Waiting on God: David, Saul and the Next Methodism

By Joseph F. DiPaolo I hate to wait. Nothing tests my submission to the Holy Spirit like being stuck in a traffic jam on the Schuylkill Expressway, or waiting on a slow cashier in a long line at the supermarket. Many faithful United Methodists are having a hard time waiting these days. In the wake […]

Centrists, Progressives, and Traditionalists Work Toward a Fair Plan of Separation

By Keith Boyette August 14, 2019 In the aftermath of the 2019 Special General Conference, people across The United Methodist Church have wondered, “What now?” The General Conference decided. Some vehemently disagreed. Statements of defiance were issued. Acts of resistance continue to occur. And new groups have emerged (e.g., UM Next and UM Forward). Looming […]

Disaffiliation Legislation Likely Invalid

By Keith Boyette August 12, 2019 The 2019 Special General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted a new provision of the Book of Discipline, paragraph 2553, providing a process by which local churches could disaffiliate or exit from the denomination, released from the terms of the trust imposed on property of the local church. […]

Deacons: Showing Up and Getting Things Done

By Janet Lord August 9, 2019 It happens rarely, but often enough that I should know to expect it. Twice a year I coordinate an Orientation to Ministry event for people who are sensing a call to ministry, but still trying to work out what that might mean. Heather (not her real name) had signed […]

What If . . . ?

By Keith Boyette July 26th, 2019 These are exciting days to be a Christ-follower who is committed to the historic Christian faith in the Wesleyan tradition. I know that there is much that we would want to be different in The United Methodist Church. The rumors, innuendo, misrepresentations of truth, and partisan attacks can distract […]

Some Clarifications on Apportionments are in Order

By Walter Fenton Whatever else you think of the Rev. Mark Holland, Executive Director of Mainstream UMC, the man does love his colored maps. And to be clear his maps are invariably ones of just The United Methodist Church in the U.S., ignoring more than 40 percent of our global church’s membership. In Holland’s world, […]

Minneapolis Calmly Considered

By Joseph F. DiPaolo Now that General Conference delegate elections in the U.S. are over, perhaps it is time to consider what it all means for the impending General Conference to convene in Minneapolis in May 2020. It is clear that progressives made some gains, displacing perhaps 15-20 percent of the U.S. delegate spots held […]

Rev. Carolyn Moore

Pure Grace: Wesley’s Take on Supernatural Ministry

By Carolyn Moore July 12, 2019 I’ve become convinced that Jesus’ anointing and commission in Luke 9:1-2 is a key passage for understanding Jesus’ intentions for the Body of Christ on earth. This commission to take authority to cast out all demons, cure diseases, proclaim the Kingdom and heal the sick became the marching orders […]

Fun with Math

By Chappell Temple July 9, 2019 He attributed the phrase to Benjamin Disraeli, but you won’t actually find it in any of his works. But in speaking to the power of numbers to bolster an otherwise weak argument, Mark Twain was probably correct to say that there are three kinds of untruths:  “lies, damn lies, and […]

Groundhog Day

By Keith Boyette June 28, 2019 Delegates to the 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church in Minneapolis might just feel like they are starring in a sequel to the classic movie “Groundhog Day.” Bill Murray, as a weatherman named Phil, inexplicably finds himself living the same day over and over again. From May […]

About That Pension Proposal at the Special General Conference

By Walter Fenton June 25, 2019 There are many essays people draw our attention to that just cause us to roll our eyes and move on. Initially, the Rev. Lloyd Nyarota’s recent commentary posted  at United Methodist Insight fell into that category. Nyarota, a United Methodist pastor serving a United Church of Canada congregation in the province […]

Letters to the Churches

By Keith Boyette During this turbulent and chaotic season in the life of The United Methodist Church, I have found direction, encouragement and strength in the letters to the churches in Revelation (see chapters two and three). The churches are a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly — not unlike the ecclesial […]

Why Do I Continue to Believe in God?

By Nako Kellum June 18, 2019 I asked myself this question as I was listening to Maybe God, a podcast in which Rev. Eric Huffman interviewed Mr. Bart Campolo, the Rev.Tony Campolo’s son. In the interview, Mr. Campolo stated that he had become a secular humanist, giving up on God, because his prayers repeatedly went […]

Rev. Carolyn Moore

Thoughts on the Way to Annual Conference

By Rev. Carolyn Moore June 14, 2019 I practice ministry as a theologically conservative and socially engaged Methodist. I preach that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the universe — the way, the truth and the life, the exclusive path to God our Father. I believe these are the headwaters of orthodoxy and that unless […]

God Will Provide?

By Leslie S. Tomlinson June 11, 2019 As a denomination that has been searching for a way forward for decades, many United Methodists are growing weary of the possibilities. As a pastor halfway through a tense annual conference, it can feel like we are groping around in the dark with no guiding light. It helps […]

The Priesthood of All Believers

By Keith Boyette  June 7, 2019 When delegates were apportioned for the 2020 General Conference, the professing membership of The United Methodist Church worldwide was reported as 12,557,214. Clergy membership for the same purpose was reported as 56,055. There will be 862 delegates when General Conference 2020 meets in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 5-15. One-half […]

Yearning for a Better Way

June 4, 2019 Last month the Wesleyan Covenant Association announced the creation of the Central Conference Ministry Fund. It is specifically designed to support United Methodist ministries in Africa, Europe, the Philippines, and Russia that some U.S. annual conferences and local churches said they could no longer fund. These conferences and congregations are withdrawing their […]

You’re Invited to the Fourth Global Gathering

Dear Members and Friends of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, It is my privilege to invite you to the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Fourth Global Gathering to be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We welcome your attendance at our host site or at one of the many simulcast […]

Late to the Resistance

By Walter Fenton May 28, 2019 One of the most significant outcomes of last week’s gathering held at the Rev. Adam Hamilton’s United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (Leawood, Kansas) is word that some centrists have now decided to join the resistance. In an interview with KSHB News (Kansas City, Missouri), Hamilton noted participants at […]

Transformation in Christian Community

By Garry Ingraham May 24, 2019 As a man who once fully identified with the LGBTQ+ community and embraced homosexuality as an identity I have also experienced the power of a God who never gives up and a God who insists on working through His imperfect sons and daughters to love powerfully, restoring all kinds […]

A Cautionary Tale

By Jeff Greenway May 21, 2019 A lot can happen in five years. In 2014, the call for unity was strong within The United Methodist Church and persons who spoke about the growing division because of our deeply held differences were called schismatic. In 2019, growing numbers of leaders from across the UM Church are […]

WCA Launches Mission Fund for Threatened Global Ministries

By Keith Boyette May 17, 2019 The 2019 special General Conference was hardly over before a number of leading moderate and progressive pastors and organizations either announced suspension of financial support for ministry initiatives in the central conferences of The United Methodist Church or expressed reservations about continuing with such support. In a March 1 […]

What Does It Look Like When Wesleyans Embrace Supernatural Ministry?

By Carolyn Moore April 14, 2019 Thomas Jefferson once took a penknife and cut most of the miracle stories out of the Bible, leaving only the teachings of Jesus. He included the tomb but cut out the resurrection. What was left, mostly the teachings of Jesus, Jefferson entitled, “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth.” What […]

A Poor Renewal

By Erik Grayson May 10, 2019 The crusty South African bishop crowed that when a church loses the poor, it loses the gospel. As a seminary student interning in Johannesburg I found poverty around every corner. Able-bodied men laid out on street medians just waiting to be hired. Refugees pawning for money to start handicraft […]

Can Churches Depart The United Methodist Church with Their Property?

By Keith Boyette May 3, 2019 According to The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline, all local United Methodist churches hold their properties, real and personal, tangible and intangible, in trust for the benefit of the general church. Typically that means that if a local congregation decides to withdraw from the denomination, it must leave […]

Legislation to Restore Church’s Order Constitutional – What Now?

By Keith Boyette April 30, 2019 On Friday, April 26, the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church issued its much anticipated decision on the constitutionality of the Traditional Plan (TP) adopted by the special General Conference in February. The plan’s opponents were confident the Judicial Council (JC) would rule the plan unconstitutional arguing that […]

Traditional Plan and Exit Provision Are Constitutional

In two separate rulings, The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council (its “Supreme Court”) has rejected the argument that the entire Traditional Plan (TP) adopted at the 2019 special General Conference is unconstitutional, and it has also ruled that a local church exit plan is constitutional. The nine-member Judicial Council (JC) said the General Conference delegates […]

Embracing Your Moment

By Jody Ray April 23, 2019 Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed. —Sister Mary Corita Kent We all face painful, difficult, even gut-wrenching situations in life. The length of these moments is often determined by how we respond to them. When we choose to move forward in faith […]

Crucified with Christ!

By Keith Boyette April 19, 2019 Permit me a personal moment of celebration. After the devastation of being the first number one seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to lose to a sixteenth seed in 2018, the University of Virginia Cavaliers triumphed over March Madness as the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball champions. Amazing turnaround! […]

Desperation: What Miracles Are Made Of

By Jessica LaGrone April 16, 2019 Desperation isn’t a popular state of being. No one wants to be the last girl without a date for prom when all her friends have been asked, the person sending a hundredth resume for jobs he or she really needs, the guy on the corner with the sign that […]

The Glue That Binds Us Together

By Keith Boyette April 12, 2019 Along with our emphasis on the grace of God, connectionalism is a key distinctive of The United Methodist Church. Connectionalism involves a large body in making key decisions after a process of holy conferencing, culminating in a decision of the General Conference, the only body that can speak authoritatively […]

Proposed Budget Cuts Add to UM Church’s Challenges

By Walter Fenton April 9, 2019 A recent article by United Methodist News Service reporter Heather Hahn deserves close attention as United Methodists ponder their options after the tumultuous special General Conference earlier this year. According to Hahn, The United Methodist Church’s financial and administrative bodies have proposed a drastic 18.3 percent cut to the […]

LGBTQ+ People Are Welcome in The United Methodist Church

By Keith Boyette April 5, 2019 At its November 2018 Global Legislative Assembly, the Wesleyan Covenant Association adopted a “Statement Offering Radical Hospitality and Genuine Community.” The statement declares, “We long for and are working for a church that offers radical hospitality and genuine community to all persons. While we affirm the orthodox, biblical view […]

Plan for Separation Gains Adherents

By Walter Fenton April 2, 2019 For some time some United Methodist traditionalists have said a plan of separation is the only healthy way to resolve The United Methodist Church’s long and damaging debate over its sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and its ordination standards. Some progressives are beginning to add their voices to that […]

Hungry for God to Do a New Thing

By Keith Boyette March 29, 2019 Perspective is hard for humans, but not so hard for God. When you are the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and end, you know the complete story. How God must long for us to grasp and live into His story! Recent events have me realizing […]

No Apologies for the Traditional Plan

By Walter Fenton March 26, 2019 For the better part of two years United Methodist bishops in the U.S. told the church’s people to pray for the work of a select commission and a special called General Conference. The commission’s members (selected by the bishops) and the special conference (called by the bishops) were to […]

Responding to Reactions to the Special General Conference

March 22, 2019 General Conference is the only body empowered to speak officially on behalf of the whole denomination. It sets the faith, order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline of the church, and its decisions represent the global connection as it discerns God’s will for the whole church. When individual UM members choose to act contrary […]

Ensuring the Integrity of General Conference

By Keith Boyette  March 19, 2019 Trust is essential for the operation of any organization, especially a church. The United Methodist Church has long experienced a trust deficit. In the lead up to the 2012 General Conference, a consulting firm advised a denominational task force focused on the restructuring of the UM Church that trust […]