This summer I had the opportunity to travel to England with students and alumni from Boston University School of Theology and while we were there we took time to visit places that are significant for United Methodists. When we were in Manchester we visited John Rylands library and were able to see and hold books and journals that belonged to John and Charles Wesley who are the founders of Methodism. We got to hold one of John Wesley’s journals and also the hymn book Charles was using during his last days.
On our first day, in London, we went to Evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral which is where John Wesley went to an evening prayer meeting the night he had his conversion experience. Following the service we journeyed to Aldersgate Street which we know from John Wesley’s journals is where he felt his heart strangely warmed. On our second day in London we had the opportunity to visit John Wesley’s house and Wesley’s Chapel. During the house tour, our guide shared with us what life here looked like for John Wesley as they have learned from his many writings. There weren’t too many surprising things about this house but one thing I admired was that just off John Wesley’s bedroom he designated a space for prayer. Our guide shared that each morning John Wesley would get up at 4 am and spend an hour in prayer there before he began his day.
As I have been back from London,I have been trying to be more intentional with my own prayer life as John Wesley was. Now that doesn’t mean 4 am prayer because I am not a morning person. But I have scheduled time each day and put it in my phone so I get a reminder. This month I encourage you to check in with yourself about your own prayer life and, if it works best for you, put it down on the calendar or schedule a reminder on your phone.
On September 16th we will begin our new sermon series, “United Methodist DNA” in which each of your Open Door Church pastors will share with you foundations of our faith that began with John and Charles Wesley. I look forward to learning from each Open Door Pastor as we hear again these foundations or perhaps some of us hear them for the first time. Your Sister in Christ.