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History 101

Happy 240th Birthday to Bel Air United Methodist Church!

On May 11, 1782, some wise visionaries purchased Lot No.2 in Bel Air at 20 N. Main St. for the purpose of building a church. Though a congregation was already meeting before then, that specific date officially began our 240 years together as an organized church body. There’ve been a few changes over the last 240 years… to the town of Bel Air, to Harford County, and to our church family. Perhaps you’ve noticed some of them.

During that time, we’ve weathered a lot of storms together. We’ve survived global pandemics, wars and conflicts, and divisions and schisms. We’ve seen the church split apart over slavery, and we’ve seen the church come back together as we strive to reconcile. We’ve seen the church broken, and we’ve seen the church healed. This age-old pattern of division and restoration goes on even today. Through it all, we’re still here. And I expect that we’ll easily be here for the next 240 years, despite whatever the world throws our way. What’s our secret? Love! The overwhelming, unconditional love of Christ, which places his love for us, and our love for him, above all other things. Christ’s love is supreme; thanks be to God. And our love for our Christ gives us the strength to weather any storm. “Love as Jesus Loves!” It’s an eternal love.

Come celebrate in worship with us as we will be exploring some of our history and our heritage as United Methodists. We’ll also be welcoming a number of people into the life of our church over the next several weeks through baptism, confirmation, and new members joining. Our preaching series for the rest of May looks like this.

May 15 – Methodist History 101
The Content of Faith vs. The Experience of Faith – a look at John Wesley’s conversion experience and how he moved from faith as an intellectual exercise to faith as a heartfelt experience.

May 22 – Confirmation Sunday – Methodist History 101
Plucked from the Burning – Set Apart for God – a look at John Wesley’s harrowing experience as a five-year-old child trapped inside a burning rectory, and how it subsequently shaped him for life, and defined his purpose.

May 29 – Graduation Sunday – Methodist History 101
Acts of Piety vs. Acts of Mercy – a look at what it means to be a United Methodist Christian as we’re called to put equal emphasis on our love for God and our love for one another.

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