First United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls in a very exciting time in our ministry and it is an exciting time to be serving in the church! The church is in the midst of an exciting building program which is going to give us knew tools for sharing the love of Jesus Christ with our community and with each other.
But even more important than our exciting building project is the work that the members of the church are doing in our TEAM Christ envisioning process looking and planning for the future ministry of our church!
First United Methodist Church has the distinction of having been in downtown Cedar Falls for a long time! We were the first Methodist Church planted in Cedar Falls. We are old enough to have a cornerstone which proclaims us as the “First Methodist Episcopal Church,” a denomination that merged with other Methodist group in 1939 to form the Methodist Church and again in 1968 with the Evengelical United Brethren for from the United Methodist Church.
At times in our advertising we have emphasized “First” as our identity. But as we come into a new era of the church being here “first” isn’t nearly as important as being “United.” So as part of our vision under the leadership of our Pastor Steve Williams you may notice us emphasising the importants of being a “United” people.
We are United Methodists, we are diverse denomination with people of many backgrounds who have grown up in my places in many kinds of churches or maybe no church at all. We want to be a church of Open Doors, Open Hearts, and Open Minds. We want to be a church that welcomes all in the name of Christ. So we have an open table where all can share in the Supper of the Lord, we have an open understanding of God’s grace believing that it is God’s desire that all experience God’s love and care no matter who they are.
There is an old chorus which I believe may have originiated with our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers that says “We are One int the Spirit and one in the Lord and we pray that our unity may one day be restored.”
That is the spirit in which I see our church becoming “united.” We are finding ourselves more and more united in purpose, united in fellowship, united in the grace of God, united in a desire to serve God, united in worship, and united in service.
In our membership vows as United Methodists we promise to support our church with our “prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness.”
Being first is a great thing! But being United in the Spirit and One in the Lord is even better!