By REBECCA WALLACE
As 2018 draws to a close, we caught up with fellow North Georgia United Methodists to ask what they are thankful for as they look back on this year in our church. Here are a few of their reflections.
"I’m grateful to be a United Methodist, because this church has helped me grow in faith, not just through Sunday worship, but through adult Sunday School, Disciple Bible Study, UMW spiritual growth studies and the Prayer Calendar. As I’ve grown in faith, the church has provided opportunities and encouragement to let my faith be reflected in my works. Participation in UMCOR projects, Disaster Response, ministries with the homeless and disabled, and my local church’s outreach to unchurched children help me reflect my faith in my community and beyond. As UMW voices it, my church helps me put “faith, hope and love in(to) action.”
– Sue Raymond, member, Zoar UMC in Snellville
"There are so many reasons why it’s great to be a United Methodist! I love being a part of a church that seeks to make an impact in the world. I love our historical roots in justice and mercy, and I love that we share an open table. I think my favorite thing though, is knowing that I am a part of something that is so much bigger than me. I am thankful that the UMC is a part of cities, nations, and systems all over the world, and by working to make disciples of Jesus Christ here in my neighborhood and city, I am a part of a much bigger revolution, a part of the Kingdom of God."
– Cassie Rapko, pastor, St. Paul UMC in Atlanta
"I am thankful to be part of The United Methodist Church because of stories like this: My daughter was standing next to her car in a store parking lot realizing that the canvases she had just purchased for Neighborhood UMC where she's a member would not fit in her car. A man walked up to the truck parked next to her and asked if he could help. She knew she was in good hands when she saw the Oak Grove United Methodist Men's sticker on his fender. The president of Oak Grove UMC's UMM put the canvases in his truck and joyously delivered them home for her. Some days it’s the simplest things that can help you feel grateful and connected."
– Phil Schroeder, director, Center for Congregational Excellence
"I am so grateful for our connection and for the generosity of North Georgia United Methodists. In the past few months you have donated $126,837 for South Georgia hurricane relief and $95,424 for North Carolina hurricane relief. We have deployed numerous work crews to these areas with more heading out every day. Yes, I am grateful to be United Methodist!"
– Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson
Now it's your turn! Tell us why you're thankful for The United Methodist Church in the comments or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Thankful."