I was born into a church not of the Methodist denomination, but soon transitioned to Garber UMC in New Bern. After six years of membership, my family relocated and my church membership changed to First UMC of Laurinburg. After a short two years, my family relocated once again, and in the process, my home church membership changed to First UMC, Clinton.
This introduced me to God’s church, and established a grounding for me to be introduced in other ways. Along this path, I was introduced to the work of The United Methodist Church beyond the local church level. I learned that a church wasn’t the building on the hill, or the fellowship areas filled with a congregation. It seemed to my middle-school mind that the church broke the walls of a building, and spread across the large and beautiful creation of God’s doing.
In traveling to an unfamiliar place (the Philippines) with unfamiliar languages, I met those who believed in the same traditions and ideologies as I did. It’s just that they found their home church a 15-hour flight away from where I found mine. It seems now to me, as a sophomore in college, that too often, I fell into the category of United Methodists thinking we were just Methodists, and not quite Methodists United with others in love and beliefs under God’s huge and inspirational umbrella.