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Learning and Living the Christian Faith

By Walter Fenton July 30, 2021 “Pastor, when those Jehovah’s Witness people come to my door, I pretend not to be home,” said Barb, a church member at a church I served. “But it’s not just that I don’t want to talk to them; I’m embarrassed that I can’t explain my faith as well they … Continue Reading

Hearts of Peace Can Still Prevail

By Keith Boyette July 23, 2021 Since the January 2020 announcement of the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation United Methodists, whether they identify as centrist, progressive, or traditionalist, have tried hard to honor a spirit of peace among one another. People have largely refrained from provocative acts that would plunge the church back … Continue Reading

An Episcopal Fiasco in North Georgia

By Walter Fenton July 16, 2021 CORRECTION: After the posting of this article it was brought to our attention that on July 7, 2021, the North Georgia Annual Conference announced that the Rev. Brian Tillman had been appointed to be the conference’s first Director of Inclusion and Advocacy.” We have removed from the article the paragraph … Continue Reading

Rev. Angela Pleasants Joins WCA Leadership Team

By Walter Fenton July 9, 2021 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that the Rev. Angela Pleasants has joined its leadership team. She will serve as its Vice President for Clergy and Church Relations, assisting clergy and local churches that seek to align with the Global Methodist Church. “I have rarely met a … Continue Reading

Structured to Serve

By Keith Boyette July 2, 2021 When John and Charles Wesley gathered with others at Oxford College to encourage and strengthen one another in the Christian faith, their detractors referred to them as “methodists,” a term of derision making fun of their intense commitment to a disciplined and organized walk with Jesus. Undeterred by those … Continue Reading

WCA Wraps Up Legislation with Virtual Online Global Assembly

By Walter Fenton June 25, 2021 Delegates from around the world participated in an online virtual meeting on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, to conclude the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Third Global Legislative Assembly. “We had an intense and productive day [April 30, 2021] when we met at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama, several weeks ago,” said … Continue Reading

Bishops in the Global Methodist Church

By Keith Boyette June 18, 2021 I recently read American Saint: Francis Asbury & The Methodists, John Wigger’s 2009 biography of Methodism’s primary leader during the early decades of the United States. As I read this compelling biography, I was impressed with two observations. First, Asbury was influential because of God’s anointing and his servant’s … Continue Reading

In Essentials, Unity

By Walter Fenton June 11, 2021 The succinct quote, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity,” is an aphorism variously attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430), John Wesley (1703 – 1791), and to a number of theologians in between them. It is often cited as Christians attempt to reach … Continue Reading

Clergy Deployment in the Global Methodist Church Prior to its Convening General Conference

By Keith Boyette June 4, 2021 A frequently asked question by those considering affiliation with the Global Methodist Church relates to how clergy deployment decisions will be made in the new church. At this time, we can only address deployment decisions that will be made between the legal formation of the GM Church and its … Continue Reading

Update: Three Bishops Stir Controversy

By Walter Fenton May 28, 2021 Clergy appointment controversies in the California-Pacific, Greater New Jersey, and North Georgia Annual Conferences of The United Methodist Church continue to fester and roil the congregations involved. Sam Hodges, from the United Methodist News Service, reported last week that United Methodist Korean laity and their allies engaged in public … Continue Reading

Working for the Community of God’s Design

By Angela Pleasants and Keith Boyette May 21, 2021 Down through the years, we have heard the declarations: The ground is level at the foot of the cross. God is no respecter of persons. “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in … Continue Reading

Great Devotions from WCA’s Third Global Legislative Assembly

We have repeatedly received requests for two excellent devotions that were delivered at the Wesleyan Covenant Associations Third Global Legislative Assembly at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama, on Friday, April 30, 2021. We are now happy to share with our members and friends the video of the Rev. Dr. Jeff Greenway’s opening devotion for the … Continue Reading

Three Bishops Stir Controversy

By Walter Fenton May 11, 2021 Perhaps it is a bit of an exaggeration, but we think it is fair to say that 99.9 percent of clergy appointments in The United Methodist Church are made with little or no controversy. And this is so because they tend to break down as follows: a local church … Continue Reading

WCA President Casts Vision for a Global Church

May 7, 2021 “The announcement of the impending birth of the Global Methodist Church is a moment of great hope for Methodists around the world,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette, Wesleyan Covenant Association President. “Committed to the historic Christian faith in the Wesleyan tradition, the Global Methodist Church will unashamedly proclaim the Good News of … Continue Reading

Go Global! Rekindles Passion and Hope for the Future

“I just wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the WCA’s Global Legislative Assembly and the Go Global! event last weekend! The music was simply phenomenal! The blend of hymns accompanied by the band was fantastic. And the Holy Spirit spoke straight to my heart through each and every one of the speakers,” wrote Liz … Continue Reading

WCA Global Legislative Assembly Endorses Protocol and the Global Methodist Church

In two separate votes, the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Global Legislative Assembly endorsed the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation and the Global Methodist Church in formation during Friday morning session, April 30, 2021, at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Due to a Covid-19 pandemic induced postponement of the Global Legislative Assembly that was originally … Continue Reading

Two Days of Business and a Day of Challenge

“After months of lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing, we’re very excited to have our Wesleyan Covenant Association members and friends join together in-person for important meetings and a day of challenge,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette, President of the WCA. Beginning this Thursday, the WCA will meet in Montgomery, Alabama, for three days where it … Continue Reading

There is a Simple Solution

By Carolyn Moore April 23, 2021 An ironic take on an old story keeps coming to mind. In this version, Old Mother Hubbard’s sad tale of an empty cupboard and hungry dog goes viral. An outcry of concern ripples through the community. Who would leave a dog without a bone? Was it stolen? Who would … Continue Reading

Disruption at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church, Largest Congregation in North Georgia Annual Conference

By Walter Fenton April 20, 2021 “We were taken completely by surprise,” said Lindsay Hill, chairwoman of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church’s Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC), as she still tries to absorb Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson’s decision to move the congregation’s senior pastor to a still evolving assignment on the North Georgia Annual Conference staff … Continue Reading

Departing the United Methodist Church

By Keith Boyette April 16, 2021 With the recent further postponement of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to August 29 – September 6, 2022, a number of local churches are evaluating whether they should depart from the UM Church now rather than waiting until the General Conference occurs. The General Conference will … Continue Reading

Jonathan Razon to Address WCA’s Fifth Global Gathering, Go Global!

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is honored to announce that the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Razon, the senior pastor at The Living Faith United Methodist Church in Murong, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines, will make a presentation at its Fifth Global Gathering – Go Global! – at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama, on Saturday, May 1, 2021. “It … Continue Reading

Bryan Collier to Deliver Presentation at WCA’s Fifth Global Gathering, Go Global!

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Bryan Collier, the lead pastor at the Orchard in Tupelo, Mississippi, will make a presentation at its Fifth Global Gathering – Go Global! – at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama, on Saturday, May 1, 2021. “Bryan Collier is an incredibly humble and even … Continue Reading

Carolyn Moore to Address WCA’s Fifth Global Gathering, Go Global!

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is honored to announce that the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore, the lead pastor at Mosaic Church in Evans, Georgia, will make a presentation at its Fifth Global Gathering – Go Global! – at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama, on Saturday, May 1, 2021. “Carolyn is a dynamo firmly focused on sharing … Continue Reading

Longing for Deliverance

By Keith Boyette April 2, 2021 Suffering. Brokenness. Death. Struggle. Paralysis. Words all too familiar from the past year. Words that seem especially poignant in this Holy Week of 2021. As I reflect on Jesus’ journey especially in the events of the Upper Room, his arrest, trials before the religious council and Pilate, scourging, the … Continue Reading

Eric Huffman to Speak at WCA’s Fifth Global Gathering, Go Global!

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that the Rev. Eric Huffman, the lead pastor at The Story Church in Houston, Texas, will make a presentation at its Fifth Global Gathering – Go Global! – at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama, on Saturday, May 1, 2021. “I think Eric is one of the most … Continue Reading

Council of Bishops Cancels Special General Conference

By Keith Boyette March 26, 2021 Less than four weeks after calling for a special General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops reversed its call, and announced on Monday, March 22, that it was now cancelling the session scheduled for May 8, 2021. The council gave no reason for canceling the special session. … Continue Reading

Standing with our Asian Sisters and Brothers

By Keith Boyette March 23, 2021 Since the announcement of the emergence of the coronavirus and its spread globally in early 2020, those of Asian ethnicity have been the targets of racism, acts of violence, discrimination, harassment, and derogatory statements. Acts of violence, including murders and assaults, have escalated recently. The Wesleyan Covenant Association condemns … Continue Reading

Bishop Eduard Khegay to Address WCA’s Fifth Global Gathering, Go Global!

March 19, 2021 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is excited to announce that Bishop Eduard Khegay, Resident Bishop of the Eurasia Episcopal Area in the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference of The United Methodist Church, will make a presentation at its Fifth Global Gathering – Go Global! – at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama on … Continue Reading

Krystl Gauld to Speak at Go Global! the WCA’s Fifth Global Gathering

March 16, 2021 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is excited to announce that Ms. Krystl Gauld, Executive Director at Dignity Housing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will make a presentation at its Fifth Global Gathering – Go Global! – at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama on Saturday, May 1, 2021. “Krystl is the kind of dynamic young adult … Continue Reading

The Continuing Role of the Wesleyan Covenant Association in the Development of the Global Methodist Church

By Keith Boyette March 12, 2021 The announcement of news of the Global Methodist Church has filled many theologically conservative United Methodists with hope for the future. The United Methodist Church, beset by decades-long conflict, continues to wrestle with how it will navigate the stormy waters following its deeply divisive 2019 special General Conference, its … Continue Reading

The Rev. Dr. Tim Tennent, President of Asbury Theological Seminary, to Address the WCA’s Fifth Global Gathering

March 9, 2021 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Tim Tennent, President of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, will address its Fifth Global Gathering – Go Global! – at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama on Saturday, May 1, 2021. “Tim’s witness to the gospel has made a profound … Continue Reading

The Next Methodism Fund

March 5, 2021 The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce the creation of the “Next Methodism Fund” to support the Global Methodist Church while it is in formation. Funds raised will be dedicated to ministries focused on revitalizing existing local churches and planting new ones, global missional partnerships, transformational discipleship, outreach to youth and … Continue Reading

We Press On

March 2, 2021 By Keith Boyette The battle against the Covid-19 pandemic rages on. Virtually every area of our lives has been impacted no matter where we live or how we occupy our time. Pandemic weariness has set in. Generally speaking, humanity is impatient. Jason Gay, writing in The Wall Street Journal on February 25, … Continue Reading

The Global Methodist Church

March 1, 2021 By Walter Fenton The Transitional Leadership Council, a 17 member team of theologically conservative Methodists, has released information on the Global Methodist Church. The council said the new church will officially come into existence when a United Methodist General Conference adopts the implementing legislation for the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through … Continue Reading

Facing Hard Truths and Doing the Right Thing

February 26, 2021 By Joseph F. DiPaolo The charge is often made that the leading bishops, clergy, and laity who fashioned and endorsed the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation are somehow causing a schism within The United Methodist Church. I disagree. Unfortunately, the schism was already there. In fact, I would argue that … Continue Reading

Go Global! The 2021 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association

February 19, 2021 We are excited to invite you to the WCA’s Fifth Global Gathering! Join us on Saturday, May 1, at Frazer Church in Montgomery, Alabama or at one of our simulcast sites as we celebrate the mission God has entrusted to us to Go Global! Registration is now open here. Because of attendance … Continue Reading

Coalition of Traditional Leaders Calls for Decision on Protocol at Earliest Possible Time

February 16, 2021 A diverse group of theologically conservative Methodist leaders from around the globe who initially met in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2020 to announce a vision for a new traditional expression of Methodism has issued a statement today continuing their support for the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation and urging “the … Continue Reading

Getting to a Decision

February 12, 2021 By Keith Boyette Life is complicated. A pandemic makes life more complicated. Ministry is hard. Ministry during a pandemic is harder. Decision-making is often difficult. Decision-making during a pandemic is even more difficult. The United Methodist Church is confronting this reality just as countless other communities are when established practices have been … Continue Reading

WCA Task Force Launches the Nehemiah Journey

By Walter Fenton The Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Church Revitalization Task Force has launched Nehemiah Journey, a pilot program for local churches seeking revitalization. Three cohorts of eight to ten members have been organized in the United States and Zambia. The cohorts will help the diverse seven member team that leads the Nehemiah Journey refine the … Continue Reading

Pandemic Challenges for General Conference

By Walter Fenton January 29, 2021 The United Methodist Church’s next General Conference will meet in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 29 – September 7, 2021. Or will it? Postponed once already due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is possible the quadrennial conference could be postponed again. The Commission on General Conference, the body responsible for planning … Continue Reading

The Church’s Call to Ministry with Marginalized People

By Walter Fenton January 22, 2021 “In a new global Methodist church it simply won’t do for local churches to evaluate themselves when it comes to ministry with marginalized people,” said the Rev. Erik Grayson, lead pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in North Charleston, South Carolina. “To determine our effectiveness we’ll have to go … Continue Reading

Forward into a Faithful Future

By Keith Boyette January 15, 2021 Launched in October 2016, the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s mission has evolved with events. We have never wavered in upholding the Lordship of Jesus and the authority of Scripture over our individual and corporate lives. We have been passionate in our commitment to the great confessions of the Christian faith … Continue Reading

Pray, Think, and Make Christian Community a Priority

By Carolyn Moore January 12, 2020 What happened in Washington D.C. last week was beyond sad. It should not have happened, and we cannot emphasize strongly enough that any connection to these events with the core values of Christianity is utterly wrong. We must all stand against this attack on democracy and sound a clarion … Continue Reading

From Strife to the Better Angels of Our Nature

By Keith Boyette January 7, 2021 I planned to write a different article for this first Outlook of 2021. Although 2020 was a difficult year in so many ways, we have much to celebrate in what God has done in and through us, and what He will do in 2021. I will touch on our … Continue Reading

The Visible Image of the Invisible God

December 24, 2020 By Keith Boyette The heart of Christmas is the message of a God – fully divine — who cares so much about His creation that He became fully human to deliver us from the prison we had constructed for ourselves. The inheritance we had earned was death and eternal separation from God … Continue Reading

Jesus Our Judge

December 18, 2020 By Walter Fenton I will never forget my favorite grade school teacher, Mrs. Maxey. She taught gym class. No one called it physical education – that would’ve ruined it. It was just gym. And at my grade school Mrs. Maxey was the one and only gym teacher. Class by class, 1st – … Continue Reading

Living in the In-Between Times

December 11, 2020 By Keith Boyette We live in the already/not yet on God’s calendar. During his earthly ministry, Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God is near. Jesus broke into our reality as a baby born in Bethlehem – Immanuel – God with us. With his crucifixion, Jesus fulfilled God’s good plan to provide … Continue Reading

Carolyn Moore Elected WCA Chairwoman

December 4, 2020 The Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Global Council elected the Rev. Dr. Carolyn Moore as its chairwoman on Tuesday, December 2, 2020. Moore is a well-known author, sought after speaker, and lead pastor at Mosaic Church in Evans, Georgia. She is a founding council member of the WCA and has served as its vice-chairwoman … Continue Reading

In Everything Give Thanks

by Keith Boyette November 25, 2020 Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, commands, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT). In 2020, we have encountered our share of adversity – with COVID-19, strife flowing from racial … Continue Reading

African Bishops and the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation

by Walter Fenton November 20, 2020 A recent press release issued by The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops on behalf of African episcopal leaders has stirred speculation about the viability of the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation. The Protocol is the widely known plan calling for the amicable separation of The United … Continue Reading

WCA Awards Grants to Twelve Ministries in Central Conferences

November 13, 2020 The Global Council of the Wesleyan Covenant Association recently celebrated the approval of ministry grants totaling $180,150. The grants were disbursed from its Central Conference Ministry Fund to support twelve ministries in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe. The Central Conference Ministry Fund was established … Continue Reading

How Many Local Churches?

by Walter Fenton November 6, 2020 “If the 2021 General Conference adopts the implementing legislation for the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation, how many local churches would there be in the new traditionalist Methodist church?” It is an interesting and important question, and for strategic and planning purposes, it would be very helpful … Continue Reading

That All May Know

October 30, 2020 by Keith Boyette Demographers tell us that approximately 3.22 billion people globally have no access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The current world population is estimated to be 7.75 billion people. Over forty percent of the world’s people groups have no indigenous community of believing Christians able to reach the rest … Continue Reading

What about Insurance and Pensions after Separation?

By Keith Boyette Clergy rightly have a number of questions about the implications of an amicable separation in The United Methodist Church when the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Amicable Separation is adopted. “I am retired. What will happen to my pension benefits?” “I am an active clergyperson. What will happen to the benefits … Continue Reading

The Imperative of Local Church Revitalization

By Walter Fenton Last November the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s 226 member Global Legislative Assembly could not have known just how important its authorization of a taskforce to focus on Church Revitalization would become. But now, in the wake of a pandemic and a worldwide recession that have shuttered local churches, strained their budgets, and isolated … Continue Reading

The Protocol: Going Forward not Backward

By Walter Fenton “We haven’t heard much about the Protocol recently; is it still on track?” That is one variation of a question the Wesleyan Covenant Association has regularly received over the past several weeks. Of course, people asking the question are referring to the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation that calls for … Continue Reading

FAQ about the Transitional Leadership Council

Earlier this year, when a group of United Methodist leaders shared a proposal for an amicable separation of the UM Church, it seems fair to say most United Methodists greeted the news with a mix of sadness and relief. Led by the late Bishop John Yambasu, the 16 member mediation team produced the now widely known … Continue Reading

Watch and Pray

“…keep watch with me for one hour…watch and pray…” God has called the WCA International Intercessory Prayer Network to cover every hour of the next year in prayer as we prepare for season of separation and a time transition to a new global Methodist church. We are confident the Lord will work through the prayers … Continue Reading

Many Questions and Where to Find Answers

“I’m a seminary student nearing graduation and I’d like to serve in the new global Methodist church; will it recognize the courses I have taken in church history, doctrine and polity? “Will retired UM clergy be allowed to transfer their clergy membership into the new church?” “Will there be a ‘trust clause’ in the new … Continue Reading

Reclaiming the Method in Methodism

By Bob Kaylor My first full-time ministry gig was as a lay youth director at a United Methodist Church in central Pennsylvania. Having grown up a Presbyterian, I knew little about Methodism, yet I’ll never forget the day the senior pastor slid the confirmation materials across his desk to me and asked me to teach … Continue Reading

For the Sake of Your Local Church

By Walter Fenton Photo by Leslie Cross on Unsplash Local United Methodist churches have plenty of challenges to contend with right now. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic many are finding ways to reopen sanctuaries so members can worship God together while still allowing for social distancing. Where possible, pastors and lay ministers are … Continue Reading

A Sure Hope for a Faithful Future

By Keith Boyette The United Methodist Church is now less than one year away from a defining General Conference that was postponed earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the long delay, some United Methodists are wondering if the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation has been derailed. And concerns about it … Continue Reading

Members of Christ’s Flesh and Bones

By Walter Fenton As a young Christian, when I first read the Apostle Paul’s use of the human body as metaphor for the body of Christ, I was deeply impressed. Forty to fifty years later, I admit I do not always look forward to reading 1 Corinthians 12.14-26. To be sure, I still think the … Continue Reading

A Meditation on Psalm 19

By Walter Fenton Like many people these days, my wife and I cancelled our vacation plans. We were hoping to hike in the Colorado mountains where we enjoy the cool air, the cold mountain lakes, the deep blue sky during the day and the star filled sky at night. Sometimes when we gaze at the … Continue Reading

Bishop John Yambasu Killed in Automobile Accident

Dear WCA Members and Friends, It is with profound sadness and loss that I share with you the news of the death of Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Annual Conference, who was killed in an automobile accident on Sunday morning, August 16. Bishop Yambasu blessed The United Methodist Church with his faith and … Continue Reading

Preparation for Launch

By Keith Boyette In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon reminds us that there is a time for every activity under the heavens. The times we live in seem strange indeed. Any sense of normalcy has been replaced by the knowledge we have never walked this road before. Many routines have been disrupted. The journey we are on … Continue Reading

Closing Windows and Windows of Hope

By Rev. Wayne Hobson “The window is closing,” that is what some health and medical professionals are saying about the time left to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It makes me think of another window that is closing due to the pandemic. I think of the window that is closing for Martha, a … Continue Reading

God Of Hope

By Bishop Eduard Khegay Pastor N’s wife from Kazakhstan was forced to take a “vacation” without pay. Suddenly raising three small children got extremely difficult. In a large Russian city, a pastor and his wife ran an after school program, but as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, they had to close their tutoring agency and … Continue Reading

The Beauty of a Global Church

By Keith Boyette The new traditional Methodist denomination that will be launched in September 2021 will be global in character. We fully embrace Jesus’ directive: “You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The Great Commission compels us to … Continue Reading

Doing Hard Things in the Right Spirit

By Walter Fenton Doing something new is hard in the best of times. Since its inception the Wesleyan Covenant Association believed there were only two hard ways forward for The United Methodist Church: one where its leaders rededicated themselves to teaching the apostolic, catholic, and historic confessions of the Christian faith grounded in Scripture, or … Continue Reading

New Wineskins for a New Connection

By Chappell Temple “Part Eight – Connectional Organization” is not exactly the most scintillating, cannot-put-it-down, section of the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s draft “Book of Doctrines and Discipline.” For when folks get excited about their church it is not usually because of the compellingly great connectional organization that it has. On the other hand, Methodists have … Continue Reading

Make Justice a Reality

By Keith Boyette  At its founding in its Statement of Moral Principles, the Wesleyan Covenant Association declared, “We believe that all persons are of sacred worth…. The WCA specifically renounces all racial and ethnic discrimination and commits itself to work toward full racial and ethnic equality in the church and in society.” Recent events in … Continue Reading

The Role of Conferences in the New Methodism

By Thomas Lambrecht “Conferencing” is at the heart of Methodist history and tradition. In 1744, only a few years after starting the Methodist movement, John Wesley called together the small group of preachers who formed the core of the movement for a “conference” meeting. They gathered to discern “how we should proceed to save our … Continue Reading

For Such a Time as This: A Call to Fasting and Prayer at Pentecost

In what for many people is a season of turmoil, loneliness, and suffering the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s International Intercessory Prayer Network invites WCA members and friends to join in a time of fasting and prayer, Thursday, May 28, through Pentecost Sunday, May 31. To prepare for this time, the network encourages participants to reflect on … Continue Reading

Transitioning to a New Church… in God’s Time

By Keith Boyette On May 5, the day The United Methodist Church’s General Conference was set to convene, UM advocacy groups, representative of each of the theological streams in the church, released comments on the significance of its postponement. Each of the groups (Mainstream UMC, Reconciling Ministries Network, UMForward, and the Wesleyan Covenant Association) remain … Continue Reading

Where Do We Go From Here?

By Keith Boyette Today, we were to be meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the convening of The United Methodist Church’s 2020 General Conference. But as we are all aware, the COVID-19 virus radically disrupted those plans as it has disrupted nearly every other aspect of our lives. The world has changed. I hear people longing … Continue Reading

Getting Ready to Reboot

The Wesleyan Covenant Association concludes its video series on doing ministry in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Today, Jennifer Cowart, Executive Pastor at Harvest Church in Warner Robbins, Georgia, talks about “Getting Ready to Reboot.” To watch the video Cowart cites in her article click on this link: 24 More Questions the Church Should Ask … Continue Reading

Ministry to the Marginalized in the Midst of a Pandemic

The Wesleyan Covenant Association continues its video series on doing ministry in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Today, the Rev. Erik Grayson, Pastor-in-Charge at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in North Charleston, South Carolina, talks about “Ministry to the Marginalized in the Midst of a Pandemic.” The video series will continue next with: “Getting Ready to … Continue Reading

Keeping People Engaged… at a Distance

This week the Wesleyan Covenant Association continues a video series on doing ministry in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Today the Rev. Dr. Bob Kaylor, Lead Pastor at Tri-Lakes United Methodist Church in Monument, Colorado, talks about “Keeping People Engaged… at a Distance.” The video series will continue next with: Ministry to the Marginalized in … Continue Reading

A Non-Anxious Presence in Perilous Times

This week the Wesleyan Covenant Association continues a video series on doing ministry in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Today the Rev. Dr. Jan Davis, Senior Pastor at Central United Methodist Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks about serving as “A Non-Anxious Presence in Perilous Times.” The video series will continue with: Keeping People Engaged… at a … Continue Reading

The Value of Teams in the Time of Pandemic

This week the Wesleyan Covenant Association begins a five part video series on doing ministry in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Today the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, Lead Pastor at Grace Church in Fort Myers, Florida, talks about how it is more important than ever to stay connected with and care for local teams and groups. … Continue Reading

How Will Your Church Respond to Disruption?

By Tim Smith Before the COVID-19 pandemic grounded most of us, I took a flight from Dallas to California. Storms had been rolling through Dallas overnight and continued into the morning. After I boarded, the captain came on the speaker to let everyone know it was going to be a very bumpy flight. And boy … Continue Reading

From Generation to Generation

By Stephen Rankin When you encounter that squirrely twelve-year-old from the youth group, who do you see? Just another kid or an adult-in-the-making? It is easy to think in conventional developmental terms about what a twelve-year-old needs from the church “right now,” at this particular stage in life.  Of course, it is good to think … Continue Reading

The Victory of Easter

By Keith Boyette Easter 2020 is probably unlike any Easter we have experienced. The celebration of Easter draws even the most reluctant church-goer out to join others in embracing a message of hope. Attendance at an Easter Sunrise service has been a yearly part of my celebration for as long as I can remember. Such … Continue Reading

A Reflection on Good Friday

By Walter Fenton In an ultimately rollicking and rousing sermon on the Resurrection the Rev. Kenneth Levingston declared at the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s 2020 Global Gathering in Tulsa, Oklahoma: “Paul told us, ‘Jesus was buried.’ I think Paul wants to make sure we don’t think about this metaphorically and allegorically. Paul wants us to know … Continue Reading

St. Augustine: a Christ-follower in Dark Times

By Charles L. Harrell Sometimes whole years float by placidly, like a lazy summer river, but then clouds emerge, a lazy river becomes rapids, the one certainty is uncertainty, and anxiety can surround us like a dark cloud. How do Christians respond in the midst of uncertainty and anxiety? How do we maintain hope and … Continue Reading

If My People Who are Called by My Name: An Invitation to Prayer During Covid-19

By Greg Stover On March 24th the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church urged United Methodists to join in Pope Francis’ call for a Day of Prayer to take place March 25th. Bishop Ken Carter, President of the Council, wrote, “We invite all to pray to God to rid … Continue Reading

Licensed Local Pastors in a New Methodist Church

This is the third of three articles on new paragraphs the Wesleyan Covenant Association is releasing for inclusion in its draft “Book of Doctrines and Discipline.” The WCA previously released Part Five – The Ministry of the Clergy without ¶¶ 501-516, the paragraphs dealing with the process of credentialing and ordaining clergy. These paragraphs are … Continue Reading

The Ministry of Deacons

This is the second of three articles on new paragraphs the Wesleyan Covenant Associations is releasing for inclusion in its draft “Book of Doctrines and Discipline.” The WCA previously released Part Five – The Ministry of the Clergy without ¶¶ 501-516, the paragraphs dealing with the process of credentialing and ordaining clergy. These paragraphs are … Continue Reading

Theological Foundations for Ordination in a New Expression of Methodism

Today, the Wesleyan Covenant Associations begins a series of three articles on new paragraphs it is releasing for inclusion in its draft “Book of Doctrines and Discipline.” The WCA previously released Part Five – The Ministry of the Clergy without ¶¶ 501-516, the paragraphs dealing with the process of credentialing and ordaining clergy. These paragraphs … Continue Reading

Prayer, Thanksgiving, and Perseverance

Whether in the city of Manila in the Philippines, in a village on the plains of south central Russia, or in a town in Tennessee, or in many other places around the world, the sounds of hymns and prayers corporately sung and said have fallen silent in local United Methodist churches. To be sure, persevering … Continue Reading

All of Us, All of Him

Keith Boyette Down through the ages, various Christians have been given credit for the adage “Work as if it depends on you, pray as if it depends on God.” The earliest attribution for the quote is to St. Augustine. The founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius, is also given credit for it. And one author … Continue Reading

Pastoring in Plague-Times

By Chappell Temple You might say that he showed up at just the wrong time. For it was just after coming back to his home town at the age of 31 to serve as a leader in his church – having been turned down for the job seven years earlier – that a devastating war … Continue Reading

Global UM Leaders Reimagine a New Methodist Movement

Traditionalist United Methodist leaders from around the world have agreed on an expansive vision for a new, global Methodist church. Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, March 2 – 4, episcopal leaders from Africa, Eurasia, the Philippines, and the United States, were joined by traditionalist clergy, and renewal and reform group leaders from the Confessing Movement, Good … Continue Reading

A Safe Passageway

By Erik Grayson A woman was walking after dark from her job back to her home. She was traveling on one of the narrow side streets parallel to our church when she was accosted by a man at gunpoint, robbed, and then pistol-whipped. After he left, she quickly sought solace from a friend who lived … Continue Reading

Catalyzing a Global Church Planting Movement

By Steve Cordle I stood before the township supervisors, requesting zoning approval so that our new church could build its first facility. “We have thirteen churches in this township already, why do we need another one?” asked one official. It was a fair question, and we did our best to answer. It must have been … Continue Reading

A New Vision for a New Methodist Movement

By Paul Lawler It was Dr. George Hunter who once said, “There was a time when we Methodist would say with John Wesley, ‘The world is my parish.’ Today, we far too often say, ‘The parish is my world.’” While Wesley spoke the former words out of his burden to see spiritually anemic Anglicans awakened to Christ, … Continue Reading

Five Reasons Why You Ought to Join the WCA Now

By Carolyn Moore Since General Conference 2019, multiple conversations have produced multiple proposals for multiple ways through our current crisis. Negotiations have produced several significant legislative proposals to be considered at General Conference 2020. The “Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation” seems to have generated more blogs, tweets, resolutions and comments than there are … Continue Reading

Embracing a New Beginning

By Keith Boyette With the recent announcement of the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation, and now the release of its implementing legislation, many United Methodists are focusing on next steps. The protocol has now been endorsed by seven major advocacy groups that have often been at odds with one another: The Confessing Movement, … Continue Reading

Reservations and Hope about the Protocol

By Tim McClendon Will The United Methodist Church separate into two or more denominations? Only its General Conference can say for sure. The recently announced “Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation” has gained a good deal of traction across the UM connection. The press and social media plus the blogosphere have been reporting things … Continue Reading

Fierce

This is an excerpt from Jennifer Cowart’s women’s Bible study book Fierce: Women of the Bible Who Changed the World, published by Abingdon Press. By Jennifer Cowart The word fierce is trendy. It’s used to describe women who are supermodels, extreme athletes, and high-level executives. It describes women who are at the top of their … Continue Reading

Why I Said Yes to Prayer

By Leo Park “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. … Continue Reading

Life’s Too Short

By Talbot Davis I spent most of my childhood and adolescence pursuing a two-fold dream: one, to become the Texas state champion in tennis for kids my age; and two, to use that state championship as a catapult into a pro tennis career. While dream number one ultimately did happen, you may be able to … Continue Reading

Leaning Forward: Why I Support the Separation Plan

By Joseph F. DiPaolo For years there has been tension among traditionalist United Methodists between those leaning in and those leaning out – that is, between some who wanted simply to leave The United Methodist Church, and others who felt called to stay and contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). … Continue Reading

An Invitation to Stop Fighting and Heal our Souls

By Jeff Greenway When “The Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation” was released earlier this month it generated a wave of reactions across The United Methodist Church. I have not been surprised by the varied responses. It has been my experience that each step in the process toward some form of amicable separation brings … Continue Reading

A Protocol for Peace

By Chappell Temple He’s not exactly a theologian, but we could perhaps call him a prophet of sorts. For six years before the United Methodist Church was even formed, Neil Sedaka got it right in his signature song of 1962: “Breaking Up is Hard to Do.” And that is so not only because there are … Continue Reading

Pressing On: Our Journey to a New Future

By Gregory D. Stover “Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3.13-14 NRSV). With … Continue Reading

Count Me In

By Carolyn Moore I have been on social media enough in the last few days to know that the latest plan for denominational separation along theological lines is not without its detractors. I’m not among them. This agreement comes to me as a deep relief. For several years I have worked as a member of … Continue Reading

Why a Mediated Negotiation?

By Keith Boyette This year, The United Methodist Church is 52 years old. Of course, the Methodist movement, currently composed of approximately 80 distinct Methodist denominations worldwide, is much older than that. The UM Church was formed from the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968. Methodism, as with … Continue Reading

Key Bishops and Advocacy Group Leaders Propose Plan of Separation

By Walter Fenton A prominent group of 16 United Methodists released a detailed proposal today calling for an amicable separation of The United Methodist Church. The group included individuals representing all the major advocacy organizations affiliated with the church and eight bishops from around the world, including Bishop Kenneth Carter, current president of the Council … Continue Reading

Great News!

By Keith Boyette I have spent my share of nights far away from civilization under star-filled skies listening to the sounds of God’s creation all around me. If you are in a reflective mood, you are confronted with your insignificance in the grand scheme of things. One can feel pretty small and vulnerable in such … Continue Reading

Great Response to “Book of Doctrines and Discipline”

By Walter Fenton In less than a month hundreds of people have responded with comments, critiques, and questions regarding the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s release of its draft “Book of Doctrines and Discipline.” The association released the document November 8, 2019, shortly after its 228 member Global Legislative Committee overwhelmingly commended it for review and comment. … Continue Reading

Dedicated, Faithful, and Honorable Leaders

By Walter Fenton There is no hiding the fact that many United Methodists are disappointed in many of the U.S. bishops who have led the church since its inception in 1968. These bishops have presided over a denomination in the U.S. where church membership has gone from over 11 million to now fewer than 7 … Continue Reading

Now Thank We All Our God

By Keith Boyette In the seventeenth century, Martin Rinkart wrote the words of an amazing hymn of thanksgiving, “Now Thank We All Our God.” Rinkart knew the adversity of having lived through the Thirty Years’ War and a plague that decimated his home city. Rinkart is reported to have conducted 4,000 funerals in one year, … Continue Reading

Empowering Laity for a New Methodist Movement

By Walter Fenton In order to be a healthy and vibrant branch of the church universal, a new Methodist movement must equip and empower laity for ministry and service. This is a truism for any church, but we sense it will be critical in an era of increased secularization in some cultural settings and encounters … Continue Reading

Deploying Faithful, Energetic, and Effective Clergy

By Keith Boyette Local churches need faithful, creative, and energetic pastors to partner with them in worshiping God, growing as disciples of Jesus Christ, and being passionate and diligent in the mission field God has given them. Clergy have a significant impact on the effectiveness and fruitfulness of local churches, so how they are deployed … Continue Reading

Ministry Task Forces Forming

From its inception, the Wesleyan Covenant Association has worked for a revitalized Methodist witness globally. The WCA is committed to reaching all people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and inviting every person to be a follower of Jesus Christ transformed by the grace and love of God. As some form of separation in The … Continue Reading

God is Birthing a New Wesleyan Movement

By Keith Boyette What follows is the address the Rev. Keith Boyette, President of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, delivered at Transformed, the WCA’s Fourth Global Gathering held at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, November 9, 2019. *** My entire life is enveloped by my relationship with Jesus and His church. One … Continue Reading

A Mission Driven Church

By Walter Fenton Many United Methodists are justifiably wary of anything that resembles the “institutional” church of which they are now a part. They are wary of numerous bureaucratic and costly general boards and agencies, and they are particularly wary of institutional leaders called bishops. And yet, it has often been said over the past … Continue Reading

Envisioning a New Methodist Movement

By Walter Fenton Over the course of two inspiring days at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) set forth its vision for a new, spirit-filled, Methodist movement fully focused on living out and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed. On Saturday, November 9, over … Continue Reading

Adopted Resolutions: The Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Second Global Legislative Assembly

Asbury United Methodist Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma Friday, November 8, 2019 Resolution One: Endorsing the Indianapolis Plan for Amicable Separation WHEREAS, The United Methodist Church has experienced increasing levels of conflict at every General Conference since 1972 with the 2019 special General Conference and its aftermath highlighting the depth of irreconcilable differences within the church; WHEREAS, … Continue Reading

Wesleyan Covenant Association Releases “Book of Doctrines and Discipline”

Today, the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) releases a working document with the tentative title “The Book of Doctrines and Discipline.” From November 2018 through January 2019, a team of 16 clergy and laity prepared the first draft of the document and submitted it to the WCA’s 34-member governing council. Since March of this year the … Continue Reading

Plans for Separation, Dissolution, and Exit

By Walter Fenton Since the close of the contentious 2019 special General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, United Methodists from across the theological spectrum set to work crafting plans to resolve the bitter dispute over the denomination’s sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and ordination standards. The discordant conference and its aftermath made clear to many … Continue Reading

Wesleyan Covenant Association Council Endorses Indianapolis Plan for Amicable Separation

After a time of serious reflection and spirited debate, the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) Council voted to endorse the Indianapolis Plan for Amicable Separation during one of its regularly scheduled monthly teleconference calls on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. The association’s 35-member governing council had time to read and review the plan prior to the call, … Continue Reading

Called by Name

By Elaine Friedrich Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah, began his life living up to his name: heel grabber. Even in the process of being born, Jacob grabbed the foot of his twin brother Esau, and so began a life filled with deception and trickery. Yet, as the story of his life progresses, we see … Continue Reading

The Mystery and Glory of Communion with God

By Carolyn Moore September 27, 2019 My sister, after years away from the faith, came home to Christ in the Lutheran church. The transition back into the church world, while it was welcomed, still had its moments. She’d dealt with a lot in her life and carried a lot of shame. As a Lutheran she … Continue Reading

The Rev. Keith Boyette to Reveal WCA’s Plans for a New Methodism at 2019 Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that the Rev. Keith Boyette will deliver a major address at its Fourth Global Gathering at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, November 9, 2019. “I look forward to sharing the WCA’s hopeful vision for a new Methodism,” said Boyette, the President of the … Continue Reading

Never Give Up

By Elizabeth Fink September 20, 2019 When contemplating the future of The United Methodist Church, we all find ourselves asking a couple of questions: How did we get to this point? Why is the theological gap so wide? My answers take me back to an experience in my own life that propelled me on this … Continue Reading

The Meaning and Beauty of Baptism

By Rev. Gregory Stover A theologically and spiritually renewed church is the goal of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. As we seek this renewal, we have opportunity to re-discover and re-affirm our historic convictions, including our theological understanding of baptism and its power in the ministry and life of the church. Baptism occupies a distinctive place … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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, … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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, … Continue Reading

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, … Continue Reading

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. … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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, … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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. … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Grace

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, … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading