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Pastor Parcel is concerned about the state of our nation

Person A and Person B need to agree on the essentials

Brian Parcel: “We have lost the ability to converse with one another.”
Brian Parcel: “We have lost the ability to converse with one another.”
Place

First United Methodist Church of Chula Vista

1200 East H Street, Chula Vista

First United Methodist Church

Membership: 650

Pastor: Brian T. Parcel

Age: 42

Born: Taft

Formation: Louisiana, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA; Claremont School of Theology

Years Ordained: 16

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Pastor Brian Parcel: I spend probably about ten hours a week on sermon preparation. I try to help folks understand the Bible in such a way that they can place themselves and their life issues into the Biblical story, and therefore be able to discover life’s answers for themselves from the biblical story.

SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

PP: The kingdom of God. God is constantly fashioning this world according to the ways and values of God. That’s not something that is going to happen someday, but that is God’s mission — to make that happen today. We have a part in enjoying that and a responsibility to help make that true in our lives and the lives of people around us.

SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?

PP: A huge concern right now is the state of our nation. This political season has been very divisive. It has divided political parties, along racial lines, churches, communities, and families. Just about any way we can be divided we have. We have lost the ability to converse with one another. Person A has his ideas and Person B has his ideas, and there’s no way of meeting in the middle and converse with one another without demonizing the other person…. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, appreciated a saying by a group called the Moravians: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love.” It still rings true within Methodism….We have to get to a place where we agree on what the essentials are and allow one another to be free in all the other decisions we make that are non-essential.

SDR: What’s the mission of your church?

PP: Our mission is to make new and stronger disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. There are on any given week hundreds of people from our congregation involved in work to make the community a better place, whether that’s through feeding people, clothing people, teaching kids, or going on mission trips to foreign countries or working with the homeless.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PP: Our spirit lives forever and our bodies return, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, to the ground. We believe that eternal life begins now. When you give your life to Christ and live as a child of God, you are connected to God from that moment forever. Our life here on Earth may die but our spirit is forever united with God. We believe that God is a God of grace. No one can answer the question, but God’s grace is certainly beyond our understanding. We may get there some day and discover, in life and death, that God’s grace is beyond whatever we can imagine. Perhaps someone who never gave his or her life to Christ or never had the opportunity to give his or her life to Christ would live with God in spirit forever. I hope that’s the way it is. We don’t talk about hell much; I would say the best definition we would give is to say hell is being separated from God.

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Brian Parcel: “We have lost the ability to converse with one another.”
Brian Parcel: “We have lost the ability to converse with one another.”
Place

First United Methodist Church of Chula Vista

1200 East H Street, Chula Vista

First United Methodist Church

Membership: 650

Pastor: Brian T. Parcel

Age: 42

Born: Taft

Formation: Louisiana, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA; Claremont School of Theology

Years Ordained: 16

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Pastor Brian Parcel: I spend probably about ten hours a week on sermon preparation. I try to help folks understand the Bible in such a way that they can place themselves and their life issues into the Biblical story, and therefore be able to discover life’s answers for themselves from the biblical story.

SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

PP: The kingdom of God. God is constantly fashioning this world according to the ways and values of God. That’s not something that is going to happen someday, but that is God’s mission — to make that happen today. We have a part in enjoying that and a responsibility to help make that true in our lives and the lives of people around us.

SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?

PP: A huge concern right now is the state of our nation. This political season has been very divisive. It has divided political parties, along racial lines, churches, communities, and families. Just about any way we can be divided we have. We have lost the ability to converse with one another. Person A has his ideas and Person B has his ideas, and there’s no way of meeting in the middle and converse with one another without demonizing the other person…. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, appreciated a saying by a group called the Moravians: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love.” It still rings true within Methodism….We have to get to a place where we agree on what the essentials are and allow one another to be free in all the other decisions we make that are non-essential.

SDR: What’s the mission of your church?

PP: Our mission is to make new and stronger disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. There are on any given week hundreds of people from our congregation involved in work to make the community a better place, whether that’s through feeding people, clothing people, teaching kids, or going on mission trips to foreign countries or working with the homeless.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PP: Our spirit lives forever and our bodies return, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, to the ground. We believe that eternal life begins now. When you give your life to Christ and live as a child of God, you are connected to God from that moment forever. Our life here on Earth may die but our spirit is forever united with God. We believe that God is a God of grace. No one can answer the question, but God’s grace is certainly beyond our understanding. We may get there some day and discover, in life and death, that God’s grace is beyond whatever we can imagine. Perhaps someone who never gave his or her life to Christ or never had the opportunity to give his or her life to Christ would live with God in spirit forever. I hope that’s the way it is. We don’t talk about hell much; I would say the best definition we would give is to say hell is being separated from God.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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