An Ancient Creed for the Present and the Future

With this issue of Outlook the Wesleyan Covenant Association begins a 12 part series on the Nicene Creed. Dr. Bill Arnold, Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary and WCA Council member, introduces the series by reflecting on the creed’s role in the history of the church in general and the Methodist movement in […]

An Ancient Creed for the Present and the Future

January 11, 2018 With this issue of Outlook the Wesleyan Covenant Association begins a 12 part series on the Nicene Creed. Dr. Bill Arnold, Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary and WCA Council member, introduces the series by reflecting on the creed’s role in the history of the church in general and the […]

The Bad News and The Good News

Although not widely reported, average weekly worship attendance in The United Methodist Church (U.S.) dropped by a record 3.3 percent from 2015 to 2016. On any given Sunday in 2016 there were 90,500 fewer people worshipping in the denomination’s local churches than in 2015. This decline comes on the heels of two previous record losses […]

Emptied for God’s Purposes

More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus emptied Himself of the privileges of divinity and broke into a world not unlike the world of our day. There was political, social, economic and religious upheaval and uncertainty. At John’s birth, his father, Zechariah, prophesied about his son: “You will tell his people how to find salvation through […]

Unity and Reality

I think most Wesleyan Covenant Association members accept the following as givens: Christians committed to the orthodox faith are richly endowed by the work of the church catholic as expressed in Scripture, the great creeds, and the learned and inspired biblical interpretations of their ancestors. These great resources, they believe, should guide us as we […]

Unity and Division

Can unity of The United Methodist Church be maintained in spite of irreconcilable differences? Some of the proposals advanced by the Commission on a Way Forward (the “COWF”) seek to respond affirmatively. But to what end? The mission statement of the COWF acknowledges, “[M]atters of human sexuality and unity are the presenting issues for a […]

A Call to Commitment, Surrender & Obedience

In his address to the 2017 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, Bishop Robert Hayes shared a call of commitment, surrender and obedience so that God can ignite the apostolic movement for which we are all praying. “We can get there from here,” Bishop Hayes declared. Here is where “we have focused on everything […]

Preparing for the Future

In his address to the 2017 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, Rev. Jeff Greenway, pastor of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church and chairperson of the Council of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, addressed what we as leaders need to be doing to prepare for the change which is coming to The United Methodist Church. “Segments […]

Contingency Planning and Preparations for the Future

The 2016 General Conference came closer to addressing the irreconcilable conflict in The United Methodist Church (the “UM Church”) than any prior church-wide gathering.  The General Conference was confronted with unprecedented circumstances.  Conflict over doctrinal and ethical issues was not new.  However, sustained and organized disobedience of the church’s settled and agreed upon doctrine and […]

Lessons From Africa

In his address to the 2017 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, Rev. Forbes Matonga, pastor in charge of Nyadire Mission in Zimbabwe and Secretary of the Africa Central Conference, addressed the global nature of The United Methodist Church and lessons that can be learned from the rapid growth of The United Methodist Church […]

Developing Fully Devoted Disciples of Jesus

Rev. Rob Renfroe, pastor of discipleship at The Woodlands United Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas (Texas Conference), focused on our mission of developing fully devoted disciples of Jesus in his address to the 2017 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association.  “I want to glorify my Lord and Savior, and I want to be […]

Breathing Forth the Praise of God

On July 18, 1773, John Wesley penned a letter to his sister who was “encumbered with worldly business.”  Wesley wrote: Prayer and thanksgiving is the vital breath That keeps the spirit of man from death: For prayer attracts into the living soul The life that fills the universe whole; And giving thanks is breathing forth […]

The Gospel Imperative of Reaching People for Jesus

Rev. Shane Bishop, senior pastor of Christ Church, a multi-site church in Fairview Heights, Illinois (the Illinois Great Rivers Conference), focused on the Gospel imperative of reaching people for Jesus Christ, and the need for awakening and revival in our churches in his address to the 2017 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association.  Bishop […]

A Milepost on the Way Forward

In this week’s post, the Rev. Chris Ritter analyzes three preliminary options for definitively resolving The United Methodist Church’s debate over its sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and it ordination standards. The Commission on a Way Forward recently shared the potential options with the Council of Bishops, which in turn shared them with the whole […]

A Call For Risk-Taking, Christ-Centered Leadership

Jennifer Cowart, a lay woman and executive pastor of Harvest Church in Warner Robins, Georgia, challenged those assembled at the 2017 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, to respond to God’s call to be risk-taking, Christ-centered leaders in this generation.  Cowart declared, “We need more Jesus people to show up in tough situations – […]

WCA President’s Message Casts Vision for the Church and for the WCA

Rev. Keith Boyette, President of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, shared our vision for the future of the church and for the WCA.  Boyette noted, “At our best, Methodism has never lost sight of its calling to be an apostolic movement advancing the Kingdom of God globally.”  Boyette declared, “In the midst of uncertainty, we will […]

Longing For A Better Way Forward

After six meetings held over ten months, the Commission on a Way Forward, presented its preliminary report to the Council of Bishops (“COB”) earlier this week.  At its fall meeting, the COB considered the report’s merits, which included sketches of three models for proceeding forward, but did not express a preference for any one of […]

2017 Global Gathering Presentations

Rev. Kenneth Levingston, pastor of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in Houston, TX, preached a powerful message based on Ezekiel 37 – “Can These Bones Live?”  Rev. Levingston declares that the passage is not about the bones, but about the “Spirit of the Living God which is alive and active and calling into life that […]

2017 Global Gathering Presentations

In an inspiring, but direct presentation, Cara Nicklas, Wesley Covenant Association Council member and a laywoman from the Oklahoma Annual Conference, challenges laity to rededicate themselves to a fulsome expression of the Christian faith in the Wesleyan way. “Lay friends, we need to talk,” says Nicklas. “We need to talk amongst ourselves about our role […]

Encountering God in Scripture

“The Bible isn’t just a book of statements about God; it is a pathway into God’s very life,” writes Dr. David Watson in his new book The Life of God: Why the Bible Matters Today More than Ever (Seedbed). Watson, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of New Testament at United […]

How to think of us

Watch the video Preparing a Plan for the Future The Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) believes that United Methodism will look very different from how it looks today after the 2019 special General Conference. The mandate given to the Bishops’ Commission on a Way Forward is very expansive and offers the opportunity for major structural changes […]

WCA Staff Appointment

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that the Rev. Walter Fenton has joined the WCA as its vice-president for strategic engagement. A Yale Divinity School graduate, Walter was ordained deacon (1996) and elder (1998) in the Detroit Annual Conference, and transferred to the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference in 2003. In addition to […]

Dreaming of unity

We commend the following article written by Rev. Bob Kaylor, pastor of Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church in Monument, Colorado, which is a helpful contribution to the ongoing discernment of what constitutes biblical unity for the church: “What does unity in the church look like?” As I pondered my response… Read More

Engage the Core Principles of Our Faith

The Wesleyan Covenant Association’s new resource, “A Firm Foundation: Hope and Vision for a New Methodist Future,” is now available for United Methodist laity and clergy.  The book sets forth our understanding of the Christian faith according to the Wesleyan tradition.  Recognized leaders in our denomination like Maxie Dunnam, Carolyn Moore, David Watson, and several others are […]

The Fragile Nature Of Our Unity

Calls for unity are popular among United Methodists, and yet there is much that tears the fabric of unity and evidences how divided we are as a church.  Recent events in the West Ohio Annual Conference underscore the fragile nature of our unity. The Reverend David Meredith, an elder in the West Ohio Annual Conference, […]

Creating a Unified Response

We are in a time of great uncertainty in The United Methodist Church. Persistent and escalating disobedience to the order and discipline of our church has created anarchy. The 2016 General Conference entrusted the Bishops’ Commission on a Way Forward for the Church with the task of arriving at a recommended way to break the […]

Welcome New Council Members

The Council of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (the “WCA”) has elected seven outstanding United Methodist leaders to the Council, the primary governing body of the WCA.  Jeff Greenway, the chair of the Council, commented, “We are excited to have the wisdom and counsel of these exceptional leaders who will share the breadth of their knowledge […]