Transforming lives

Transforming lives

Jesus Christ is still transforming lives today. At Newark United Methodist Church, we provide the “good soil” for people to grow in their understanding of God and their faith journey. After all, we, as the church, are the hands and feet of Christ—indeed, the Body of Christ. Though it is not we who do the transforming, collectively we play a key role in the activity of the Spirit in people’s lives.

 

Chelsea talks about her experience at this church.

NUMC has been a home and a family to me from a very young age. From singing in the children’s choir to growing up through the youth programs, I always knew NUMC was a safe place where I could express my faith. These expressions of faith did not always come as mountaintop experiences but sometimes through conversations with the pastors and my mentors, regarding my doubts and fears. Growing up, I knew that there were many on staff and in the congregation to whom I could go with these questions and who supported me as I discerned a call into ministry.

photo of ChelseaThroughout [2013-14], as I finished my final year at the University of Delaware, I began to hear very clearly that the next step in my journey was with the General Board of Global Missions serving as a young adult missionary for the next two years. Saying “yes” to this next step…led me to Detroit, Mich., working with the homeless. Though I am now far from Newark, I know that I always have a home and family at NUMC, and that makes each step of this journey much easier.

It is through my experiences at NUMC and through the encouragement from many in the congregation that I’ve been led to Detroit. I am forever thankful for the constant support from NUMC, forever my church home and family.

Rick reflects on what this church has meant to him.

photo of Rick SullivanI found Newark UMC in high school because a friend of mine dragged me along with her to youth group. When we got to the church, I found a group of fun kids who were so open and welcoming to new people that I ended up hanging out with them for about a year before my summer job started getting in the way.

It wasn’t just the youth group that was welcoming; it was the whole church that really wanted me and the rest of us to be around. The members of the church didn’t see us as an imposition, they loved us and wanted to see where we were going and how we got there. The church became a new community—a second family—for me and allowed me to explore my faith. During confirmation, I was allowed to ask questions and think for myself rather than being told this is the way it is and forced to think in a certain way.

Newark UMC is a community that has always welcomed me as I am for who I am, without expecting to change me, and that has helped me along my faith journey more than anything else could have.