Myers Park UMC wants community to “Think Like Jesus”

The coming of the new year brings changes for many; the same goes for Myers Park United Methodist Church and their members. In 2013, they want to learn more about how religion affects their daily decisions.

“Praxis: Think Like Jesus, Live Our Faith” starts in January. Members of the church, as well as those from surrounding churches, will speak about not only the Christian faith but how to apply it in everyday life.

“(The program) grew out of a lot of people asking questions about what we believe as United Methodists and what we believe as Christians,” Myers Park United Methodsit Rev. George Ragsdale said. “We wanted to talk about not just what we believe, but what we believe our religion means in our lives.”

The church chooses a new focus each year, and this is just what the members of the church wanted to learn about most, said Senior Pastor James Howell, who will lead the series.

The church wants to “make connections between what (people) hear on Sunday morning and what life is like every other day,” Howell said. “We want people to make connections between what they think about God in their heads and what they do at work or what they are doing when they go to dinner or whatever else they have going on.”

The series will utilize Sunday services, quest speakers, Facebook and Howell’s weekly emails – about three a week to 10,000 members – to cover topics all based around the Apostles’ Creed to help members relate things discussed in church to “their lives from Monday to Saturday.” It also will ask members to look past just their personal lives to their impact on the global stage, focusing “a good bit on how we are good stewards of creation and common things you can do in your home to be better stewards of energy,” Ragsdale said.

Those coordinating the series hope using many different methods to contact members will help those who can’t come to every Sunday service get the most from each topic covered.  Sunday services at Myers Park United Methodist are held at 8:30, 9:45 and 11 a.m.

Howell also will partner with other local pastors once a month for events focused on the basic things Christians should believe, he said. The senior pastor will host a conversation with Dr. David Chadwick from Forest Hill Church on Jan. 7,2013, a Monday, at 7 p.m., followed by an event with evangelist Leighton Ford on Feb. 11, 2013, at 7 p.m.

The church’s Sunday services will cover the following parts of the Apostles’ Creed in early 2013:
• Jan. 6: I believe in God the Father Almighty
• Jan. 13: I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord
• Jan. 20: … who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
• Jan. 27: I believe in the Holy Spirit
• Feb. 3: The holy Catholic Church

Myers Park United Methodist Church is located at 1501 Queens Road. Find more information about “Praxis: Think Like Jesus, Live Our Faith” at the church’s website, www.mpumc.org/praxis.

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