The first full day of the World Methodist Conference began with beautiful music and a compelling message from Rev. Rudy Rasmus, of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Downtown Houston within the Texas Annual Conference.
Rev. Rasmus shared his story of being brought to the church as a non-believer by his wife, Rev. Juanita Rasmus. Then, he was mentored by Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell and many others. As he put it, his church, Windsor Village United Methodist Church, “loved him into ministry.”
He shared his wish that John Wesley were here today to see his church and to remind us all of his Sermon 139 On Love.
“That sermon is why I am a Wesleyan. Love is the theological and ethical foundation of our faith,” shares Pastor Rudy. He pointed out the current divisions in our church and that the last time we divided was over slavery. “Although, we divided we came together again through Jesus Christ.”
He repeated the parable of the Samaritan and pointed out that Jesus identified the most unlikely person to be the hero of that narrative. It was out of love that the Samaritan crossed the street to care for a man in need. It is that love that the world hungers for today. He opines that some people were upset by the Samaritan’s actions because it was disruptive.
People are asking of the church, “do you love me,” not about our polity or rules. His question is, “Where can we as a church apply love as a disruptive force in our own communities.”
He moved from a call for the church to a call for personal accountability with the question, “What six words will be said about you in your eulogy.”