As a kid, Ben Burt was no shy wallflower. You could always count on him to pipe up with great answers. Now he’s being ordained, and he credits the Christian nurturing at PUMC. These are excerpts from his letter sent, in appreciation, to the congregation.
My name is Ben Burt, better known as that little hooligan son of Fred and Vivian Burt. For the most part, I have not been a physical part of your congregation since 1997, when I went off to college. However, my name remained on the roll of PUMC from many years after I left.
After I left Princeton I struggled to find a church home and I never wanted to move my membership. I never encountered a place as welcoming, comfortable, and beautiful as PUMC. . . .
I am sending you this letter to inform you that I am up for ordination as an Elder in full connection at the South Carolina Annual Conference on June 2nd.
Moreover than your presence at this service, it is important to me that you know you are invited to be there. To some end you will already be there, through all you poured into me. You, Princeton United Methodist Church, are the reason I am where I am today. Sure, from a theological perspective we can say God would have gotten me to where ever God wanted me, regardless of my or other’s actions; God got Jonah to Nineveh. However, I believe God wanted me to be nurtured by Princeton UMC.
You all are an amazing congregation. Even though I was just a punk kid, who didn’t listen (and my wife might agree that I still don’t listen), you all poured the love of Christ into me. You nurtured and taught me the tradition of the Church. You let me experience the community of love that Scripture calls the Church to be. It was what you all instilled in me that God used to draw me deeper into service. I do not know if I would have the same love for the Church if I had not had such an amazing childhood within your walls.
I do not know what children are in your nursery these days, but I am happy for them. Those kids might grow up to be doctors, lawyers, or even bishops. No matter what they grow up to be I am sure they will know an amazing God through the loving community of PUMC.
Here is the complete text of Ben’s letter. It includes his contact info. Send him warm wishes and prayers!