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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    Perspectives: Meet the DLTs

    Meet the DLTs: Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Quick

    November 12, 2019 / By Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Quick

    I’m Beth Quick, and I’m a member of the Northern Flow District Leadership Team. I’ve served as the pastor of the North Gouverneur and Gouverneur: First UMCs since 2016.

    I’ve been in pastoral ministry for 16 years, and I, like you, have seen the role of the church in society change significantly in that time. For pastors and congregations, we must learn new ways of being, new ways of doing ministry, new ways of leading and serving. Learning new things does not always come easily; in fact, sometimes the process of making change is quite painful! I love so many things about being a pastor and leading my congregations, but I also struggle to figure out how to help people engage in worship life, make a commitment to discipleship, and strive to love God and neighbor with heart, soul, mind, and strength.

    Our DLT got a bit of a late start, but we’ve been having deep conversations as we’ve tried to “catch up” to the other teams these last two years, and we’ve discussed the kinds of struggles I mention above, which many churches are facing. We’ve been talking about Intentional Discipleship Plans (IDPs), and especially wrestling with how we make IDPs more than plans-on-paper, nice words that don’t actually result in meaningful congregational change. We’ve been reminding ourselves to take our time. True congregational change doesn’t happen overnight. To shift a congregation’s culture, leaders need to make a long-term commitment. To that end, we’ve been working on a plan for a series of workshops to take place over the next two years that will help churches craft and implement and IDP step by step. We’re starting with our first workshops this fall, designed to assist congregations in pinpointing their “why.” Why are we doing this church thing? Why do we care if people come to worship? Follow Jesus? Are we interested in more than survival? Why?

    I tend to be the devil’s advocate of our group, and thankfully, the others put up with me! I am thankful for their relentless optimism and goodwill, and glad that I’ve developed connections with our teammates that make our work both more fruitful and more enjoyable.

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    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."