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An "evangelism" Message


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I recently joined an "Evangelism Task Force" at church. I hate the name, and would take any suggestions for alternatives, since we have decided to rename ourselves. The point of the task force is not to increase membership numbers, but rather to let people know there is more than one form of Christianity existing in our community. We can't just use the website 8 points, because we have a large variety of theological belief at our church, although you can see I've borrowed heavily. I'm hoping we will post members' faith statements on our website, in order to let visitors know the range of thought present at our church.

 

Here is my first shot at developing a message. Each of 6 task force members is supposed to come up with something to present at an early June meeting.

 

Would you give me a critique or feedback on the following? I am NOT eloquent!

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The United Methodist Church is non-creedal, which means there is not a defined list of things you have to believe in order to be a member of First UMC. We are each at different places on a spiritual life journey that (for us) includes Jesus, but we do not insist that you become like us in order to be acceptable or to become part of our community. Our doors, hearts, and minds are open to believers and agnostics, traditional Christians and questioning skeptics, women and men, those of all gender identities and sexual orientations, those of all races and cultures, and those of all classes and abilities. We regret the hurt that has sometimes been caused in the name of Christianity, and we devote ourselves to a mission of intentionally showing God's love in our daily lives, being a community resource for spiritual and physical needs, and actively working to make this world a better place, especially for the disadvantaged. We know our actions toward others is the fullest expression of what we believe. At First UMC we value searching and questioning. There is much diversity of thought (see website), and even if we do not always see eye to eye, we see heart to heart.

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Thank you for your inclusive Christian ideology. I am impressed and moved by your efforts. You are fortunate to have such a sincere and deeply spiritual church.

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Good luck with the task force! :)

 

The United Methodist Church is non-creedal, which means there is not a defined list of things you have to believe in order to be a member of First UMC. We are each at different places on a spiritual life journey that (for us) includes Jesus, but we do not insist that you become like us in order to be acceptable or to become part of our community. Our doors, hearts, and minds are open to believers and agnostics, traditional Christians and questioning skeptics, women and men, those of all gender identities and sexual orientations, those of all races and cultures, and those of all classes and abilities. We regret the hurt that has sometimes been caused in the name of Christianity, and we devote ourselves to a mission of intentionally showing God's love in our daily lives, being a community resource for spiritual and physical needs, and actively working to make this world a better place, especially for the disadvantaged. We know our actions toward others are the fullest expression of what we believe. At First UMC we value searching and questioning. There is much diversity of thought (see website), and even if we do not always see eye to eye, we see heart to heart.

 

I'm still not sure if that's correct; "We know our actions toward others are the fullest expression..." I think that's right but can someone back me up here? :)

 

Other than that, it looks good :)

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When new members join my church they say something along the lines of the church will never be the same because you have joined. So you get a feel that you are signficant and it isn't the new person joining the established group but that because of all of our unique beliefs the congregation will forever be different. I think if you could communicate something along those lines it would be great. What made me think of it was this part:

 

but we do not insist that you become like us in order to be acceptable or to become part of our community

 

 

It hints that there is a "we" and a "you" I don't think that is your intent which is why I think that rewording it so that it recongizes the unique contribution every person brings when they join the congregation will for ever change it!

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Here is my first shot at developing a message. Each of 6 task force members is supposed to come up with something to present at an early June meeting.

 

Would you give me a critique or feedback on the following? I am NOT eloquent!

-------------

The United Methodist Church is non-creedal, which means there is not a defined list of things you have to believe in order to be a member of First UMC. We are each at different places on a spiritual life journey that (for us) includes Jesus, but we do not insist that you become like us in order to be acceptable or to become part of our community. Our doors, hearts, and minds are open to believers and agnostics, traditional Christians and questioning skeptics, women and men, those of all gender identities and sexual orientations, those of all races and cultures, and those of all classes and abilities. We regret the hurt that has sometimes been caused in the name of Christianity, and we devote ourselves to a mission of intentionally showing God's love in our daily lives, being a community resource for spiritual and physical needs, and actively working to make this world a better place, especially for the disadvantaged. We know our actions toward others is the fullest expression of what we believe. At First UMC we value searching and questioning. There is much diversity of thought (see website), and even if we do not always see eye to eye, we see heart to heart.

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Hey, AllInTheName, great statement. I'm with McKenna on the change from "is" to "are," but that's incredibly minor. Not sure about your assessment that you're not eloquent. This looks pretty good to me.

 

 

Jen

Edited by canajan, eh?
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Here's the latest, edited attempt at a message. I've also included one from another member of our "task force." It is interesting how different they are. I think he values the fellowship aspect of our church a lot more highly than I.

Mine(edited)

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At First United Methodist Church, our doors, hearts and minds are open to all people, believers and agnostics, traditional Christians and questioning skeptics, women and men, those of all gender identities and sexual orientations, those of all races and cultures, and those of all classes and abilities. Our members are each at different places on a spiritual life journey that for us includes Jesus, but we do not believe that you have to become like us in order to be acceptable or to become part of our community. The United Methodist church is non-creedal, which means there is not a defined list of things you have to believe to come to our service or become a member.

 

We know that many have been hurt by actions done in the name of Christianity and we regret that deeply. We devote ourselves to a mission of intentionally showing God's love in our daily lives, helping each other to be the best we can be, and actively working to make this world a better place, especially for the disadvantaged. We believe the way we act toward others is the fullest expression of what we believe.

 

At First United Methodist Church, we value searching and questioning. We make decisions based upon scripture, tradition, reason and experience. There is much diversity of thought as you will see on our website.

 

And even if we do not always see eye to eye, we always see heart to heart.

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Steve's:

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On web site, have big link that says "Visitors Click Here”...

 

The United Method Church is "Open Hearts, Open Minds. Open Doors". What does this mean to you, me, and, our community?

 

Open Hearts... Don’t change a thing about yourself. We welcome everyone to worship with us without judgment.

 

Open Minds...In a world with great diversity, we welcome your opinions and beliefs. We offer open forums to discuss current events and to hear different viewpoints.

 

Open Doors...We open our doors to anyone that believes in Jesus Christ. We offer different styles of worship to meet your needs.

 

The fellowship between members is the foundation of our church. At First United Methodist, we offer fellowship

for all ages. We have groups and events for men, women, families, seniors, and children.

 

Below are testimonials from our members about fellowship at First United Methodist.

 

It's never too late to make a lasting connection with God and share fellowship with your neighbor. Don't delay on this chance to build this connection within yourself and your community.

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Your thoughts about how this could be merged? What do I need to include from Steve's in my message. Obviously, we feel differently about who we open our doors to. He assumes only "believers" need come...

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Here's the latest, edited attempt at a message. I've also included one from another member of our "task force." It is interesting how different they are. I think he values the fellowship aspect of our church a lot more highly than I.

Mine(edited)

---

At First United Methodist Church, our doors, hearts and minds are open to all people, believers and agnostics, traditional Christians and questioning skeptics, women and men, those of all gender identities and sexual orientations, those of all races and cultures, and those of all classes and abilities. Our members are each at different places on a spiritual life journey that for us includes Jesus, but we do not believe that you have to become like us in order to be acceptable or to become part of our community. The United Methodist church is non-creedal, which means there is not a defined list of things you have to believe to come to our service or become a member.

 

We know that many have been hurt by actions done in the name of Christianity and we regret that deeply. We devote ourselves to a mission of intentionally showing God's love in our daily lives, helping each other to be the best we can be, and actively working to make this world a better place, especially for the disadvantaged. We believe the way we act toward others is the fullest expression of what we believe.

 

At First United Methodist Church, we value searching and questioning. We make decisions based upon scripture, tradition, reason and experience. There is much diversity of thought as you will see on our website.

 

And even if we do not always see eye to eye, we always see heart to heart.

------------

Steve's:

----

On web site, have big link that says "Visitors Click Here”...

 

The United Method Church is "Open Hearts, Open Minds. Open Doors". What does this mean to you, me, and, our community?

 

Open Hearts... Don’t change a thing about yourself. We welcome everyone to worship with us without judgment.

 

Open Minds...In a world with great diversity, we welcome your opinions and beliefs. We offer open forums to discuss current events and to hear different viewpoints.

 

Open Doors...We open our doors to anyone that believes in Jesus Christ. We offer different styles of worship to meet your needs.

 

The fellowship between members is the foundation of our church. At First United Methodist, we offer fellowship

for all ages. We have groups and events for men, women, families, seniors, and children.

 

Below are testimonials from our members about fellowship at First United Methodist.

 

It's never too late to make a lasting connection with God and share fellowship with your neighbor. Don't delay on this chance to build this connection within yourself and your community.

----------

Your thoughts about how this could be merged? What do I need to include from Steve's in my message. Obviously, we feel differently about who we open our doors to. He assumes only "believers" need come...

 

I would delete the sentence in bold. Keep the framing positive.

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I feel that part of our message should be reconciling. I started with "We regret the hurt that has sometimes been caused in the name of Christianity", but a friend suggested the other, which I agree is even more negative. You may be right that I just need to delete it, but can you think of a positive way to be reconciling with people who have experienced a non-loving form of Christianity?

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I feel that part of our message should be reconciling. I started with "We regret the hurt that has sometimes been caused in the name of Christianity", but a friend suggested the other, which I agree is even more negative. You may be right that I just need to delete it, but can you think of a positive way to be reconciling with people who have experienced a non-loving form of Christianity?

 

Hmmm ... something along the line "We embrace those who have been hurt in the name of Christianity."

Placed after "We devote ourselves to ..." ?

 

Just an idea.

 

"We devote ourselves to a mission of intentionally showing God's love in our daily lives, helping each other to be the best we can be, and actively working to make this world a better place, especially for the disadvantaged. We embrace those who have been hurt in the name of Christianity. We believe the way we act toward others is the fullest expression of what we believe."

Edited by minsocal
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Hmmm ... something along the line "We embrace those who have been hurt in the name of Christianity."

Placed after "We devote ourselves to ..." ?

 

Just an idea.

 

"We devote ourselves to a mission of intentionally showing God's love in our daily lives, helping each other to be the best we can be, and actively working to make this world a better place, especially for the disadvantaged. We embrace those who have been hurt in the name of Christianity. We believe the way we act toward others is the fullest expression of what we believe."

 

I was going to point out the exact same sentence. I like this idea, minsocal. :)

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I gust finished reading "So You Can't Stand Evangelism?", which I bought from the website store. I highly recommend it, and it suggests we call the task force

The Task Force on Inclusion. It had some great ideas about some of the main issues that might make skeptics (myself included) desire to affiliate with a church. It also warned of some challenges I might face in trying to make a different group of people aware of the church. Some people resist change in all forms.

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When I first started going back to "church" when I moved to California in 2000 I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven to have a church with that as their mission statement. It was certainly what I needed in order to even be willing to enter the doors of a church building. (As it was I briefly participated in a house church which proved to be highly dysfunctional and enmeshed before "quitting" again until the end of 2005). Even though the first was not "perfect" what I needed to hear then was that I was accepted as I was -- for me that was knowing what was wrong but not knowing what was right. People who are in the place I was will pick up on that. They will likely know for themselves that this is a place of healing because it *is* open!

 

Just my thoughts.

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