October 4, 2013

Letter: Thanks to the Methodists

— Many thanks to the members of Dalton First United Methodist Church for “walking the walk” and setting a good example for the whole community by “being the church.” I recognize their minister saw a priority and was more concerned that his congregation reach out to help those in need than about how many came each Sunday to hear him preach a good sermon. Although I don’t attend this church, I am extremely impressed with this effort.

Reading from William Barkley’s book “And Jesus Said,” there is a story about John Wesley that explains how deep this church community is rooted in helping others.

When John Wesley began his life he had an income of 30 pounds a year; he lived on 28 pounds and gave two pounds away. When his income rose to greater levels he always to the end of his days continued to live on 28 pounds and gave the rest away. When a census of the silver of England was taken by the government, Wesley replied, “I have two silver spoons, one in London and one in Bristol, and I am not likely to buy any more when so many around me lack bread.”

I am hopeful this example set by one of our town’s churches will be a growing trend and others will compete in a loving way to live according to Jesus’ words when he said to a rich man, “Go sell all that ye possess and distribute it to the poor, and come and follow me.”

It was not the possession of riches which Jesus was condemning; it was the selfish use of riches.

Thank you, Dalton First United Methodist Church, for your project “Don’t Go to Church, Be the Church.” I know those who benefited from your kindness thank you too.

I love to read more about how our churches are enriching the whole community, not just members of their church, and in the future if there’s an opportunity for members of other religions to work on projects together I hope to be a part of it.

Joan McGovern