As Pastor Sandi goes forward to her next adventure,
we welcome Rev. David Hodsdon to Wesley Chapel
To: The members and friends of Wesley Chapel
United Methodist Church, Urbana, MD.
A Letter of Introduction
As I prepare to enter your company as your newly
appointed servant leader, my prayer for you is the grace
and peace of Christ, granting you strength as you seek to share the love of God in our communities.
After first serving as licensed clergy, I was ordained, as deacon (1995), then as elder (1997), in the Yellowstone Annual Conference. Throughout my fourteen years there, I served (full-time) small multi-point charges. While in my third appointment, a three point charge, in northeast Montana, I advised my District Superintendent of conversations with my sister. She had been advising me regarding the emerging health needs of my parents, and of her wish that I could be closer to help coordinate their care. Later, I advised my District Superintendent of my need for family leave, and two months later moved back to Maryland.
After returning to this area, I first made my church home at Oakdale-Emory United Methodist Church. It was there that I met Bonnie, and we were married about a year later. Not very long after my move, the district superintendent offered me the opportunity to serve (half-time) the Hyattstown United Methodist Church, an appointment I gratefully accepted. Two years later Clarksburg United Methodist Church was added to my charge, though the total remained a half-time appointment. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work along-side the good people of both of these churches. I served both churches all the way through the pandemic, and until Hyattstown UMC decided to discontinue at the end of last year.
I grew up “in the church”. Though not clergy, my grandparents figure prominently in my spiritual formation. One grandmother taught me the Lord’s Prayer. One grandfather modeled Christian service for us, making audio recordings of worship services and taking them to share with home-bound members of the church.
I remember during my teens, in conversation with my other grandmother, commenting that I wished I could read the scriptures in Greek and Hebrew. Though she replied (correctly!) that such ability was not needed (any good English translation may serve us well), I believe that was part of my journey even then; the Spirit guiding me toward what eventually I would study in college.
Today it distresses me greatly when I see people weaponizing verses from the Bible. In scripture we find the “wonderful words of life”; through them we come to see and begin to understand the ministry of Christ, who was in our midst not to condemn us but, instead, embodying the love of God. As the Holy Spirit guides us, these pages can be a lamp for the path of our discipleship journey.
I believe that in varying degrees, everyone is “wounded”; that is why we need Christ as our great-physician. I believe the scriptures always should be approached as Christ taught, seeking to understand how they point us to him. They are the the guiding documents of our faith. We take them seriously. We understand them to be inspired, and handle them with respect. Through them, we will become equipped so that we may do the work God has prepared for us to do.
What family does not have disagreements? They are part of our long history as Christians, from the very earliest centuries of the Faith. Along the way we will continue to have disagreements. We will continue to disagree, not only with one-another, but sometimes also with the text itself. I believe that disagreement is unavoidable, and okay - as long as we persevere in love and humility. Disagreement may be a blessing through which we learn and grow. Seeking to keep in step with the
Spirit, “we will understand it better by and by”.
Know that I am looking forward to meeting you, and beginning our journey together of discerning the work God is putting in front of us for our faithful stewardship. Next time, I will try to keep it shorter. I look forward to getting to know you, and to know all about you. I hope to see you soon!
~ Pastor Dave
If you want to reach out to the church or have a prayer request
feel free to send your message to e-mail below
Pastor: David W. Hodsdon
Mail: 4227 Headwaters Lane, Olney, MD 20832
You can also hear our message at:
Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church
3519 Urbana Pike
Telephone: (301) 663-4956