What’s Your Why?
I’d like to share pieces of the life of Pastor O. A. Gayley (known as Dad Gayley) with you. As he grew up in Hamilton, Illinois, he became frail and the doctor suggested a higher, drier climate. At 18, he climbed down from the train at Kit Carson, Colorado. He took up being a cowboy from Colorado to Wyoming, holding tight to his Christian faith that he learned from his mother to become a Pastor in the EUB Church at Leroy, Colorado, east of Sterling.
I grew up in the Evangelical United Brethren church in the northeastern corner of Colorado as a preacher’s kid. In 1968 when my dad, Reverend Raymond Scott, was Pastor of the church in Johnstown, it became the first United Methodist Church this side of the Mississippi joining the Methodists and EUB Church. After high school for the next 40 years, despite growing up a preacher’s son, knowing right from wrong, I chose my path and God allowed my education and learning of life without God first to leave a great impression on me. Fast forward to 2013. God led me back. God leads us back to where we need to be. Dad Gayley’s faith led him to be where he needed to be as a good and wonderful pastor. God has led me back to be a part of the Heart of Longmont to learn, grow, and to be a better disciple of Christ.
The first Sunday I attended here, I sat on the right side, 5th pew back, 3rd seat in. Little did I know at the time God’s humor and plan. That pew happened to have been used by the Hand, Noble, Ward, and Malchow Families for many years prior to my arrival. Today I remain firmly rooted in that family pew. And as many as will fit may join us there.
As I watched, joining in the church and its missions, I saw and remain amazed at the giving/supportive/heartfelt disciples that make up the Heart of Longmont. During my first years you fed the homeless, sheltering them at times, financially supported the church’s missions sending youth on trips to help disaster relief here and now abroad, helped build habitat houses and so much more.
I’m the one blessed to be here at the Heart of Longmont learning from you God’s Great Disciples and Pastor David Burt of course!!!
This is why Heart Of Longmont matters to me.
You the Parishioners and Guests of this church make the Heart of Longmont the giving, everyone is accepted and loved example of God’s Disciples at work. You are awesome, Good and Faithful Servants. Thank you.
Adherence to the teachings of love, compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness that Christ came to share.
This church has been in my life for 56 years.
My parents were very active in the church. I could spend an hour telling you the influence they had on this church and in the Methodist church district and nationally. I grew up answering our home phone to someone saying this is Bishop so-and-so or district superintendent. Or someone would walk into my parents’ house with a crying baby and my mom would hold out her arms for the baby while continuing her talk with a couple of bishops in her living room. Perhaps I’ll write an article on her as many of you haven’t the foggiest idea who she was!
I was involved as a youth in MYF and Jean Malchow is still a friend from that time. At home we never talked religion but my parents lived it. I always had unconditional love and no judgement.
As I went on the crazy path of life, there were large chunks of time that I didn’t get involved in the church. But I still knew God was by my side and the church had open arms for me. My parents impressed upon me that God was always with me and had a path for me if I let him in. I kind of took this church for granted. I knew I could always walk in and be welcomed.
As I got older, I got involved through the back door helping my mom in the kitchen as she was the main person who oversaw large meals. I remember one time when she called me almost in a panic—and my mom didn’t panic—because her sauce was not thickening like it should and it was almost time to serve 150 people. I ran with a box of mashed potato flakes and the sauce was delicious!
I believed that people were nice to me because I was Paula Johnston’s daughter. How wrong I was!! It took me a while to understand they didn’t care that I owned a bar, had been divorced three times, been in an abusive relationship, and had three kids. They surrounded me with support and love and accepted me for me. I eventually had conversations that revealed I was doing as much of God’s work in my bar by giving each person respect and trying to make them a little happier! And I blessed each and every patron as they left.
A year ago, an old patron of mine saw me at Abo’s and he said: “I looked at your roof on your house and you need a new one and I’m doing it for you. You cared about me at the bar and now it’s my turn to take care of you!” God works in your life and knew I was good with showing people that they were worthy of being respected and loved for who they were.
Another fond memory was when my daughter was in third grade and realized her mom had forgotten to get her baptized. Her Sunday School teacher told me and she and the entire class were in church the next week when she was baptized. The church family surrounded her—and her mom!—with hugs.
Eventually I became more involved within this church as nursery coordinator, Sunday School teacher, a member of many committees, and cooking for large groups. All my life I knew that this community of Christians were here for me and God was kicking my butt to get busy with his plan. I try to show love to every person I meet by showing respect and showing no judgement.
Love has been shown even more in the last seven years since I was diagnosed with metastasis cancer. All the love and caring shown to me keeps me strong and optimistic.
I didn’t find this church, but it sure found my soul and feeds me daily. This church is the foundation of my life and I thank God daily for the chance to try and live for him.
I feel the Spirit here.
Approve of LGBTQ position – it’s important.
Service: uplifting, parables for today
Climate: Wesleyan Quadrilateral
“What would John Wesley do” in the throes of the Industrial Revolution, or in the emerging Global Village McLuhan described, and what happens when people—at the grass-roots level—are no longer isolated but talking to each other with its ensuing disagreements and conflicts—internal and external—are no longer limited to TV news reports but impact our local communities. Leading us to ask the question in our church communities, “Would Jesus be a Christian today?” HoL is not afraid to address this question.
I grew up in a traditional Roman Catholic Church. Mass was spoken in Latin and women and girls had to have long dresses and head coverings. My parents appreciated critical thinking, so though my religious upbringing was strict at church, at home I was allowed to ask questions.
After being homeschooled through third grade, I went to Longmont Christian School from fourth to tenth grade. At church, we spoke Latin, at school we spoke in tongues! I definitely was exposed to a wide range of religious expression!!
To make a long story shorter, HoL provides a space of worship somewhere in the middle.
I babysat for Dawn Desai since her now college-aged son was two! Over the years, she always invited me to her church and to apply to be the youth director. Five years ago, I was working nights as a waitress and days at Colorado State University. And I was tired. I kept praying for a new opportunity. One day, I had so much peace about turning in my notice at TR, even though I didn’t know how I’d make it. The same night I turned in my notice, Dawn emailed me the Youth Director position. I applied and here I am.
God prepared a place for me here and opened the door I prayed for. I stay because I believe in this church. I belong, I am welcomed, I am supported, and I love my youth more than anyone can ever know.
Vision for the Future
Part of the greater connectional church
Open and affirming (reconciling)
My name is Jo Lloyd. A few weeks ago, Karl Scott asked me if I would be willing to share my “why”. As I began to think about why I choose to make the Heart of Longmont my church home, so many different things came to my mind.
My Christian story begins in a small Wisconsin town in a Roman Catholic home. I attended Catholic grade school and went to Mass six days a week. (Mass was part of the Catholic school curriculum.) I never really got much out of the service because it was in Latin and the priest’s back faced the congregation. As I reached the upper grades it became clear to me there were too many rules that didn’t make sense and it seemed you weren’t allowed to think for yourself. Needless to say, when I left home to attend college, that was the last time I went to Mass and I was un-churched for the next thirty-six years.
Our son, at the age of thirty, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (a parent’s worst nightmare), and was given a 15% chance of survival. I began to pray for his recovery and begged God to spare his life. It was a very scary and dark time in my life. I even made a pact with God, if he let my son live, I would strive to be a better person for the rest of my life.
It took this traumatic event for me to begin to realize I was missing something in my life. A friend (who sits in Pew 3) asked if she could put our son’s name on the prayer list at her church and she invited me to come to worship. This began my “why”.
My church family has helped me through some very tough times–my mother’s passing and the unexpected death of my beloved husband—and I’m forever grateful for that.
I choose to give my time, talents, as well as monetarily to my church because I believe in what we do inside these walls as well as in our community and around the world. Sunday worship is very important to me. I treasure the fellowship, the contemporary and traditional music, Reverend David’s inspirational messages, and weekly communion. It sustains me throughout the week.
This past June, our son celebrated the thirteen-year anniversary of his successful stem cell transplant. I will be forever grateful to God and my church family and I will do my best to keep my end of the bargain I made with God some fourteen years ago.
I think John Wesley’s famous quote really says it all:
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
Pastor David’s powerful preaching and authenticity.
The focus on music of all kinds.
The powerful and strong youth who give me hope for a future.
You show up in the community as God’s “hands and feet” as opposed to only giving money.
His first church was the Evangelical Church at Leroy, Colorado. His ministry, much like this church, involved helping God’s children in need. He participated in roundups, harvesting crops and being the church circuit minister serving rural northeastern Colorado churches. He had the invocation at my Aunt Ilas 8th grade graduation at Harding grade school as she put it “in the middle of nowhere near Leroy, Colorado.”
Fast forward about 20 years, his oldest son Richard Gayley and my dad attended seminary together in Naperville, Illinois, becoming best friends for the rest of their lives. Dad Gayley was like the grandfather that I didn’t have and set an example of following God’s direction for my life, that I eventually listened to.
God has a plan. Here we are doing God’s work just like Dad Gayley. The Heart of Longmont reaches out to the needy children of God’s kingdom. You, the disciples of this church, are accepting of everyone as a unique child of God. And by doing so, are living by example of God’s love.
All of this creates in me the desire to be the BEST I can, doing WHAT I can, right here WHERE I can, every chance I get to do God’s will. Because, you, Heart of Longmont, have led by example. You have shown me that it takes all of our different skills, talents, time, resources, and willingness of working together to achieve our church’s missions.
Next month we will be starting the giving commitments and there will be a capital improvement next year to continue the important work we do here at this church. Everyone’s support is needed for both of these efforts.
I have wandered on my own path and now with God’s grace I have found my church home, here, surrounded by a family of disciples giving, showing and living their faith here and now.
Thanks be to God.
Why am I here at the Heart of Longmont? I came here nearly 10 years ago looking for a church. I was new in town. I knew no one. Yes, I felt rather lost. I was welcomed into this church. People actually talked with me. I was accepted for who I was even though my opinions did not always agree with others. Most people appreciate the work that I have done for the church through Kids Hope and the Outreach Committee.
I have been nurtured in my spiritual journey by those in my Sunday class and by our pastor. I am deeply grateful for the love and acceptance that I have received from the Congregation.
The community and global missions outreach.
The Sunday School program.
Learning about Christ
Of course the people