Saturday, 21 November 2009

Methodist Milestone

I am a United Methodist through and through.  It's not just because I've grown up in this denomination all my life (even though I have).  It's not just because I've gone to UM-related college and seminary (although I have).  It's because it's where I find I fit.  I have been involved with other denominations, have thought through the theological and doctrinal issues, and decided that this is my church home.  Any Wesleyan-Arminian traditions are comfortable to me (I was a common-law Wesleyan for most of my time at Asbury, after all), and I don't have any problem worshipping with or serving with those of other denominations.  But for me, the United Methodist Church is home.

Except in Scotland.  Here, I'm just plain Methodist.  And here, for the first time, I'm part of a church that was actually started by and visited by John Wesley himself.  He came to Aberdeen to start the Methodist Society here.  And he visited a couple of times.  How cool is that?!  We even have a big fancy chair in our sanctuary that was made for one of his visits.  It's the John Wesley chair.  =)

This summer, we celebrated the 250th anniversary of Methodism in Aberdeen.  We at Crown Terrace got together with other churches (like the Salvation Army) to celebrate.  We had an 'Ad Hoc Choir' to perform at a special service, celebrating Methodist hymns through the ages.  I practiced with them for three weeks, and thoroughly enjoyed singing alto again, as well as learning some traditional UK hymns.  We even made the world debut of a new hymn, buy a local Methodist scholar, academic, missionary, and all-round amazing man, Andrew Walls.  I have the songs downloaded, but I don't know how to get them here to share them with you.  I'll try to figure it out, but I can't make any promises.  If you come see me, I'll play them for you to have a listen.  =)

We also had a special open-air service in the Castlegate on the Saturday.  It was both an act of celebration for our heritage in Aberdeen, as well as an act of witness to the city.  The Salvation Army band played, we sang hymns, had prayers and our pastor, Ken Morgan, shared a short sermon.  It was a very dreich day (spitting rain, cold, foggy, generally yucky) but I'm so glad I went.  We were a small crowd, but the weather didn't put a damper on our spirits.  After the service, the Salvation Army opened up their cafe to us for free coffee, tea and biscuits so that we could all fellowship together... and thaw out a wee bit.  It was really cool to be there, to stand as a witness for Christ in Aberdeen, and to share fellowship and solidarity with other Methosdists here today and going back 250 years. 

The photos are of Howard Marshall, Paul Ellingworth, the Salvation Army captain, and Ken Morgan.  The following video is probably not much to look at, but I took it to give you a little sense of my hymn-singing life here.  It never fails;  I hear a tune I know and the words are different.  Or, in this case, I see words I know, and then the tune is totally different.  *sigh*  =)

Still.  I love being a Methodist, United or otherwise.  John Wesley is the Man.  =D

1 comment:

Barb said...

It's Howard! I always enjoy seeing him. My favorite was when I went with you to Crown Terrace and he played the organ. Afterwards I commented "I didn't know you played the organ here" and he replied "Well somebody has to." Too funny!

BTW, did you ask any of those Salvation Army people how to get a tour to the top of the tower when I come back? I wanted to go up there the whole time I was in Aberdeen!