Blog Posts

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Handshakes, Coffee, Jesus and Miracles: The Importance of Building Community

By Kelly and Steven Brumbeloe May 7, 2019 Kelly: I can’t tell you how many times Steven, my husband and fellow pastor at Mt. Bethel North has walked into the house and asked me “What’s for dinner?” and I tell him “I’m not sure yet, but I just invited seven of our friends to come […]

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 […]

The Meaning and Power of the Resurrection: When a Dream Dies and is Resurrected

By Jerry Kulah April 26, 2019 Has your dream ever died? Have you ever lost the purpose and meaning of life because circumstances so disrupted your plans that you lost hope? That was surely the situation for Jesus’ disciples following his suffering, brutal death, and burial. Their dream of a savior that would liberate them […]

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 […]

The Dawning of a New Chapter

By Keith Boyette March 15, 2019 In the months preceding the special General Conference, the refrain from every quarter of The United Methodist Church persisted – “Change is coming. The UM Church will not be the same after February 2019. No one knows what it will look like, but it will be different.” The special […]

Overview of Legislation Adopted By the Special General Conference

By Keith Boyette March 12, 2019 In the aftermath of the 2019 special General Conference, there has been a great deal of misinformation communicated concerning what legislation was adopted and its current status. Teachings on Definition of Marriage, Ordination Standards and Sexual Ethics Upheld First, by its rejection of the One Church Plan by a […]

Reflections on the Special General Conference

By Walter Fenton March 8, 2019 Amidst all the swirling reactions to The United Methodist Church’s special General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, it is easy to overlook what actually happened and mis-remember what did not happen (more on this later). The Votes Despite the strong support of the majority of U.S. bishops the General […]

A Message to Local UM Churches In Progressive Annual Conferences

By Bob Kaylor March 1, 2019 In the aftermath of the General Conference, many people are still wondering about the way forward. As a WCA Council member and traditionalist pastor in the overwhelmingly progressive Mountain Sky Annual Conference and Western Jurisdiction, I was hoping that there would be an opportunity for us to finally break […]

Statement of the Wesleyan Covenant Association Council on Next Steps

February 28, 2019 The Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) is thankful The United Methodist Church has reaffirmed its sexual ethics, teachings on marriage and its ordination standards for clergy at the historic special General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. By reaffirming its teachings the denomination remains aligned with the church universal in all times and all […]

Wesleyan Covenant Association Announces Results Of Special General Conference

The special General Conference of The United Methodist Church concluded late on February 26. In its final plenary session, the General Conference took final action on the two major plans advanced for a way forward. The One Church Plan was defeated by a vote of 45 percent for and 55 percent against. A version of […]

Hopes and Fears for The United Methodist Church and Its People

As delegates from around the world gather for the special General Conference, The United Methodist Church is in a state of crisis. In fact, the church is confronting at least two major crises. Many people are aware of the long debate over the church’s sexual ethics that has brought it to the brink of a […]

A Response to the Rev. Matt Miofsky’s Open Letter to the United Methodist Church

By Walter Fenton February 19. 2019 I do not personally know the Rev. Matt Miofsky, lead pastor at the Gathering United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Missouri. However, I have heard he is a great leader and an effective preacher with a pastor’s heart. Clearly, he has grown a multi-site campus church that does great […]

Searching for a Way Forward

By Keith Boyette February 15, 2019 The journey which began at the 2016 General Conference with the rejection of The Third Way Plan (an earlier version of the One Church Plan) by delegates in legislative committees to the 2019 special General Conference is approaching its conclusion. Petitions now await action by the 864 delegates from […]

The One Church Plan: Calm and Rational?

By Walter Fenton February 12, 2019 According to the Rev Mark Holland, Executive Director of Mainstream UMC, the One Church Plan coming before the special General Conference of the United Methodist Church is the “calm,” “rational,” and “well thought out” plan. In contrast, he claims, “chaos and crisis [is] being ginned up… to divide the […]

Love, Unity and Catholic Spirit: What Does Wesley Say?

By Greg Stover February 8, 2019 John Wesley’s sermon, Catholic Spirit, is often quoted in the controversies and conflicts within The United Methodist Church. Some assert that unity is a matter of the heart and does not depend on doctrine or theology. This implies that if we all possess a catholic spirit differences will be […]

The Importance of the Creeds in the Intersections of Our Lives

By Nako Kellum February 5, 2019 “So what is a Christian?” This question came from a student in our young adult group at the Japanese Church in Lexington, Kentucky. I was one of the leaders of the group, and a seminary student at the time. The group of mostly college students, with a few high […]

A Clear and Gracious Letter to GC Delegates

February 4, 2019 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is thankful for all the clergy and laity who have stepped forward to provide leadership for its many chapters across the United Methodist connection. In the midst of various challenges they have enabled us to fulfill many of the goals the association set for itself in October of […]

How the Church’s Sexual Ethics and Teachings on Marriage are Rooted in Scripture

February 1, 2019 In a paper entitled “Gender Matters: Human Sexuality and the Bible Yet Again”, Dr. Ben Witherington, III, writes: “It is no small thing for a church to change its position of what is and isn’t moral when it comes to human sexual behavior, especially when it has been the almost universal and […]

Why the Old Testament?

By Bill T. Arnold January 29, 2019 Every reader of the Bible is confronted with an important question: “Since the Old Testament claims that God revealed himself in ancient Israel and that he will reveal himself further in the future, what do I make of these theological claims?” Or to put it another way, “How […]

Survey Results Reveal Strong Support for Exit Provision

January 25, 2019 Ninety two percent of respondents to a Wesleyan Covenant Association Survey said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “Whatever plan the special [2019] General Conference adopts it should include a gracious and generous way for local churches to leave with all their property and assets, providing said local churches fulfill […]

A God of Covenants

By Leslie Tomlinson January 22, 2019 Each January there is an annual reevaluation of our lives and a renewed determination to do better and be better in the New Year. It comes with retailers’ barrage of ads for weight loss products, gym memberships, and other self-improvement aids. Like many rituals that have become highly commercialized, […]

A Modest Way Forward

By Walter Fenton January 18, 2019 Despite fundamental disagreements over sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and ordination standards, many United Methodists do agree on some things related to the debate. First, many acknowledge differences on these matters are irreconcilable. Despite nearly a half-century of roundtable discussions, major studies, debates, and votes at scores of annual, […]

Wesleyan Covenant Association Welcomes New Council Members

The Council of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (the “WCA”) has elected six outstanding United Methodist leaders to the Council, the primary governing body of the WCA.  The Rev. Dr. Jeff Greenway, the chair of the Council, commented, “The addition of six new persons to our Council reflects our movement’s desire to be broadly representative of […]

A Calm Critique of the One Church Plan

By Joseph F. DiPaolo January 15, 2019 With the 2019 session of General Conference just months away, many United Methodists are seeking information on the various plans and petitions to be considered in St. Louis. The majority of our U.S. bishops have expressed support for the so-called “One Church Plan,” which would remove existing language […]

The Modified Traditional Plan: Faithful, Fair and Gracious

By Walter Fenton January 11, 2019 Of the several plans before the special United Methodist Church General Conference (February 23-26) in St. Louis, Missouri, the modified traditional plan is the most faithful, fair, and gracious one. Chiefly, the plan calls the church to reaffirm its sexual ethics, its teachings on marriage, and its ordination standards. […]

Keep Your Head

by Keith Boyette January 8, 2019 Throughout my life, I have had to remind myself that my journey needs to be seen from a larger perspective than my own experience. The United Methodist Church has arrived at the time of decision. In six weeks 864 delegates from around the world will gather for what is […]

Understanding the Plans

By Keith Boyette January 2, 2019 The special General Conference of The United Methodist Church is 52 days away. Unfortunately, far too many remain unaware of the solutions proposed to the conflict which has undermined and eroded the denomination’s health and effectiveness, especially in the United States. Although other proposals have been filed, the three […]

Best of All, God is With Us!

By Keith Boyette December 21, 2018 Surrounded by friends, on March 2, 1791, John Wesley completed his race. Grasping the hands of those who loved him, Wesley declared, “Best of all, God is with us.” In the early years of his public ministry, Wesley pursued the form of religion seeking to be good enough to […]

Freedom in Christ’s Cross

Bishop Kasap Owan, episcopal leader presiding over five annual conferences in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, addressed the 2018 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association on Saturday, November 3. As the event concluded, Owan celebrated Holy Communion with over 2,500 people present at the live venue and the 105 simulcast sites across […]

Unashamed of the Future of Methodism

Declaring that Methodists are called to contend for the faith in every circumstance and regardless of the adversity that might be encountered, Rev. Madeline Carrasco Henners urged the more than 2,500 persons attending the Wesleyan Covenant Associations 2018 Global Gathering to navigate the future of Methodism by leaning into Christ and following his leadership. Henners […]

Unashamed to Preach Scriptural Holiness – Contending for the Faith

“I must urge you to contend for the faith delivered once and for all to God’s Holy People. Such is the task of preaching,” asserted the Rev. Dr. Joy Moore, who addressed more than 2,500 people in attendance at the 2018 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association on November 3. Moore prayed that God […]

Unashamed of Christ in a Post-Modern World

“We as a society have gone from a scriptural worldview grounded in the Bible and the traditional tenets of the Christian faith passed on for over 2,000 years where truth is determined by God and is universal, to a post-modern view, where truth is relative and subjective, defined by the individual, and is situational,” said […]

Unashamed of the Gospel and Moved by God’s Amazing Grace

“I yearn for a Church that is sold out for the gospel and fully committed to sharing it with a world that needs it so desperately,” said Bishop Scott Jones at the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on November 3, 2018. Jones, the episcopal leader […]

Unashamed of the Scriptures

“I am not ashamed of the Scriptures. I honor them as God’s word given to the church to lead us into salvation. I am not ashamed of them, but I am chastened by them. I am sobered by them. I am convicted by them.  I’m grateful for them,” so declared Dr. David Watson as he […]

Hard Truth and Messy Grace

Rev. Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory, a district superintendent and dean of the Cabinet in the Central Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, addressed the 2018 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, focusing on the theme “Unashamed of Christ and His Claims.” We are pleased to release a video of her message. Speaking to […]

Bishop Mike Lowry Inspires 2018 WCA Global Gathering

Bishop Mike Lowry, resident bishop of the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, delivered the opening keynote address for the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s 2018 Global Gathering held at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia, on Saturday, November 3. We are pleased to release a video of Bishop Lowry’s message. Bishop Lowry set […]

Gratitude in the Midst of Uncertainty

Keith Boyette November 21, 2018 As we pause to observe Thanksgiving Day 2018 here in the United States, I am reminded of the centrality of gratitude in ensuring that we keep all things in perspective and remain wholly present to God regardless of our circumstances. Writing to the Christians in Philippi, the apostle Paul urges, […]

Back to the Future, UM Church Style

by David Watson November 16, 2018 Recently the Council of Bishops asked the Judicial Council to rule on the constitutionality of the plans that have come from the Commission on a Way Forward. My interest here is not in the rulings on specific proposals within the two plans the Judicial Council considered, but in a […]

“Leading Out of Rubble” – The 2018 Global Legislative Assembly Closing Message

November 13, 2018 After acting on five major legislative initiatives, the first Global Legislative Assembly concluded with worship and celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The Rev. Dr. Jeff Greenway, senior pastor of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and chair of the Wesleyan Covenant Association Council, delivered an inspiring message, “Leading Out of Rubble.” “Here […]

No Fear – The 2018 Global Legislative Gathering Opening Message

November 12, 2018 On Friday, November 2, 165 delegates from around the world gathered at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia, for the first Global Legislative Assembly of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA). Rev. Carolyn Moore, pastor of Mosaic United Methodist Church in Evans, Georgia, and Vice Chair of the WCA Council, opened […]

Wesleyan Covenant Association Moves Forward

by Walter Fenton November 5, 2018 Important decisions for the future, inspiring speakers, and times of worship marked three critical days of meetings for the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA), November 1–3, at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia. Meeting for the first time, the WCA’s Global Legislative Assembly passed a resolution entitled Empowering […]

Judicial Council Provides Direction for Special General Conference

By Keith Boyette October 29, 2018 The Judicial Council has issued its decision in response to the request of the Council of Bishops for rulings on the constitutionality of each of the petitions filed by members of the Commission on a Way Forward with respect to the plans addressed in the Commission’s report. The Judicial […]

Wesleyan Covenant Association’s President Makes Presentation before UM Church’s Highest Court

By Walter Fenton October 24, 2018 The Rev. Keith Boyette, president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, delivered an oral argument before The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council (essentially its “Supreme Court”) on Tuesday, October 23. The Council is meeting in Zurich, Switzerland this week to consider its fall docket of cases. Earlier this year the […]

Delegates to First Wesleyan Covenant Association Legislative Assembly to Consider Resolutions

By Walter Fenton October 23, 2018 AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS POST INCORRECTLY STATED THAT THE ASSEMBLY WOULD TAKE PLACE IN 2019. THE ARTICLE HAS BEEN CORRECTED TO REFLECT 2018. Over 160 delegates representing 42 regional chapters are set to meet for the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s first Global Legislative Assembly, November 2, 2018 at Mt. […]

Worship Leader and Hosts Set for WCA’s Third Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) is pleased to welcome Mark Swayze as its worship leader for its third Global Gathering and the Rev. Kelly Brumbeloe and the Rev. Dr. Scott Field as its hosts for the day-long event, scheduled for Saturday, November 3, 2019 at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia. The gathering […]

Bishop Kasap Owan to Preach and Celebrate Holy Communion at WCA’s Third Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that Bishop Kasap Owan will preach and celebrate Holy Communion at its Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 3, 2018. “Bishop Owan is a founding member of the UMC Africa Initiative,” said the Rev. Dr. Jerry Kulah, Dean […]

Critical Meetings and Events Precede Pivotal Special General Conference

By Walter Fenton October 11, 2018 As 864 delegates plan to gather in St. Louis, Missouri for a called General Conference, important United Methodist Church bodies are making decisions sure to impact the gathering slated to meet February 23-26, 2019. Last week, the Commission on General Conference (COGC) announced its proposed plan for how the […]

Dr. David Watson to Address WCA’s Third Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. David Watson will speak at its Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 3, 2018. “David Watson is one of the leading biblical theologians in The United Methodist Church,” said Dr. William Abraham, Albert Cook […]

The Rev. Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory to Speak at WCA’s Third Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is excited to announce that the Rev. Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory will speak at its Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 3, 2018. “Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory is an outstanding servant of the Lord Jesus Christ!” said Bishop Mike Lowry of the Fort Worth […]

Theologically Diverse Group Calls for Gracious Exit

By Keith Boyette 9/26/2018 A theologically diverse group of West Ohio Annual Conference clergy and laity recently issued an open letter to the 2019 United Methodist General Conference delegates. The letter, issued on September 17, called on delegates to adopt a “gracious and equitable process for exit which can be used by any [local UM] […]

Bishop Scott Jones to Speak at WCA’s Third Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that Bishop Scott Jones will speak at its Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 3, 2018. “Bishop Jones is the UM Church’s scholar-bishop,” said the Rev. Edmund Robb III, Senior Pastor at The Woodlands UM Church in The […]

The Rev. Madeline Carassco Henners to Address WCA’s Third Global Gathering

The Rev. Madeline Carassco Henners to Address WCA’s Third Global Gathering The Wesleyan Covenant Association is very happy to announce that the Rev. Madeline Carassco Henners will speak at its Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 3, 2018. “Madeline is a reminder that the fullness of […]

Whither the Gracious Exit – Committed or Constrained

By Keith Boyette September 13, 2018 Does anyone still assert with a straight face the absence of irreconcilable differences in The United Methodist Church? The arguments advanced in support of each of the plans addressed in the report of the Commission on a Way Forward strain credulity in their effort to posit that we can […]

Bishop Mike Lowry to Open WCA’s Third Global Gathering

September 6, 2018 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is honored to announce that Bishop Mike Lowry will open its Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 3, 2018. “Bishop Mike Lowry is a special kind of episcopal leader,” said WCA President Keith Boyette. “He’s not interested in playing it […]

Making the Most of Women in Leadership

By Carolyn Moore September 5, 2018 This is the third of three articles by the Rev. Carolyn Moore on women in Scripture and in ministry. You can read the previous articles here and here. Fourteen years ago, my family and I planted a United Methodist congregation in Evans, Georgia. We were what is called in […]

WCA Global Legislative Assembly – November 2, Nominees Sought for WCA Council Class of 2021

August 31, 2018 The first Global Legislative Assembly of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) will be held at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church, 4385 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, Georgia, on Friday, November 2, 2018. The Global Legislative Assembly meets annually to elect members of the Council of the WCA and to conduct business on behalf […]

Layman Dr. Carlos Alarcon to Address WCA’s Third Global Gathering

August 31, 2018 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is thrilled to announce that Dr. Carlos Alarcon will address its Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 3, 2018. “Carlos is first and foremost a faithful disciple of Christ. I see that so often in his willingness to give […]

Women in Recent Church History

By Carolyn Moore August 29th, 2018 This is the second of three articles by the Rev. Carolyn Moore on women in Scripture and in ministry. You can read the prior article here. Women have initiated some of Christianity’s more interesting movements. Aimee Semple McPherson was the founder of the Four Square movement. Myrtle Dorthea Beall […]

The Rev. Dr. Joy J. Moore to Speak at WCA’s Third Global Gathering

August 23, 2018 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is honored to announce that the Rev. Dr. Joy J. Moore will speak at its Third Global Gathering at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia on Saturday, November 3, 2018. “Joy has been a leader in our church for years, serving as a delegate to General […]

Biblical Women and the Spread of the Gospel

August 22, 2018 By Carolyn Moore     This is the first of three articles by the Rev. Carolyn Moore on women in Scripture and in ministry. As a pastor, as one called to the ministry of church planting, and as a woman, I am inspired and challenged by those great matriarchs of the faith who […]

The Connectional Conference Plan

August 20, 2018 By Walter Fenton This is the third of three articles briefly describing and analyzing the various plans that are slated to come before the special, called General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019. Readers wanting to read the official reports, plans, and enabling legislation can click HERE. See Exhibit B, […]

The Traditional Plan

August 15, 2018 By Walter Fenton   This is the second of three articles briefly describing and analyzing the various plans that are slated to come before the special, called General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019. Readers wanting to read the official reports, plans, and enabling legislation can click HERE. See Exhibit C, […]

THE Issue Facing American United Methodism

August 8, 2018 by Bob Phillips    I begin with a one-question quiz.  It is multiple choice. In 25 years the typical American United Methodist of today will be: A. A registered Democrat B. Living in Sun City, Arizona C. Dead The correct answer is “C.” In 25 years demographics and median age declares the […]

The One Church Plan

August 8, 2018 By Walter Fenton    In the coming days we will briefly describe and analyze the various plans that are slated to come before the special, called General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019. Readers wanting to read the official reports, plans, and enabling legislation can click HERE. The One Church […]

E Unam Pluribus

August 6, 2018 By Chappell Temple At the risk of being misunderstood, I’m pretty close to being done. Not with Jesus, or even with His church, mind you. And please don’t think that I’m either deeply depressed or unduly discouraged about the prospects of God’s Kingdom in this world, for in the words of Handel’s Messiah, I’m more […]

When Unity At All Cost Is Too Costly

August 2, 2018 By Paul Lawler “When is unity at all cost too costly?” This question is not intended as an endorsement for dividing The United Methodist Church. However, in the following, I want to at least make the argument that separation is not always the improper thing to do. I write this after hearing many colleagues […]

FAQs, Number 2: The State of The United Methodist Church

July 26, 2018 Over the past several weeks a number of important developments have occurred in the UM Church, and the Wesleyan Covenant Association has received a number of questions regarding them. This is the second issue of Outlook attempting to help WCA members navigate the latest news. You can see our first FAQs by […]

Choices Abound!

July 19, 2018 by Keith Boyette In a recent article, I shared about The Long and Winding Road to St. Louis. Well, we have now journeyed further along that road. A lot is happening and we want to keep you informed. As required, petitions for the special General Conference, which will meet in St. Louis, […]

FAQs – The State of The United Methodist Church

July 18, 2018 Over the past several weeks a number of important developments have occurred in the UM Church. The Wesleyan Covenant Association has received a number of questions regarding them. With this issue of Outlook we are beginning a running FAQ post to help people navigate the latest news. We will archive all FAQs […]

Who Do You Say That I Am?

July 12, 2018 By Keith Boyette The question reverberates down through the ages. When Jesus first asked, “Who do you say that I am?” he directed it to those who knew him best – disciples who had walked with him for an extended period of time – who had seen him in public and private […]

Commission on Way Forward’s Report Not Released

July 9, 2018 The July 8 deadline for the filing of petitions to be considered at the 2019 special session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church has now passed. The petition deadline passed without the release of the anticipated report of the Commission on a Way Forward (COWF) or any update from […]

Four Marks of the Next Methodism

July 5, 2018 By David Watson Let’s face it: no one really knows what is going to happen at The United Methodist Church’s called General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019. Division? Restructuring? Fragmentation? Slow demise? Despite widespread conjecture and one or two wild conspiracy theories, your guess is as good as mine. […]

Going Forward with Scripture

June 27, 2018 By Walter Fenton “Given the current challenges directed to the unique place of the Bible in the church, we affirm that the core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture as “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3; NRSV). We look to the Bible therefore […]

The Long and Winding Road to St. Louis

June 21, 2018 By Keith Boyette Will February 26, 2019 ever arrive? Yes, in due course, and God will still be sovereign over His creation and His church will still be a prevailing church. We can hope that The United Methodist Church will still be counted as a faithful part of the church universal. Much […]

Wesleyan Covenant Association Accredited by National Financial Accountability Organization

June 19, 2018 The ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) announced today the accreditation of the Wesleyan Covenant Association of Reynoldsburg, OH. ECFA accreditation is based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fundraising. The Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) joins a growing number of Christ-centered […]

Seeking Higher Ground: Conversations in the UMC

June 14, 2018 By Carolyn Moore As conversations around the future of the UM Church heat up in this annual conference season, I hold a prayer that we will elevate our discourse above the level of emotion. Here are a few things I’d like to hear in discussions around what comes next: Let’s talk Christologically. Does […]

The Dis-United Methodist Church: Growth, Conflict, and the Uncertain Way Forward

June 6, 2018 The Dis-United Methodist Church: Growth, Conflict, and the Uncertain Way Forward By Joe DiPaolo Last week, we reviewed the formation of the United Methodist Church in 1968 and the struggle ever since its creation to shape a coherent identity – to answer the basic question: who are we? We looked at the tone […]

The Dis-United Methodist Church and The Quest for Unity

May 31, 2018 Editor’s Note It is easy for those who have been around The United Methodist Church for years to assume everyone knows how we have come to our current impasse. However, despite declining membership and worship attendance in the U.S., there are still plenty of growing congregations with new people joining every day. […]

Judicial Council Rules Against Council of Bishops, Allows All United Methodists to Submit Petitions

May 25, 2018 By Walter Fenton Earlier today The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council (its “Supreme Court”) issued an 8-1 decision repudiating the Council of Bishops’ argument that only its preferred option for a way forward could be presented to the special General Conference scheduled for February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. In a […]

Have the Talk

May 24, 2018 Preparing for the Days Ahead The Wesleyan Covenant Association highly recommends that pastors and laity become informed as possible about where the UM Church is potentially headed and how the various plans could impact their local churches. To that end we will run a series of articles that will help resource pastors […]

Council of Bishops Attempts to Clarify Confusion It Created

May 18, 2018 A Statement from the Wesleyan Covenant Association The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops (COB) released a statement today trying to clear up the confusion it created with the release of a prior statement and a variety of interpretations of it that came from a number of bishops. According to the latest statement it […]

Being Open to the Spirit of God: Wesley’s Theology of the Means of Grace

May 17, 2018 By J. Warren Smith Although John Wesley was highly critical of Augustine for his denial that perfection was possible in this life and for his doctrines of the irresistibility of grace and predestination, nevertheless, he and Augustine shared two related theological commitments: the corruption of human nature due to sin and the […]

Just Say No to Local Church Options for the UMC

May 15, 2018 By Ben Witherington Annual conferences are just around the corner all over the U.S. and there will be petitions submitted to annual conferences suggesting something along the lines of a local church option when it comes to defining what counts as Christian marriage, what counts as proper sexual morality, what counts as moral […]

Sanctification: Life Shaped by Grace

May 10, 2018 By Jack Jackson One of the great benefits of living in California is the easy access to the great outdoors and especially some of the most beautiful National Parks in the United States. My family particularly enjoys Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks. As we’ve spent time in each of them the […]

A Message from the WCA

May 9, 2018 Meeting in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, the Wesleyan Covenant Association Council approved the following statement: The Wesleyan Covenant Association Council is very grateful a significant minority of The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops insisted on the inclusion of a traditionalist plan for the called General Conference’s consideration in St. […]

Justification: A Free Gift of Grace

May 3, 2018 By Christine Johnson “To anyone who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”  Romans 4:5 In a world full of increasingly clever scams, we have learned to be wary of any opportunity that appears too good to be true. Most of us would […]

Convincing Grace: the Grace of Repentance

April 26, 2018 By Andrew C. Thompson When Jesus Christ came preaching into the Galilee, he made clear that there was a precondition to our entrance into his kingdom. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand,” Jesus said, “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15, ESV). He announced the […]

The 19 Questions

April 24, 2018 Wesley’s historic questions have been asked of those considered for full connection (ordination) since as early as 1784, the first Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, presided over by Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke. The questions also have a broader Wesleyan context. Many of these questions were originally used with the people […]

Reflection on Prevenient Grace

April 18, 2018 Joe DiPaolo Some years ago, I had lunch with a pastor who was an outspoken Calvinist. After I prayed over the meal, he said, “You know, we Calvinists have a saying: everyone is a Calvinist on his knees; asking God to convict, to covert – to do it all!”  I said, “You […]

What Petitions Can Be Received by the Special 2019 General Conference?

April 18, 2018 By Keith Boyette The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops has requested a declaratory decision from the church’s Judicial Council (its “Supreme Court”) on the question of what petitions can be submitted to the special, called General Conference meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019. The question raised by the request […]

A Very Good Question

April 16, 2018 Given the long and acrimonious debate over The United Methodist Church’s sexual ethics, fundamental differences regarding the authority of the Bible and its interpretation, and now over a viable way forward for the denomination, Revs. Rob Renfroe and Walter Fenton ask in a new book: Are We Really Better Together? Just published, […]


April 12, 2018 By David F. Watson Christians in the Wesleyan tradition love to talk about grace, and with good reason. God’s grace is another way of talking about God’s love, love that can overcome anything, including the many ways in which we humans rebel against our creator. Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, […]

Council of Bishops Asks Judicial Council for Key Ruling

April 11, 2018 The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops has asked the denomination’s Judicial Council (its “Supreme Court”) for a ruling on what petitions can be submitted to the special, called General Conference scheduled to meet in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019. Some bishops have argued that the only proposal that can be […]

Confidence for the Future

April 5, 2018 A Message from the Wesleyan Covenant Association “We’re an evangelical, orthodox congregation in an annual conference that leans progressive. We’re growing so fast that we desperately need to expand our physical plant. We have the funds on hand to put a shovel in the ground right now, but we’re reluctant to move […]

Harvesting Fruit from Easter

April 2, 2018 By Keith Boyette This year was a very different Holy Week and Easter for me. For the first time since 1995, I was not serving a local church and preaching at multiple services. Although disorienting, I found the change had its benefits – wonderful time to worship God – Father, Son and […]

Fully Alive

March 28, 2018 By Keith Boyette “I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” Perspective matters. We have been sold a bill of goods. Secular culture regards death as an end point.  You are born, you live and then you die. The world tells us the most […]

So Now What?

March 22, 2018 By Keith Boyette As United Methodists, we are methodical. We are a people bound together by order and discipline. We benefit from one of the fairest systems of church government that exists. Any United Methodist can petition our church’s supreme legislative body, the General Conference, to change our church’s order and discipline. […]

One Baptism for the Forgiveness of Sins

March 22, 2018 By Joe DiPaolo After coming to personal faith in Christ as a 19-year old, I remember talking to my old junior high band director who was also a pastor. I shared my excitement about my new-found faith, and asked if I should be baptized again, since I had only been baptized an […]

Living Separate and Apart

March 20, 2018 By Keith Boyette In this third of four articles addressing efforts by The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops (COB) to resolve our denomination’s irreconcilable differences, we examine the final option still under study by the church’s leadership — the “Multi-Branch, One Church Model.”  The multi-branch approach is an attempt to permit […]

One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

March 15, 2018 By Beth Caulfield The most diverse gathering of people I have ever encountered participated in a Bible study program in Paris. We came from six continents, claimed many different primary languages and were almost as many skin colors. We came from a global variety of Protestant denominations and Roman Catholic churches. We […]

Should We Each Do What Is Right In Our Own Eyes?

March 13, 2018 By Keith Boyette The first article in this series addressed the present state of The United Methodist Church. Internal and irreconcilable differences, particularly in the U.S., have sapped the church’s energies leading to declining membership and worship attendance. The rate of decline is only accelerating. Well over half of the approximately 32,000 […]

A Moment in Time

March 12, 2018 By Keith Boyette The moment of decision is drawing closer for The United Methodist Church. For many months, we have awaited the plan(s) the Council of Bishops (the “COB”) will recommend to the special called General Conference to resolve the irreconcilable differences that divide the UM Church. Our Book of Discipline has […]

The Holy Spirit is Lord

March 8, 2018 by Chris Ritter “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.” The Nicene Creed contains the most controversial words in all of Christendom. The gradual […]

Our Judge and His Kingdom

March 1, 2018 By Dr. Jeff Greenway I went to college at two United Methodist institutions. As a Christ-follower, I attended the weekly Sunday morning worship service in the chapel and was involved in various on-campus ministries. I was also exposed to the religious studies faculty and pre-ministry students as I took my liberal arts […]

He Rose Again

February 22, 2018 By Jennifer Cowart Years ago my husband was leading a Sunday School class when one of the regular attenders spoke up and said, “I believe all the stuff in the Bible except that one thing about the Resurrection. A guy coming back to life after three days is just too much for […]

“Church Sees Record Giving” and the Rest of the Story

Februrary 16. 2018 By Walter Fenton Given a recent headline United Methodists could be forgiven for assuming the UM Church’s financial position is not just on solid ground, but that it has been setting records the past several years. A January 31 United Methodist News Service (UMNS) article was headlined “For 4th year, church sees […]

Crucified, Suffered, and Buried

February 16, 2018 By Walter Fenton For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. When you read the Nicene Creed slowly, almost devotionally, it can be jarring to move from those soaring lines about Jesus as Lord, eternally begotten, light from light, one Being with the Father, creator, […]

The Beauty of the Incarnation

Februrary 7, 2018 by Andrew C. Thompson “For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” How can the God who created the heavens and the earth become a part of his creation? That question […]

Uniting Methodists Caucus Advocates For Unity Petitions that Will Bring Disunity

February 6, 2018 By Walter Fenton At its inaugural 2016 gathering over 1,800 attendees affirmed the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s “Chicago Statement.” It called on the Council of Bishops to “bring forth a recommendation that would definitively resolve our debate over The United Methodist Church’s sexual ethics and its understanding of marriage.” It stated the best […]

Women As Christian Leaders, Preachers & Teachers

Februrary 1, 2018 By Keith Boyette Recently, John Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, responded on his weekly podcast, desiringGod, to a question submitted by a listener: “Should women be hired as seminary professors?”  Piper, a complementarian, holds that males and females complement each other in their different roles and duties in both the […]

Through Him All Things Were Made

Februrary 1, 2018 By Jessica LaGrone This is the fourth article in our series on the Nicene Creed.  You can access the rest of the series here. Some time ago I was at a conference where the presenter ended a prayer by praying “In the name of the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. Amen.” My head popped […]

The God of Self-Giving Love

January 25, 2018 by David F. Watson “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.” The early Christians made a remarkable claim: the God of all […]

The Same God Throughout the Ages

January 18, 2018 by Rev. Dr. Jerry Kulah At the October, 2016 inaugural gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) in Chicago, I was one of several African United Methodist leaders who addressed the gathering. We made a presentation about why we (clergy and laity) were attracted to the WCA. We noted that, we had […]

WCA Responds to President Trump’s Recent Reported Comments

January 12. 2018 Like all United Methodists, The Wesleyan Covenant Association is honored to call many people in the nations of Africa and the nation of Haiti our brothers and sisters in Christ. Three members of the WCA’s governing council are from Liberia, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are recognized leaders around […]

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

January 5, 2018 By Walter Fenton 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 […]

Emptied for God’s Purposes

Dec 20, 2017 By Keith Boyette 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 […]

Unity and Reality

December 14, 2017 By Walter Fenton 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 […]

Houston videos now available

December 13, 2017 From Bishop Bob Hayes to Cara Nicklas, and from Rev. Jennifer Cowart to Rev. Jeff Greenway, all the great videos from the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s 2017 Global Gathering are now available for viewing or downloading at HERE.     Hosted at The Woodlands United Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas (the denomination’s […]

Unity and Division

December 7, 2017 by Keith Boyette 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 […]

Contingency Planning and Preparations for the Future

November 30, 2017 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 […]

Breathing Forth the Praise of God

November 20, 2017 BREATHING FORTH THE PRAISE OF GOD Keith Boyette, President 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 […]

A Milepost on the Way Forward

November 16, 2017 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 […]

Longing For A Better Way Forward

November 9, 2017 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 […]

Encountering God in Scripture

Nov 2, 2017 “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 […]

Engage the Core Principles of our Faith

October 24, 2017 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 […]

Recruit 2

October 3, 2017

A Firm Foundation

September 28, 2017 HOPE AND VISION FOR A NEW METHODIST FUTURE The Wesleyan Covenant Association announced the release of a new resource, “A Firm Foundation,” on October 14! Until about 40 years ago, most Methodist knew what it meant to be a Methodist. Today, there are so many competing visions of what it means to […]

Join Us for the WCA Global Gathering

September 20, 2017 Join the West Ohio Chapter of the Wesleyan Covenant Association for the Global Gathering, “Move – On Mission With God” on October 14. We are joining together in 6 locations in our West Ohio Conference in Toledo, Fairborn, Grove City, Hillsboro, Zanesville and Fostoria. Register today to join us!  Share on Facebook

There’s Much to Pray About So Our Prayers Abound

September 15, 2017 More than one person has observed that adversity brings out the best in us and frequently produces a sense of community that was unanticipated. Plenty has occurred in recent weeks to put this observation to the test. The Wesleyan Covenant Association continues to intercede for our neighbors experiencing natural disasters and for […]

All Hands on Deck

September 8, 2017 What’s your highest priority? Often, that which grabs our attention is the urgent – not the important. The truly important must command our very best. Imagine the scene. Jesus has traveled from town to town. He has taught in the synagogues. His consistent message has been to announce the Good News about […]

Igniting a Movement

August 18, 2017 Who would opt out of a movement of God? “No one,” we might exclaim. Yet, history is littered with people who were complacent, ambivalent, distracted and otherwise occupied. In order to be part of a movement of God, you have to be willing. Prior to his experience at Aldersgate, John Wesley was […]

Rescue the Perishing

August 10, 2017 Jesus was explicit.  “The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”  Luke 19:10 (NLT).  In God’s great wisdom, those who were perishing would be rescued through a relationship with God’s Son – Jesus.  No one was exempt from the necessity of a rescuer.  Rescue was available to […]

Preparing a Plan for the Future

August 4, 2017 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 within the denomination. What will be […]

Creating a Unified Response

July 28, 2017 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 […]

Committed to Christ and the Scriptures

July 21, 2017 What is the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) all about? In a time of theological conflict and uncertain future, the WCA issues a clarion call to Christ-centered, biblically based ministry. Noted 19th century British preacher Charles Spurgeon could have been speaking about our time when he wrote: “Unity without truth seems hazardous. Our […]

Our Hope for the Way Forward

July 12, 2017 One of the purposes of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) is to create a unified response to the work of the Bishops’ Commission on a Way Forward that would maintain traditional, orthodox United Methodist beliefs.  The Chicago Statement was an initial step in fulfilling this purpose. On May 1, 2017, the Bishops’ […]

What is the Wesleyan Covenant Association?

July 6, 2017 There are lots of rumors and varying descriptions swirling around the church right now about the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA). Less than a year old and still in its formative stages, the WCA has attracted a lot of attention, as well as some criticism. But what, really, is this new organization all […]

Marriage and the Means of Grace

June 30, 2017 Carolyn Moore Carolyn Moore is an elder in the United Methodist Church who has served Jesus alongside the good people of Mosaic Church in Evans, Georgia for fourteen years. She currently serves as the vice-chair of the WCA Council. I’ve been married for thirty years to a man I absolutely adore. When […]

Back to the Basics: Love, Sin, Salvation, and the #NextMethodism

June 23, 2017 By Dr. David Watson Dr. David Watson, Dean of Academics at United Theological Seminary and Wesleyan Covenant Association Council member pens this helpful piece bringing us back to the basics of our Wesleyan tradition. This is part of the Next Methodism! A few good posts have popped up about the “Next Methodism” […]

10 Steps toward Civility (a place we all need to go)

June 17, 2017 Rev. Shane Bishop   We all know the UMC is at a crossroads.  That we hold differing positions does not mean that Christian people are excused from civility.  WCA is committed to civility.  If it were not, I would not be a part of it.   Shane Bishop, A Distinguished Evangelist of […]

I Joined the Wesleyan Covenant Association

June 9, 2017 Pastor Bob Phillips Dr. Bob Phillips retires July 1, 2017, as Directing Pastor of First UMC, Peoria, Il. Bob is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Illinois, with advanced degrees from Asbury, Princeton and St. Andrews (Scotland). He retired with the rank of Captain as the senior United Methodist […]

When the Brook Dries Up

May 18, 2017 Carolyn Moore We can all agree that the United Methodist Church is in the middle of a dry place. It is natural to wonder whose fault this is. Is this God’s doing? Is this human frailty at work? Did someone do this to us, or have we done this to ourselves? Are […]

Why are “Traditionalist Compatiblists” So Hard to Find?

May 10, 2017 Chris Ritter We are grateful to Chris Ritter, a member of the WCA Council and student of the state of the larger United Methodist Church, for this blog giving a different perspective on a narrative that is being used to describe the present state of our denomination.  To fully engage the narrative, […]

A Pastoral Letter Concerning the Judicial Council Decision

May 4, 2017 Rev. Dr. Bob Kaylor To say that this has been a pivotal week in the life of the United Methodist Church would be an understatement. On April 28, the Judicial Council ruled that the Western Jurisdictional Conference’s consecration of Bishop Oliveto, a married lesbian, was contrary to church law. At the same […]

Stand With Us

May 4, 2017  

(Not) Just Another Week in the UMC

May 1, 2017 Carolyn Moore Come, Lord Jesus. It was the prayer of the early church as they strained toward the Kingdom against tides of conflict and persecution. “Come, Lord Jesus!” This week, I find myself praying that prayer with fresh energy as we in my tribe try to make good sense of last week’s […]

Promises Must Be Kept

April 21, 2017 Joe Dipaolo Among the words of Scripture that carry enormous weight is covenant. God made a covenant with Abraham to bless all the families of the earth through his offspring. God made a covenant with Israel at Sinai, creating a special people. And God made a covenant with the whole human family […]

Opportunity In Change

April 11, 2017 Steve Wood It was a joyful occasion to be back on the Emory Campus today at the Candler School of Theology with a community learning and being transformed into the image of God. I connected with some old friends and made some new friends as I shared a word about the opportunity for […]

United Methodists Still Have Time (but the clock is ticking)

March 28, 2017 Rev. Shane L Bishop I am a United Methodist and proud of it!  This church has given me a context in which to live out my calling as an Ordained Elder and I am most grateful.  Our historical roots are excellent.  Our General Rules are golden.  I have been graced to stay […]

Five Things You Should Know About the Wesleyan Covenant Association

March 21, 2017 Carolyn Moore Since August of last year, some 1,500 clergy and laypersons have become invested in a renewal organization within the United Methodist Church called the Wesleyan Covenant Association. The WCA garnered some notice because of the timing of its unveiling, though actually it has been in the works for several years. The […]

Jesus is Lord – Still Good News?

March 17, 2017 Rev. Leslie Tomlinson As one who grew up in a faithful Christian home, I gave about as much thought to the statement “Jesus is Lord” as I gave to the statement “the sky is blue”.  It wasn’t until I met a young man in college who had just come to faith in […]

Reading Scripture the Wesley Way

March 9, 2017 Bill T. Arnold The Wesleyan Covenant Association affirms that the core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture as “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3; NRSV). We look to the Bible therefore as our authority and trustworthy guide, which “is useful for teaching, for […]

Biblical Revisionism’s Stolen Valor

March 9, 2017 Chris Ritter A Texas man was sentenced recently for falsely claiming to be a Navy SEAL wounded in battle.  Emblazoned with a Purple Heart ribbon, jump wings, and the SEAL Trident, the impostor criminally accepted credit for pretended accomplishments. Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler remarked on the case:  “This man stole a title which has been […]

Why We Believe in the Church (by, Rev Tom Lambrecht)

March 7, 2017 Rev Tom Lambrecht We Believe in the Church! A Wesleyan Covenant Association Event April 28-29, 2017 Hosted by Christ UMC, Memphis, TN WCA: Pursuing a Promising Future   What does it mean to be the church? What does it mean to be United Methodist? These are two of the core questions that […]

Squelching the Power of the Universe

Februrary 2, 2017 I’m sitting in my home on a warm January winter night in South Georgia, thinking about the church I love and wondering what happened to the power that used to be in Methodist services. A descriptive term from the 1800’s filters into my mind: Shouting Methodists. We don’t talk about this too […]