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

Following Entails Journeying

Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how…” Read Mark 8:34-38

Winter drags on. I am rather tired of winter. I’m not too good at cold weather, grey skies, biting winds, snow shoveling, waiting for the car to warm, bundling up, Kleenex, coughs and the like. It is so easy for me to want to rush into spring, warmer weather, bluer skies, gentler winds, cleansing rains, warm sun, outward signs of life. But today, after a blanket of snow, I looked out of the window and was taken by the beauty of it. What had been a sloppy mess was covered in a blanket of white, hiding all that the spring melt will eventually reveal. It was a good reminder for me to simply enjoy every moment for what it is, not always what we might wish it to be.

As we begin our Lenten journeys, I also hear reminders encouraging us not to rush into Easter. Jesus asked all of his listeners to consider the costs of discipleship. It must have given the original listeners as much pause as it gives us today to hear the words, “If anyone would come after me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” We tend to look just at the goal, and put aside all of the moments in between the beginning and the ultimate triumph in the end. Following entails journeying. Let us not lose sight of all the encounters brought our way. Jesus led a life of encounters. It is the stories of those encounters that slowly exposed who he was to all who met him on the way.

Just as the slowly melting snow will expose the birth of new life to the creation that so majestically surrounds us, I pray your Lenten pilgrimage will slowly reveal Jesus to you once again. For I think you will find that at Easter, when the snow melts and we notice that new life has been about its business unobserved, you will find new life present for you as well. Life is full of pleasant surprises. I even find that I like the appearance of snow today.

Keeping the faith,

Pastor Clark

Graves are Empty Spaces

“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices so they could embalm him. Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, “Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?” Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back- it was a huge stone - and walked right in…”  
Mark 16:1-4

Gandhi wrote that “to conceal ignorance is to increase it.” The stone was rolled back revealing what was once locked inside. And the great reveal of Easter is essentially an empty space. A space that we long to see for ourselves, a grave emptied out. It is revealing an emptiness that has spoken to believers for centuries. Death is now an empty place. Revealed as powerless to hold life forevermore.

We see this truth revealed to us in many ways as creation reawakens in the beauty of spring. Transformations abound around us. What once appeared lifeless, reveals new life that was about its business unobserved in the cold of winter. In the dawn of a new day, stones are rolled back and new life is apparent for all who have the eyes to see it.

So much of the source of life is hidden from our view for a bit. Yet that does not mean that it does not exist. In fact, faith is our handle on what we can’t see. Jesus told us not to be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open and everyone will know how things really are. Stones are rocking and rolling, allowing us all peeks into things we haven’t seen before. All cool. But know this, in this season of spring and a return to new life…life wins. Graves are empty places. Even mine, even yours! Thanks be to God…

Oh happy day,

Pastor Clark

About Pastor Stein

Pastor Stein is a graduate of Kent State University with a BA in Telecommunications. In 1992 he was ordained Deacon from Methodist Theological School in Ohio and then as Elder two years later. He comes to Brecksville United Methodist Church from Hope Ridge United Methodist Church, serving in the same capacity since 2003. Previous appointments include Granger, Aurora, and Boardman United Methodist churches.

In service to the Conference, Pastor Clark has been Chair of the Editorial Board, served on the Board of Communications, the Leadership Committee for Communications, the Akron District and Western Reserve District Committees on Ministry, and has been Chair of the Board of Trustees for the East Ohio Conference Peace with Justice Project.

Pastor Clark is married, has four children, and loves to spend time with his family as well as being in the company of other people. His passions include music, movies, sports and fishing, or a good fish story!