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Rev. Dr. Myron F. McCoy

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 1982

Senior Pastor, First United Methodist at the Chicago Temple, Chicago, Illinois

Rev. Dr. Myron F. McCoy captures the essence of his ministry in three words: adaptive, steward, and bridge-builder. He stresses the need to be adaptive, acknowledging that everywhere he has served, he has pushed organizations to think beyond what they know today and how they can be relevant for the future. As a steward, he searches for how organizations can, instead of burying their talents, make something more from them while at the same time recognizing the gifts they begin with. Finally, as a bridge-builder, he builds connections between church and community, across various theological spectrums, and among people with different levels of education. In this final appointment, he has been able to connect with community, government, and a multi-racial and multi-economic congregation. He considers ways to minister in a context with so much diversity: “At a congregation like this, I have to understand different languages, embrace multiple theologies, and speak in different dialects.”

This type of diversity is an important motivator for Rev. McCoy in his ministry: “Christianity is not Christianity if I cannot embrace my brother or sister who may be different from me.” He fights against the tendency toward exclusivity in his congregation through education, ecumenical relationships, and interfaith work, noting that, “We may address God differently, but we’re all living in the same world and it’s going to take all of us to confront our common problems and challenges together.” Rev. McCoy is most inspired by leaders who are able to unite diverse groups in a common purpose:

“You see people like Dr. King who could corral Catholics and Jews to join him in the struggle for justice, and you see the same kind of sentiment in this present-day Pope . . . how do we move beyond our own particular ghettos of particularity and recognize the universality of God’s love for all?”

For Rev. McCoy, the challenge is in being fully Methodist in an ecumenical space and fully Christian in an interfaith space. He is comfortable living in that tension and seeks to help others maintain their own strong identity in the midst of it, and to embrace “the particularity of following Jesus in what has always been a plural world.”

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