I first went to church camp when I was ten years old. My home church, Menominee First UMC, sent me up to Camp Michigamme, not far from Marquette. Michigamme was (and is) a beautiful place, perched on a hill overlooking a lake. I have many happy memories of swimming at the beach, hiking through the woods, and roasting marshmallows around the campfire.
Michigamme is most significant, however, as the place where I first became aware of God’s presence in a powerful, life-transforming way. There in the wilderness I was able to hear God’s voice and feel God’s love in a way that I never had before, and that experience changed my life. One of the reasons I go up to Lake Louise Christian Community (near Boyne) to lead a church camp each summer is that I want more children to have that powerful, life-transforming experience of God’s deep and unbreakable love.
I grew up as a United Methodist, was sent by a United Methodist church to a United Methodist camp - I’ve spent my whole life in the UMC! That’s not true of everyone in the pews, of course. Most United Methodist congregations are a fascinating mix of people who grew up Baptist, people who started out Presbyterian, Lutherans who married Catholics and then looked for a suitable compromise. If the church is doing the work Jesus commanded us to do, we will also find people in the church who didn’t grow up with any church background at all, people who experienced God’s love through the ministries of the church and are now taking their first steps in relationship with Jesus.
Have you ever wondered why so many different sorts of people are able to feel comfortable in a United Methodist church? Have you ever wondered what United Methodists have in common with Baptists, or what makes us different from Presbyterians? Have you ever been curious about the history of Court Street Church? If so, then I’ve got good news for you! This Fall, I will be leading a six-week “Methodism 101” study on Sunday mornings. These conversations, primarily geared towards those who are new to Methodism or new to Court Street, will take place on Sunday mornings at 9am, beginning Kickoff Sunday. We will learn about where Methodism falls on the Christian family tree, we will learn the story of the Methodist movement, we will talk about distinctive Methodist beliefs, and we will learn the basics of how the United Methodist Church works. If you’re interested in being part of these conversations, we encourage you to contact the church office to RSVP. Wherever you are in your walk with Jesus, we’re glad that God brought you to Court Street Church!
Your servant in Christ,