Monday, March 24, 2008

Haddonfield United Methodist

I'd like to introduce the most subjectively beautiful set of church pictures I've yet taken, the church where I first heard the gospel and received it. I realize that such a statement is all too often the preface to a narrative of one's "outgrowing" such a gospel, but no such luck here. The message stuck.

But the imposing pillars of Haddonfield United Methodist Church (above) are not what I associate with that gospel. Instead it is the nearby youth parsonage. The massive Methodist church was where the adults worshiped, but the youth group - we knew it and the adults knew it - was different. We were more enthusiastic, less compromising, more "Evangelical."

Still, it struck me as I took these photos on a quick drive through town, that as much as we in the youth group thought ourselves separate, it was only because of the "establishment" wealth and financial commitment of the adult church that the youth ministry could hire such a gifted youth pastor (Kris Perkins) and flourish. I'm thankful then not just to the youth group, but to H.U.M.C. proper as well. The debt I owe the "adult church" is significant. The debt I owe the youth group for putting me in touch with such a vibrant form of American faith as a teenager (and hence putting me in touch with Christ), is incalculable.

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