Pike Road United Methodist Church
You may remember from Adult Formation last fall and you likely know through friends and neighbors that the United Methodist Church has a lot going on right now – churches are breaking away from the denomination and churches in other parts of the world are gathering together to promote theological stances that differ from those held by many United Methodists. As many of you will remember from our own struggles twenty years ago in the Episcopal Church, it’s an oversimplification to claim it’s about the “gay issue” (a remarkably cruel summary of beloved people – who aren’t issues). That said, the two Methodist churches in Pike Road have chosen to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church, taking their leadership and buildings with them. This exit has left behind what I’ve come to call the holy remnant – a group of United Methodists looking for a home.
I have been glad to welcome some of these folks into our midst over the last few months, but several weeks ago was approached about doing so in a more formal way. Though there are still details to be figured out, with Bishop G’s blessing, the United Methodist pastor who has taken these folks on (while continuing to serve his own church in Luverne) and I will be working together to see what collaborative ministry looks like here in Pike Road.
Well what does that look like? We’re still figuring it out! For now, expect to see a few extra families worshipping with us sometimes and be ready to warmly welcome them to things like our parish picnic or our field trip to the Biscuits game. I hope you’ll get to know them and see where we can plug them in to groups here at Grace or where you might be interested in joining in something they’re excited about. We’re hoping to collaborate on some outreach opportunities and maybe even have a small group or Bible study together (maybe about our common heritage?). We’re also looking at the possibility of having a regular (though not every) Sunday evening worship service that looks a little more like a folk mass with guitars and may or may not include Communion (our canons require clergy to co-celebrate at the Eucharist). They may choose to have some events on their own, just as we continue to have all of our regular things.
I hope you’ll be as excited as I am about welcoming this remnant into our midst, hosting our sisters and brothers as they discern their way forward. This likely isn’t a permanent partnership, simply a way for us to provide an oasis in their wandering, probably for the next year. My hope, however, is that it will build some permanent relationships and deep friendships as we walk together in Christian unity at this time of division.
Sarah Smith Halloran, Rector