Thomas E. Board

Church

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My wife had been attending Trinity United Methodist Church in Wilmette, Illinois for about three years when, in the summer of 1994, she asked if I might be interested in singing in the church's "summer choir." The Trinity Chancel Choir didn't sing during the summer, so the choirmaster asked for volunteers to offer music together as an ensemble twice during the summer months. I know now that this is a tactic to attract persons to sing in the Chancel Choir, but in 1994 I thought it would be fun. I liked to sing, so why not?

I enjoyed the experience enough to say on with the Chancel Choir as September began. Several members of the choir were not members of the church, so I did not feel like an extra wheel. However, because the choir sat in front of the church in the chancel before the alter, I had to at least look interested in the proceedings. This led me to become attentive to the messages of the sermons and the life of the congregation generally, such as participating in a monthly soup kitchen ministry. Then one Sunday in November, as we were recording our attendence in the pew booklets, I found myself checking "wish to join this church." The next Sunday, our pastor spoke to me about my interest. Due to my lack of prior church involvement, he suggested some reading to me and asked that we talk occasionally. By April I was prepared - and our pastor was, too. That same month, I was baptised, accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and joined the United Methodist Church.

I became even more engaged with Trinity UMC within only a few weeks. The Nominating Committee asked if I would head up the Mission and Evangelism Committee. In that role, I was in charge of contacting visitors to Trinity and encouraging mission and persons joining the congregation. I had a very rewarding experience in that role. Beyond that, I have had other roles:

Outside of church activities proper, I study Scripture, the history of early church thought and the history and theology of the Methodist movement.


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