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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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

Four Marks of the Next Methodism

July 5, 2018 By David Watson The Wesleyan movement, however, is much larger than the UM Church. At its core this movement is dynamic, revivalistic, and evangelistic, and in many places in the world Wesleyan and Methodist communities are in the midst of revival. I believe we can have revival here, too. Yes, even in … 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

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

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

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

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

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