One More Thing with Pastor Tim Burchill 2.27.2024

It’s Not What You Know,
But Who You Know…


       We ran out of time Sunday, during the reception of new members.  I wanted to ask them a series of questions of which they had to get three of the four right in order to be welcomed into our fellowship.  Here are the questions I proposed:


1.   How many years has Carmel Church been around?

      (hint—it’s more than 174 years)


2.   Name one of the two streets on which Carmel UMC currently sits.


3.   On which national holiday are the church restrooms most in demand?


4.   On which month of the year does pastor appreciation fall?


       Obviously, the last question is the most important of the bunch (October for those of you neophytes).  We do ask questions when women and men become an official part of our community of faith, but just not these.  Joining a church is not a matter of mastering facts or displaying a certain depth of knowledge.  The questions we ask are more about who you know and what you do with that knowledge.


1.   Do you know Jesus and intend to become more like him every day?


2.   Do you recognize the authority of scripture in the practice of your faith and over the choice you make every day?  (We don’t ask the name of Moses’ wife or what Canaanite warlord Deborah defeated.  You can always look those up!)


3.   Will you support the people of Carmel Church with your prayers, your presence, gifts, service, and witness?


       It’s really helpful to be able to pray the Lord’s Prayer when you don’t know how to pray; to memorize the Apostle’s Creed is to have a concise outline of our beliefs at your fingertips; knowing the top Ten Commandments seems like a prudent way to make sure you’re avoiding the worst and aspiring to the best of God’s guidance.  And yet all of that is icing on the cake of knowing God, following Jesus, and investing ourselves in the lives of those who have joined us on this leg of our journey to God’s kingdom.  Love—in the biblical sense—is about knowing and being known and responding to the other with mercy, openness, and faithfulness.  Love is neither diminished nor amplified by ‘fact.’ Agape love rises and falls on its unconditional commitment to the other.


       The old adage is true: it’s not what you know but who you know.  Welcome New Members! We will do our best to both know and love you, and to share with you our ‘knowledge’ and love for Jesus Christ.

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