Welcome to Brecksville United Methodist Church

Have you heard about Brecksville United Methodist Church?  We are a medium-sized congregation right on the square in downtown Brecksville.  We are all about sharing lives of faithfulness, mutual support, spiritual growth, and service to the community.

Our doors are open to everyone. Whatever your gender, age, race, background, vocation, orientation or belief system, we invite you to come and experience God’s grace with us!

If you’re not active in a local place of worship, come and spend some time with us!

Peace and Blessings, Pastor Clark

September's Message From the Pastor

I’ve been at Brecksville UMC for a little over a month and a half. In that time, I’ve gotten to know a lot of people during nine Home Gatherings. I’m thankful so many of you were willing to authentically share with me your hopes and concerns for Brecksville UMC. I’ve been reading through your answer papers and appreciate all your feedback! Here’s a little recap of what I learned…

Brecksville UMC Strengths:

  • The people: supportive church family & wonderful staff!

  • The building and its central location

  • The music program

  • The multitude of mission and community outreach opportunities

  • A welcoming atmosphere

  • Brecksville UMC Weaknesses:
    • Lack of young people/families

    • Our core group of volunteers is small (20% of the people doing 80% of the work)

    • Lack of fellowship opportunities

    • Lack of hospitality

    • The building is old/expensive, land-locked, and main floor layout needs reworking

    • As you can see, some items/areas are on both lists, and it makes sense. Our building and its location are huge assets (we have no mortgage!) but it’s also older and needs continual updating. As a church, we are welcoming, but at the same time need to work on our hospitality. The people who are here are super fantastic, but overall we have an older population.

      A few things that were talked about at every Home Gathering…
      • Concern about the uncertainty of The United Methodist Church.

      • Lack of young people/families.

      • Worship: styles, times, etc.—you name it, we talked about it!

      • Creating a more welcoming & inclusive church community.

      • So. Wanna know what I see in all of this? A vision. A focus. I’ve had the unique opportunity over the past month and a half to be an outsider looking in, learning and observing. So, from that viewpoint, I’m going to tell you what I see: I see Brecksville United Methodist Church continuing to become an intentionally inclusive community of believers that is reaching new people with the love of Christ. That is who you already are, but of course there’s always work to be done.

        Now. That statement is just a starting point. There are some seriously “loaded” words that will take some fleshing out (“What does it mean to be inclusive?” “Why say ‘reaching’ rather than ‘attracting?’). That’s where you come in. I’m not just going to tell you what our vision is. That would be silly. It needs to come from you. You need to own it.

        In the weeks to come there will be many opportunities to share thoughts and discuss where we see God leading BUMC in the future. The first will be our “650 Prayer Gathering” on 9/5 @ 6:45 pm. We will share how we each heard God speaking through the 650 prayer. At the September Church Council meeting (date TBA) we will dig into the statement above and see where God takes us. Then we’ll see what we need from there.

        One thing I know, a focus on younger adults is needed.  We already have younger people—we just need to gather them.  That’s something I want to work on, starting with my “Not Your Mother’s Sunday School.”

        At every Home Gathering I asked the same question: “Are you willing to change in order to make space for new (younger, more diverse) people?” The answer to this question will be our greatest obstacle or our greatest asset. Over and over again I got a variation on the same answer: “Yes... well, we better be, because what we’re doing isn’t working!” This is our greatest asset—realizing that while we are the on-the-ground workers, this is God’s church, and we must be open to where God is leading us. Not for our own sake or for the sake of this church, but for the sake of God and God’s kin-dom.

        It has been a joy to get to know so many of you in such a short amount of time. And guys… I have to tell you. I am SO. EXCITED. To the point that I get chills even thinking about it. If we continue to listen to where God is leading, God has some pretty amazing things in store for us—possibilities we haven’t even imagined yet!

About Rev. Heidi Welch

Pastor Heidi was in her third year of service at Medina United Methodist Church when she was ordained by the United Methodist Church. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Youngstown State University and a Master of Divinity from Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Her ministry experience also includes Johnsonville Grace and Steam Corners UMCs.

In service to the Conference, Pastor Heidi has served as District Representative to Commission on the Status and Role of Women and the District Committee on Ordained Ministry, both in the Canal District.

Pastor Heidi is married, and has two children, Joseph and Cornelia. The family includes a boxer named Hans. Her husband, Rasul's, parents were Heidi's pastors when she was growing up - but that's not how they met. Ask her to tell you the story sometime!

Pastor Heidi says, "I'm excited to see what God can do with us and through us as we work together to bring God's kin-dom on earth!"