Celebrate all men on Father’s Day
Avoid unintended consequences
NASHVILLE––The Center for Men’s Ministries is calling on United Methodist congregations to declare Father’s Day (June 21) as their Annual Men’s Day.
The Rev. Dr. Rick Vance, director of the center at the General Commission on United Methodist Men, recalls the difficulties of celebrating Father’s Day while serving as pastor of local churches in Delaware:
“Men would tell me of challenges relating to Father’s Day. Some had no children and others had lost their fathers. Some lacked a positive father figure in their life.
“As one who does not have children and whose father died when I was 19, I understood their struggle.”
In order to avoid unintended consequences of making some men uneasy on Father’s Day, Vance suggests the day be changed to Men’s Day,
“As I reflect on what a father is, I have come to understand that a father is a man who choses to be an influencer in another’s life. As a young man of 20, men in my local United Methodist Church lived out a promise to support me along my journey to adulthood. They taught me how to be a real Christian man in the world. The supported me as I struggled to answer my call into ministry and continued to support me while I was in seminary. Even today, I get calls for some of these men telling me they are praying for me and they are proud of the ministry God is doing through me.
“While not biological fathers, these men have been my church fathers. “
Vance calls on United Methodist congregations to make the Sunday more than a celebration of biological fatherhood. “Use this as a day to celebrate the men in the church who are offering wisdom and being grandfathers to young people. Celebrate men who are walking beside others who are struggling. Celebrate the men who are going the extra mile to be the hand, feet and face of Christ to people in your church.”
The Center for Men’s Ministries has a worship resource including a video to aid in the celebration. The GCUMM store also has challenge coins and other gifts that could be given to recognize men in your life and the life of the church.
If you are looking for resources for men’s ministry in your church please contact the Center for Men’s Ministry at (615) 620-7277 or email Vance.
Happy Father’s Day.