Yesterday for worship Tom and I attended Family of Faith UMC in Akron. They have two services, at 9:15 and 11:15 and we decided to go to the 9:15 service, which is the “traditional” service. Newly ordained elder, Ron Shultz, is the pastor at Family of Faith.
It was Communion, which is common in United Methodist churches on the first Sunday of the month. As is also common, Rev. Shultz reminded us that the United Methodist Church practices open communion, meaning you do not have to be a member of the church or the denomination to participate. You only have to desire a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The sermon was based on Matthew 11:28, Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. The main message was that when the love of Christ is our primary focus, our souls find rest.
There weren’t a lot of people at the service, but the Sunday of the 4th of July weekend tends to have pretty light attendance at worship – people are away or have family visiting or stayed up too late the night before! The people were friendly and welcoming. We stayed for a little bit after the service to talk.
We were still done at church by 10:30 – even earlier than last week – which feels really strange. Sundays belong to God and we are used to spending all morning and part of the afternoon at church. This “drive-by worship” is pretty disconcerting. Worship is about being connected to God AND being connected to others through that relationship. Right now we are missing that connection. So we will have to find ways to connect to others quickly or find other kinds of connections. Just one way retirement is different than any other stage in our lives.