This was published in the Fall edition of Wellsprings the newsletter of the SC Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service.
In August Of 2007 I made a wrong turn and saw a sign outside Trinity United Methodist Church, Praise Service, Mondays at 7PM. I always felt it was the Holy Spirit who directed me. My mom had recently passed away and I was really missing the support of a small loving community like my former prayer group. I decided to try it since the nearest charismatic prayer group required a 90 mile round trip.
It was a small welcoming community maybe 30 people a night and it turned out to be as close as I would find to a prayer meeting. They sang much of the same music as my old prayer group an there always was a good message. The minister, Ed Daniel who led the praise team, seemed especially inspired by the Holy Spirit. He also led a Bible Study on Tuesday night using one of my favorite authors, Max Lucado.
Every morning I went to daily mass and 2 evenings a week I went to Trinity United Methodist Church. I heard a lot of messages and rarely heard anything that contradicted my Catholic faith. The only example I recall was the minister referring to the brothers of Jesus and I just shook my head. I frequently had the opportunity to explain Catholic teaching many times. People were amazed at how much our faiths had in common.
I was privileged to teach a 3 week study on healing prayer using a short book written by a Catholic and got to explain the Catholic belief in the Real Presence of the Eucharist. I also prayed over people rather frequently after that.
One thing we started was a monthly healing service at the Monday Praise Service. It must have looked funny to outsiders; 2 Methodist Ministers and a Catholic Charismatic laying hands on Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists at a Methodist service.
I learned a lot from my experiences at Trinity United Methodist. We share a lot in common. There’s a love of Christ, a desire to know God better, to grow in our relationship with the Lord. We share a desire to better serve the God who loves us. We share a belief in a God who passionately loves us and wants what is best for us, a God who is doing everything possible to draw people to Himself in love.
We share our brokenness. We are weak, imperfect people. We’ve hurt ourselves and others with our sins and have been hurt by others. All of us have been wounded in some way and all of us need healing (to quote Ed) “in mind, body or soul”.
I found people who were open to learning about the Catholic faith, willing to listen. They might not have changed their minds but they were willing to listen and to grow.
I have been privileged to learn about prayer from another perspective, to lead prayer as part of a Bible Study and to pray with and for people. I am also blessed to have people who will pray for me and my friends to be part of a prayer chain that starts as soon as someone can forward an email. I was truly blessed in August of 2007 when I made the wrong turn.