WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/674848

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annually with the church's team to dig wells and latrines to improve water quality and sanita- tion, or assist with education, food, clothing, and healthcare programs. A graduate of Westminster College and Boston University School of Theology, Rev. Melius grew up in Albany, New York. Two years ago, his son, Alex, died from a heroin overdose. "Alex was 30. When tragedy hap- pens so unexpectedly, it makes you realize how precious life is and think more about eternal life," says Rev. Melius. "I find myself talking to Alex and to my brother who died last year in his late 70s. Alex's death made me more sen- sitive to the pain others experience. "A high percentage of young adults, who the church would want to bring in, now find churches irrelevant or homophobic, or they think we dismiss science, or that we don't act in a Christ-like way, dismissing Muslims and others. They think we believe those who dis- agree will go to hell," says Rev. Melius. "But none of that is what we believe." In 2015, Weston UMC voted unanimously to become a "Reconciling" congregation, wel- coming everyone regardless of sexual orien- tation or gender identity. "We need to let people know who we are." he says. The Reverend Dr. Kevin Crispell Elmwood Chapel "It's no secret the millennial generation walked away from the church," says the Reverend Dr. Kevin Crispell. "The question we need to ask ourselves as ministers is why." Part of the answer, he contends, is "tremen- dous dissatisfaction with the institutional church, often because of its emphasis on making God in our own image. This led to a therapeutic approach to ministry — specifi- cally self-help solutions, which simply made people feel good about themselves. The church wasn't offering millennials something beyond the superficial," he says. "The contem- Our Religous Leaders 90 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 6

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