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Did you know? – Say Something

Posted: March 15 2017 at 12:00 AM

Every morning as I ride into the office on Metra and approach Union Station an automatic announcement plays reminding us of safety tips and procedures so the hundreds of thousands of people traveling these rail lines can travel well informed. “If you see something, say something” is a tagline embedded in my brain.

“Say Something” this should also be a mantra for us in the church. Sometimes we are the best-kept secret around!

A few years ago my husband and I agreed to take one of our family members to visit a relative in western Illinois for Christmas Eve. I was up for the trip with one condition, that we time our travels so we could worship in a United Methodist church along the way. I was confident that with churches dotting the countryside we would find one that lined up with our plans.

A few days before our trip I pulled up google maps to plot out the churches we could worship with. I began calling up their websites to coordinate a time. What I learned was that worship times are one of the best-kept secrets in the world. Facebook searches and website scouring yielded no clues for where we might find a church to join for Christmas Eve. Finally, I began phoning church offices. It was already the weekend but I hoped for a voicemail that would recite worship options. No luck.

When we arrived at the town where the relative lived I thought maybe the local paper would have a section where worship times were listed and we could invite the whole family to join us at church. The town we were in happened to have multiple United Methodist Churches so hope sprang eternal. . . only to be dashed. The worship page of the local paper contained Christmas greetings and worship times for the United Church of Christ, Lutheran Church, local Roman Catholic Church, but not one of our United Methodist Church’s had participated in the ads.

After our afternoon visit and dinner with the family, as we drove east that night I continued phoning churches hoping that someone might answer and our timing would work out. It did. We worshiped, but I began to wonder why we are so reluctant to “Say Something”.

I was a determined, loyal United Methodist. We were going to worship on Christmas Eve even if it was a midnight service when we arrived home. What about the fledgling Christian, the seeker, the “none” who is inspired to take a big step and find a place to worship? If we do not make it easy for them to know who we are and when we gather, we are missing a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel story.

The moral of the story as we move through Lent and approach Holy Week services is to “Say Something”. Our worship services shouldn’t be the best kept secret. With more ways than ever to get the word out: Twitter, Facebook, Websites, voicemail, local print newspapers and more, we should be saturating the world with news that all are invited to come remember Jesus’ journey to the cross and celebrate the resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Update your website, Facebook page, UMC’s Find-A-Church and voicemail today – tell the world when you gather and extend hospitality to the stranger.

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Bill Buchholtz

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