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On September 25, Karen, Neil, Judy and I attended the “I Believe in the Church” event that Bishop Gregory Palmer hosted at Milford First UM Church.  As always, Bishop Palmer is an inspiring speaker who has an amazing way with words.  He gave us some teaching, had three people share their testimonies and we remembered and re-affirmed our baptism.  Bishop Palmer quoted the words of General Conference commissioned study “Wonder, Love and Praise.”

Part of that study shares four marks of the church:  

The church is One:  bigger than our local church, our denomination or our nation based on Ephesians 4:4-6 and Acts 2:42-47.

The church is Holy.  Going on to perfect love based on John Wesley’s writing called “A Plain Account ofChristian Perfection” available here:


The church is Catholic (actually catholic) meaning universal.  He shared a story of meeting a stranger while wearing a clergy collar.  She asked about the differences between Roman Catholic and United Methodist Church and Holy Spirit nudged him to share how we are alike instead of how we are different.  

The church is Apostolic (means ‘sent’). We can know and appreciate what we have received from God, which means we realize that someone else needs it also.

How do our congregations live up to these marks?  It was an inspiring evening, especially the testimony of the 13-year old young woman!  I was glad I had invested the time to attend. We also had the gift of being served a delicious dinner before the speakers, so we had time to fellowship and receive hospitality, too.  

We have another opportunity to be blessed by those in ministry around us, both locally and in the Caribbean, coming the first weekend of October.  Check out the events offered at “In Mission Together” as there are several opportunities to join in and learn and/or worship together.  Information is posted at both churches as well as

available on the www.orvumc.org  website and Ohio River Valley District UMC Facebook page.  These are also great opportunities to visit with others from other UM Churches.  

In October, there is an evening entitled “Connecting Points” available at Waynesville UMC on Wednesday, October 17 from 6:45-7:45 with cookies and friendship offered between 6:30 and 6:45.  Another is available at Wilmington UM Church on Sunday, November 4 from 2:15-3:15 with cookies and friendship from 2:00-2:15.  ALL are invited.  These are opportunities to hear and discuss the following topics with the District Superintendent and the Assistant District Superintendent:  Living as a Connectional Church, The Essentials of the Wesleyan Way and The Special Session of General Conference 2019.   

Thank you to everyone who made the Olive Branch Pig Roast a success!  We stayed busy almost the whole serving time and people really seemed to enjoy staying and visiting with one another.  Out of our blessing of good food, we will be able to make sure several families have the possibility of good Christmas dinners so it was a joy in many ways!

In Christ’s love, Debbie