"Being the hands, feet and voice of Christ in downtown Toledo."

I Have a Dream

Sep 09, 2013

From Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came an incredible dream, a dream that we at St. Paul’s UMC do our best to live into every day of our lives and through our ministry.  We have a dream; to see God’s justice and mercy, in other words, God’s love embodied and lived out throughout Toledo. 

                Where do we begin such a dream?  We begin with each other being an inclusive community of faith, in which ALL persons, that’s right, ALL persons are welcome.  But our congregation recognizes that many of our friends, family and neighbors no longer feel at “home” in a church.  So on Sundays we welcome strangers and friends “home” during worship.  We welcome new attenders and long-term members to join us for Sunday School, book studies, choir, and to serve those who are in need.  We are serious about being a church that is more concerned about supportive, spiritually growing individuals than what a person’s clothing looks like, whether that person is an addict, or the types of mistakes a person has made in their past. 

                We sing the hymn, “This is a day of new beginnings.” Too many of us are in need of a new beginning, a second chance, or an opportunity to heal. We have all made mistakes, we have all fallen short of our potential, and we all need a place that will love us anyways.  What do you imagine when you think of church?  I dream of a church that is unique, inclusive, welcoming, radical, hope-filled; a church that experiences God’s love and grace daily.  This is the church we strive to be, and we want you and your family to join us as we make our dream an even greater reality. 

                Like the story in the Bible of the prodigal son who, after making self-destructive, horribly selfish decisions, is welcomed home by his father,  someone at St. Paul’s UMC will welcome you…home, with open arms, hugs, handshakes, and smiles.  Come home. Come experience God’s unconditional love. Come discover God’s dream for you and your family.  My name is Mary Sullivan and I’m here to welcome you home as a friend and as the pastor of this very, very radically different congregation.  We are the hands, feet, and voice of Christ.  I hope to share the dream of St. Paul’s UMC with you, and welcome you home. 

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