This past week our church hosted an Annual Conference with about 1300 people representing every United Methodist Church in North Texas. Two hundred blue-shirted volunteers from FUMCR shuttled people from parking lots, gave directions throughout hallways, provided snacks during breaks, served meals, and more. Marveling at our volunteers one conference attendee asked Shandon, our Assistant Director of Welcoming Ministries, "How do you do this?" Shandon replied, "We ask people to help." The next question surprised Shandon and revealed something important about the culture of our church – something for which I'm incredibly thankful.
After Shandon replied that we get volunteers by simply asking people to help, the conference attendee asked, "How do you get them to like what they're doing?"
The people and culture of FUMCR are special. When our church engages in ministries that depend on volunteers (i.e. everything we do), you step forward with a heart to serve, and you do what you do with a spirit of visible joy. Our church's mission statement begins, "With open hearts and minds we Welcome people for Christ". That conference attendee saw that put into action. Access gets its name from Romans 5:2 and the promise that Jesus gives everyone access to God's grace. You make that promise concrete in the joyful, helpful ways you make people feel welcome on Sundays. The welcoming spirit of God that you convey to others is one of the reasons I'm so grateful to be part of this church. Thank you!
Let me offer a word of welcome to you and your friends to join us for Access worship this Sunday as we begin a fun new sermon series called Hero Central. Paralleling our children's Vacation Bible Camp that begins Monday, we'll look to comic and movie superheroes for lessons we can learn from them for the everyday heroic endeavor of living a Christian life. Sunday we begin with something common to superheroes and many of us: the tragic backstory.
Kids and adults, feel free to wear a superhero costume! After the worship service we'll have a green screen to get some awesome photos!
First United Methodist Church Richardson