The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Friday, June 17, 2005

"We used to have it ..." Can we find it again?

I have this memory of a visiting United Methodist preacher recalling how when he was a little boy, he used to listen to a Methodist congregation "get happy in the Spirit." To hear him tell it, you couldn't tell that worship service was any different than one of the more pentecostal congregations.

"We used to have it," he said. "What happened?"

I was thinking about that conversation while listening to Bishop Swanson preach at Lake Junaluska this week. The long, hot days in an open-air auditorium gave it the usual camp meeting feel, and the Spirit was alive! There was more than sporadic "Amens!" and "Hallelujahs!"

We used to have it. What happened?

And why did it seem so different this year?

Starting with worship on Sunday night (instead of the usual clergy and laity sessions) and continuing the Bible study theme throughout the conference may have had an impact, but I think it was beyond that. I think the real spark was a sense of freedom in the Spirit that the Bishop brought with him.

It could be the start of something good in the conference.

Also, it was a strange feeling to see the number "5" beside my name and that of the church's, which means I am in the fifth year of appointment to Green Meadow UMC.

We've not grown in numbers by leaps and bounds, but I thank God for a gracious, welcoming, servant-minded community that cares more about the missio dei than the numbers game.

I can't help but believe that I was placed here "for such a time as this," and that the best of Green Meadow's ministry for God is yet to come.

Grace and peace ...