or questions you may have, wherever your journey through life or your journey of faith has taken you, you will find a welcome in a local Methodist Church. We sing in one of our modern hymns "All are welcome, all are welcome in this place."
I hope that you will find a welcome should you decide to drop in at your local Methodist church!
Superintendent Minister, Newark & Southwell Methodist Circuit