Change the UMC, Change the World
By Amy Pazan | Photos by Jesse N. Love
This year’s theme for The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference Sessions was “Disciple is a Verb”. I took this as doing the unexpected work of the church. One way we did this was through “Change the World Day” at #pnwac13. We were able to help others doing various activities including advocating for undocumented immigrants, making health kits for UMCOR, and delivering blankets to various non-profits. We were “being the church” where it was needed the most. Throughout Annual Conference, we talked about the variety of ways “Disciple is a Verb”, from both within and outside the walls of our churches. We were able to listen to different views from members of our Conference on how they are using the Christian message to interact with their communities.
After our Conference, I received a Facebook message from a friend in the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference. I was invited to join her in writing for this newly created blog called “The Progressive Methodist”. I jumped on the opportunity and said, “Count me in!” I believe there is a bright future for the UMC – and it’s going to take new and unique ideas in order to have the church flourish in new and unique ways. As I had written my first few blog entries, I wondered if the topics were too deep and harsh… were they even worth reading? Yet, a dear friend reminded me that our Church needs to hear the voices of our young people, now. What one person can say or do can make a difference by just changing the atmosphere and being fully present in the moment.
The young people are the future of this denomination. The hopes and dreams of the UMC are with people between the ages of 14-35. We want to see a future where everything is built on love. The young people view “Disciple as a Verb” as being willing and wanting to go out there in the world and do great things for other people. We see the need for help and are constantly asking what more we can do. Take a look at the Imagine No Malaria campaign: in a few short years, we decreased the rate a person dies from Malaria from 30 to 60 seconds. If this isn’t what church is, I don’t know what church should be.
Today, young people see the need for change and understand what the Church can do to help other people. The next time you see a young person in your congregation, ask them what they envision for the future of the Church and how they plan in helping to make that vision a reality. The time is now for the young people to take charge and step in a direction of hope for the United Methodist Church. What will you do to allow this to happen?
Calling young people for MINISTRY NOW!
The Change the World Movement at #pnwac13
Photos: Change the World at #pnwac13
and is a student at Central Washington University (Ellensburg, Wash.).
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