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50 Cups of Coffee: an invitation from Pastor Erik

“Will you visit from house to house?” – United Methodist Book of Discipline, ¶336.15

This is one of 19 historic questions asked of all United Methodist clergy immediately prior to ordination. In 2011, when Bishop Tom Bickerton asked me this question at my own ordination, he added that home visitation of all church members is a relic of the past. Pastors have more and different demands on their time than they used to, and many church members do not wish to welcome the pastor into their home. But in our modern context, the Bishop said, this question might be translated to mean, “Will you be active in the lives of your congregants? Will you be present in the community, go to their kids’ ball games, meet them for lunch, and visit at home those who still desire it?”

At the heart of this question, and its modern translation, is the idea that pastors and congregants are supposed to share life together. That’s been really hard to do over the past 14 months, and I think we’re all feeling its absence. I know I am.

But by the time you read this, I will be fully vaccinated, and most of you will be too! What this means is that we can now safely visit, face to face and in person. And since you all know how much I value planning and organization, I’ve already thought about how I can get to everyone quickly and equitably. So, in the last 2 weeks of May, I’m going to make sure I see all of our shut-ins, and also take a short trip to see my 90 year old Oma (grandmother) in Florida since I haven’t seen her in over 2 years.

Then in June, I will begin 50 Cups of Coffee. The goal will be to spend an hour visiting in person with every church family, over coffee or while doing something else. I am completely flexible in how you wish to meet. I’ll come to your home, sit with you on the church lawn, or meet you in a public place. We can grab coffee, go for ice cream, or take a walk. It’s up to you – get creative! There’s only one rule: we can’t meet inside the church building!

Sign up for a time here (new dates will continue to be added). If you don’t see a time listed that works for you, text or email me with a suggested time, date, and meeting place/activity and we’ll work something out. If you’re still not ready to meet with me in person, that’s okay. I’ll be here when you are ready.

I don’t know how long it will take for me to get to everyone who wants a visit, but I can’t wait to get started! See you soon!

50 Cups of Coffee

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