I was able to worship today at Vision Community Church in Warwick, New York.
Each summer when I am visiting my inlaws, I make the forty five minute drive down to bucolic Amity/Warwick to see what the Vision people are doing. Today was my second time visiting the church and I wrote about my first visit to Vision last year. I concluded that blog post by stating that “Vision is definitely rethinking church. With the huge number of small UMC churches with old buildings, places like Vision should give us hope.”
I don’t mean to overstate things, but Vision, started and pastored by Rev. Don Heatley and Pam Heatley, the church has become one the rare emergent-mainline hybrid churches that could possibly help remake the Methodist church.
Now in its tenth year, Vision had become one of the larger worshipping United Methodist communities in New York. Now, fully moved into a two hundred year old former Presbyterian church building, Vision has now grown to two services and is becoming deeply involved with the arts community and involved with diverse ministries, including working with migrant farm workers.
As I worshipped on this July 4th, I looked down at the Vision worship bulletin and it said “Worshipping in the Wesleyan Tradition.” Last year I remembered the bulletin said “worshipping in the United Methodist Tradition.
As my 22 month old daughter would say, “ought-oh!”
I’m not familiar with the inner workings of the New York Annual Conference, but wouldn’t you do everything possible to not only keep Vision a United Methodist Church but uphold such a community as a way forward?