Hello from Camarillo UMC,
My name is Gary, and it is my privilege to serve as the senior pastor of this congregation; thanks for checking in here. In the big scheme of things, we are Christian and Protestant in the tradition of John Wesley; in more practical terms, we’re a gathering of people who have found that the path Jesus walked is a path we want to follow in our daily living.
The way that takes shape for us is in four dimensions: first is to engage both personally and collectively in worship. That means intentional time paying attention to the timeless, the transcendent, particularly as that is expressed in the story of Jesus. Our Sunday worship includes quiet prayer and joyful music; my role then is to connect the dots between scripture, tradition, reason and real world experience. There is time for kids and child care and—of course—coffee and refreshments be the service. I know you will feel a genuine spirit of openness, respect and welcome when you come and participate any Sunday morning.
Weekly worship is grounded in the second aspect, on-going discipleship: that means we’re intentional about studying and learning the path of spiritual growth, especially the path blazed by Christ. This takes the form of various classes, book groups, seminars, movie nights, and on-line discussion forums, all offered at various times and to different age-levels. You’re welcome to dive in wherever it works best for you.
Fellowship is a third dimension; it often looks like fun and typically is fun (concerts, luncheons, trips, food—the fellowship of the table is universal, but specifically Christian!) But it is also serious, because we are called to “watch over one another in love.” This means we are never alone when times are difficult, and we always have people to share in celebrating an answered prayer.
Last but really first in the big picture is the fourth aspect—mission. The purpose of the United Methodist Church is “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” That’s what sends us on service trips to repair and build homes for those in need, and to gather disaster relief supplies and feed those into our international network where it is needed most. It’s what sends our fund-raised dollars out to food banks and scholarships and special needs-youth care homes, and, and, and…
So the world is supposed to look different because of the path we’ve chosen to walk. We’re committed to walk the talk, the gospel of Jesus, so that everyone may “have life, and have it abundantly.” I invite you to spend an hour (or more) at this church next Sunday—9:30am, and discover what the ‘gospel proxima’ is all about.
Peace, Rev. Gary Keene