Meredith Dodd

Photo by Michaela Jackson

Meredith Dodd is a United Methodist pastor in the Pacific Northwest. Beginning this summer, she will serve as lead pastor at Bear Creek United Methodist Church in Woodinville, Wash.

Photo by Michaela Jackson

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To A Dying Church: We Cannot Escape Our Mortality

by Meredith Dodd 06-03-2014
Electrocardiogram, Eskemar /

Electrocardiogram, Eskemar /

Dear Church,

You are dying. I get it. Because so am I.

And, speaking as one of your pastors, I think this is a very good thing.

To be clear, I don’t have cancer. No doctor has told me to set my affairs in order. But each morning, I wake up feeling a little bit older. Each morning, I notice a few more crinkle lines around my eyes, a bit more resistance when I change what I eat or how I move. Each morning, I am reminded, whether I like it or not, of my own mortality.

I cannot escape my mortality. I will someday die. Scripture reminds us that “all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls” (1 Peter 1:24). I know that I am no exception to this rule; I am limited. And I live in a culture where the trend is to try to erase these limitations, where I can blur my wrinkles, try fad diets, renew my strength with the latest energy drink.

But these things are illusions. I am dying.