church, united methodist church

The Church I Remember

My siblings a LONG time ago
Not necessarily related to this post other than maybe I remember something from way back when… and a picture of us as cute kids makes me feel better. 😉

I remember standing up front in the old sanctuary with all the other little kids singing in the choir. I remember singing “swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home” but what stands out more is “great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts.”

I remember some kind of gathering in that same sanctuary — now fellowship hall — eating biscuits and gravy for the first time. I also remember talking to my imaginary friend (Seffal) in that kitchen near the refrigerator.

I remember vacation Bible school, sitting in the Sunday school room watching the teacher explain a Bible story with flannel characters on a flannel board. I remember climbing into the youth room — it’s like it was really hidden or something, like we had to crawl through a room? My memory is hazy. But I remember thinking they must be so cool, all those big teenagers that get to hang out in this room.

That was also the church where my dad turned forty and I remember the bulletin board was covered in black and said “Lordy, lordy, the pastor’s forty!” That hits a little close to home this year!

I don’t remember this personally, but I remember my mom telling me how she kept me in a bassinet in her office after I was born. I remember her saying that I was her best sleeper. I literally grew up in the United Methodist Church.

I remember when my parents moved to different churches. As far as I knew, all churches had two pastors who happened to be married, but apparently that’s not the case. My mom went one way, my dad the other.

I remember taking confirmation class with my dad. I remember having horrible cramps one Sunday morning and moaning to myself on the couch in the Sunday school room while everyone else was upstairs in the sanctuary. I remember dancing around the altar with women of all ages. I remember meals and plays and love surrounding my time in that church.

I remember my mom’s fortieth birthday party, which was held in the community room of the church she was pastoring at the time. Fortunately, no pictures can be found — I was going through a Debbie Gibson phase. I remember caring for one of the pastor’s children during worship and being told that I don’t need to leave the sanctuary if he gets noisy.

I remember leaving these churches. I remember how much I hated the itinerant system (not knowing that was the name). I remember not wanting to attend this new, big church and slowly falling in love with the people there. I remember leading retreats for youth younger than me. I remember being mentored. I remember talking to my youth minister when it felt like my family was falling apart around me. I remember Bible study with my friends in a dark room with the candle light shining on their faces.

I remember going to summer camp with other United Methodist kids. I remember some people spoke about God differently than I did. I remember that some people acted differently in worship than I was used to. I remember experiencing my heart becoming strangely warmed over a campfire one night and it was then I knew that everything had changed.

I remember sitting on the floor in the campus house my freshman year of college sharing communion led by the United Methodist chaplain. I remember visiting the Wesley House when I transferred to a different college my sophomore year.

I remember the youth minister of my church coming to my house in Muncie to ask if I’d like to come work with him after graduation. I remember thinking “this is what I’m meant to do.”

I remember leading youth through confirmation classes, trying to help them understand that they don’t have to understand it all, that I don’t understand it all. I remember seeing their faces when they solemnly took the vow to support the church — their church — with their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

I could go on and on and on about all the things I remember about my church because I’ve been part of this denomination since I was born. My whole life is full of memories in the United Methodist church.

This is the church I remember. The church that cared for me and loved me. The church that welcomed me and supported me. The church that held its arms wide open each time I returned. The church that said all are welcome and all are loved. The church that said you are a beloved child of God. That is the church I remember. That is the church I will hold on to. That is the church I love.


United Methodist Church cross and flame with rainbow

11 thoughts on “The Church I Remember”

      1. I am sure. You and I don’t agree with each other from what I gathered. But I want you to know that I do love those in the LGBT crowd. I do think that we can learn to follow Jesus and Scripture together. I do believe God has a plan for every life. I do believe that every person has a purpose. I do believe now is time for prayer, reflection, seeking, Scripture, and love. It is time to move forward.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Anne it is honestly something I struggle with. I get caught up in passion with this topic. A lot of times it is hard for me to breathe, take a step back and evaluate what I am saying and as a result sometimes my words don’t convey my heart so thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think a lot of people feel the same way. We rush to respond before taking a moment to really listen/read. There’s a lot of fear… everywhere. So many people respond out of fear instead of genuine interest and love. But it’s hard when you feel so strongly about something. I get that. I try to remember that the other person feels just as strongly as I do… and if I want them to hear what I have to say, I need to listen to them with an open heart and open ears, with the hope they will offer the same gift to me. It’s hard. All of it. But I appreciate people like you who are willing to have the conversation. (Maybe you can help me decipher the comments from my last post?! lol I really have no idea anymore!)


  1. Anne, this post made me cry. Because for me, in many ways, the church has been my home too… and I’m grateful for the beautiful way you narrate that relationship. I am confident it will take me some time to know how to tell this part of my story as a methodist.

    Liked by 1 person

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