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, […]

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, […]

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 […]