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Being the Church with Larry McKinley

Larry McKinley has been serving as Andrew Chapel’s lay leader this year, and while it’s not his first time serving in this role it has given him a fresh perspective on how Andrew Chapel is active and alive. He takes his job as a listener and advocate for the members of the church in earnest.

Larry says his upbringing and participation in youth group (United Methodist Youth Fellowship) both as a student and leader helped him to realize his gift of being the church by connecting with others. Having grown past the days of youth group, today he enjoys coming on Sunday mornings and staying active in the ministries of the church so that he can foster a sense of companionship and support to those in need; both in and outside of our doors. Anyone who gets an opportunity to meet Larry on a Sunday morning quickly feels his flair for hospitality through his warm, gregarious personality.

Other days of the week, he is very active in the community regularly volunteering as a mentor at Cunningham Park Elementary, a docent at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air & Space Museum Annex, a historian with the Sons of the American Revolution and Virginia Senior Chaplain for the Children of the American Revolution. All of these activities feed his personal sense of Being the Church because of the opportunity he has to be an inspiring adult role model to children and to encourage them to exercise their God-given imaginations and sense of wonder. He sees his patriotism and enthusiasm for History as an opportunity to remind kids that all people in our country are part of our family and in America everyone is welcome¬—just like Jesus welcomes all into his family.

We asked Larry to share three small things he thinks anyone can do to Be the Church in the world and here’s what he had to share:
1. Invite neighbors and friends to church, take care to do so without expectation.
2. Speak up where you see a gap big or small—and hand in hand with this, help to work together toward a solution.
3. Demonstrate flexibility and be more accepting—approach your interactions in the world with new morning mercies, letting go of sins of the past and being open-minded to new people and ideas.