Laywoman Cara Nicklas to Deliver Opening Address at the WCA’s 2019 Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is pleased to announce that Cara Nicklas, an Oklahoma laywoman, will deliver the opening address at its Fourth Global Gathering at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, November 9, 2019. A founding member of the Wesleyan Covenant Association Council, Nicklas was a speaker at the association’s 2017 Global […]

A Message from Keith Boyette

Watch as Rev. Keith Boyette invites you to Transformed, the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Fourth Global Gathering where he will share the WCA’s hopeful vision for a new Methodism. Join us this year on Saturday, November 9th, at Asbury UMC in Tulsa, Oklahoma or at one of our simulcast sites as we declare the transforming power of Jesus […]

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, […]

The Rev. Kenneth Levingston to Preach At the WCA’s 2019 Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is thrilled to announce that the Rev. Kenneth Levingston, Senior Pastor at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, will preach a closing sermon at its Fourth Global Gathering at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, November 9, 2019. “You don’t want to be a speaker who […]

Called by Name

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 that not only […]

Know What You are Going to Do!

I have played competitive softball since I was fourteen years old at every imaginable level. Up to a handful of years ago, I played over a hundred games each season and now, in my late fifties, I still play twenty or thirty. For much of that time I was a shortstop. The shortstop is the […]

Never Give Up

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 journey of awareness and struggle within […]

The Rev. Nako Kellum to Address the WCA’s 2019 Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is excited to announce that the Rev. Nako Kellum will speak at its Fourth Global Gathering at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, November 9, 2019. “Nako is a kind, faithful servant of Jesus; she has an amazing story of how she came to Christ as a young […]

The Meaning and Beauty of Baptism

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 in Christian faith and […]

The Rev. Shane Bishop to Speak at the WCA’s 2019 Global Gathering

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is very pleased to announce that the Rev. Shane Bishop will speak at its Fourth Global Gathering at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, November 9, 2019. “Shane has a phenomenal gift for clarity, and he delivers the Gospel with passion,” said the Rev. Dr. Chris Ritter, Directing […]

Nominees Sought for WCA Council Class of 2022

The second Global Legislative Assembly of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) will be held at Asbury United Methodist Church, 6767 S Mingo Rd, Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Friday, November 8, 2019. The Global Legislative Assembly meets annually to elect members of the Council of the WCA and to conduct business on behalf of the membership of […]

Waiting on God: David, Saul and the Next Methodism

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 of the special General […]

Disaffiliation Legislation Likely Invalid

The 2019 Special General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted a new provision of the Book of Discipline, paragraph 2553, providing a process by which local churches could disaffiliate or exit from the denomination, released from the terms of the trust imposed on property of the local church. However, the adoption of the provision is now likely invalid. […]

Deacons: Showing Up and Getting Things Done

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 up since she was “going to […]

What If . . . ?

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 from what Jesus is doing in […]

Some Clarifications on Apportionments are in Order

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, the UM Church […]

Minneapolis Calmly Considered

Now that General Conference delegate elections in the U.S. are over, perhaps it is time to consider what it all means for the impending General Conference to convene in Minneapolis in May 2020. It is clear that progressives made some gains, displacing perhaps 15-20 percent of the U.S. delegate spots held by traditionalists during the […]

Pure Grace: Wesley’s Take on Supernatural Ministry

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 for a movement that would welcome […]

Fun with Math

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 statistics.” And in that sense, some […]

Groundhog Day

Delegates to the 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church in Minneapolis might just feel like they are starring in a sequel to the classic movie “Groundhog Day.” Bill Murray, as a weatherman named Phil, inexplicably finds himself living the same day over and over again. From May 5-15, General Conference delegates will be […]

About That Pension Proposal at the Special General Conference

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 of Alberta, Canada, has demonstrated a knack for […]

Letters to the Churches

During this turbulent and chaotic season in the life of The United Methodist Church, I have found direction, encouragement and strength in the letters to the churches in Revelation (see chapters two and three). The churches are a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly — not unlike the ecclesial landscape we confront […]

Why Do I Continue to Believe in God?

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 unanswered. I remembered many prayers that were not […]

Thoughts on the Way to Annual Conference

I practice ministry as a theologically conservative and socially engaged Methodist. I preach that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the universe — the way, the truth and the life, the exclusive path to God our Father. I believe these are the headwaters of orthodoxy and that unless we Methodists agree on that bedrock truth, […]

God Will Provide?

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 me to know our story is full […]

The Priesthood of All Believers

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 of those delegates will be clergy […]

Yearning for a Better Way

Last month the Wesleyan Covenant Association announced the creation of the Central Conference Ministry Fund. It is specifically designed to support United Methodist ministries in Africa, Europe, the Philippines, and Russia that some U.S. annual conferences and local churches said they could no longer fund. These conferences and congregations are withdrawing their financial assistance, they […]

You’re Invited to the Fourth Global Gathering

Dear Members and Friends of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, It is my privilege to invite you to the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Fourth Global Gathering to be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We welcome your attendance at our host site or at one of the many simulcast […]

Late to the Resistance

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 the event, called UMCNext, considered a number of […]

Transformation in Christian Community

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 of broken boundaries, broken relationships, broken […]

A Cautionary Tale

A lot can happen in five years. In 2014, the call for unity was strong within The United Methodist Church and persons who spoke about the growing division because of our deeply held differences were called schismatic. In 2019, growing numbers of leaders from across the UM Church are calling for some form of separation. […]

WCA Launches Mission Fund for Threatened Global Ministries

The 2019 special General Conference was hardly over before a number of leading moderate and progressive pastors and organizations either announced suspension of financial support for ministry initiatives in the central conferences of The United Methodist Church or expressed reservations about continuing with such support. In a March 1 article, Adam Hamilton, pastor of the Church […]

What Does It Look Like When Wesleyans Embrace Supernatural Ministry?

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 Jefferson did to the Bible with […]

A Poor Renewal

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 businesses. Glassy-eyed beggars who couldn’t hold […]

Can Churches Depart The United Methodist Church with Their Property?

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 without its property unless it negotiates other […]

Legislation to Restore Church’s Order Constitutional – What Now?

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 it was hateful, exclusionary, and contrary to fundamental […]