Glenwood: A missional opportunity for christ church
On Sunday, February 25, members of Christ United Methodist Church gathered in Church Conference to consider a merger with Glenwood United Methodist Church. The members of the Church Conference voted to approve the merger with 395 votes for the motion and 56 votes against the motion. With nearly 88 percent affirming the decision, we give thanks to God and move forward with exciting opportunities for mission and ministry on two campuses. The merger will be effective July 1, 2018.
We also give thanks to members of the Church Council, Glenwood Task Force, Trustees and staff who have dedicated many hours of prayer and research that has brought us to this point.
Please continue to be in prayer as we begin the next steps toward this merger.
We embrace people, the community, and the world with the boundless love of God. We love God, humanity, and all creation. We grow together in the likeness of Christ. And we serve in our church, our community, and the world.
At Christ Church, one of our goals is to be a United Methodist community of faith that is "leading the way" when it comes to making a missional impact in our city. Our District Superintendent recently offered us an exciting new opportunity to do just that by merging with Glenwood UMC, a struggling United Methodist Church in the Glenwood community of Greensboro. If Christ Church accepts this opportunity, we will not be seeking to save an existing church, but creating a brand new center of United Methodist mission and ministry that God can use to reach out and help meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a wide diversity of people who currently live in the Glenwood community.
In its early days, Glenwood UMC was a thriving United Methodist Church that ministered to the needs of people in the Glenwood community. Over the years, however, the Glenwood neighborhood changed. As the community diversified, families who made up the original membership of Glenwood UMC moved or died out, and the church began to experience decline, losing its connection to the neighborhood. The current congregation is composed of a worship attendance of 25 persons. Most of these members are in their 80s and do not live in Glenwood. This shift has left the community with a beautiful, debt-free church facility that is not being fully utilized.
In addition to the current congregation, Glenwood also houses Emmanuel UMC—a Spanish-speaking mission church that serves the Hispanic population of our district. Although small, this church is actively engaged in ministries with the community and desires to remain at the Glenwood location. However, the merger is with Glenwood UMC, and the continued presence of Emmanuel is contingent upon the decision of the District Superintendent and Bishop in making the appointment. There is also an active community group in the Glenwood neighborhood that has found Glenwood UMC to be a great partner and a hospitable location for many community gatherings and programs. The leaders of the group welcome our partnership and participation, as well.
In Genesis 12, God called Abraham to have the faith to “go forth from his own country to a land that God would show him. ‘There,’ God said, ‘...I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing...And by you all the families of the earth will bless themselves.’”
The merger of Christ UMC and Glenwood UMC is an opportunity for us to go forth from our own country on Holden Road to a place that God is showing us. It is an opportunity for us to be blessed by—and be a blessing to—the families who live in the Glenwood community! May God give us the faith and courage to take this step of faith!