Each time I lead my congregation in communion at Beverly Hills United Methodist Church, I recite an invitation to come and participate in the grace of God’s holy love represented in the bread and juice. That invitation includes something along the lines of these words: “This is not my church. This is not your church. This is God’s church. And all are welcomed to come to the table to experience God’s grace.”

This is something I firmly believe and seek to practice as a Christian and a United Methodist pastor. I believe we are a place where all can experience God’s holy love. That grace is not based upon societal definitions but, instead, God’s invitation to come and see what the Lord is about.

While columnists may write from their perspective of what is taking place within the United Methodist Church, I would encourage readers to receive the invitation to come and see what God is doing. My prayer is you will find us, regardless of what church you may attend, as a place where the Great Commission (make disciples of Jesus Christ) and Great Commandment (love God, love your neighbor) is lived out in powerful and beautiful ways.

I’m a lifelong United Methodist. There is more good taking place than our ongoing discussions about our long-term vitality, and recent news articles, may suggest. We are not churches guided by hatred. We are communities that are striving to serve God and to be faithful to the Lord today. So, please, come and see for yourself that there are lives being transformed, people who are being fed, and the grace of God being shared through the shared ministries of the United Methodist Church in Huntington and across West Virginia. You may get a different perspective and be blessed by it.

Rev. Shannon Blosser


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