Embracing Your Moment

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed. —Sister Mary Corita Kent We all face painful, difficult, even gut-wrenching situations in life. The length of these moments is often determined by how we respond to them. When we choose to move forward in faith and ask the people around us […]

Crucified with Christ!

Permit me a personal moment of celebration. After the devastation of being the first number one seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to lose to a sixteenth seed in 2018, the University of Virginia Cavaliers triumphed over March Madness as the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball champions. Amazing turnaround! Virginians like me celebrated. Just days […]

Desperation: What Miracles Are Made Of

Desperation isn’t a popular state of being. No one wants to be the last girl without a date for prom when all her friends have been asked, the person sending a hundredth resume for jobs he or she really needs, the guy on the corner with the sign that says “Anything will help.” Desperation isn’t […]

The Glue That Binds Us Together

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 for the entire UM Church. Historically, […]

Proposed Budget Cuts Add to UM Church’s Challenges

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 church’s 2021-2024 general budget. The General […]

LGBTQ+ People Are Welcome in The United Methodist Church

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 of sexuality and gender, we also […]

Plan for Separation Gains Adherents

For some time some United Methodist traditionalists have said a plan of separation is the only healthy way to resolve The United Methodist Church’s long and damaging debate over its sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and its ordination standards. Some progressives are beginning to add their voices to that call. In a lengthy and learned essay well […]

Hungry for God to Do a New Thing

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 we can become so myopic. All […]

No Apologies for the Traditional Plan

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 present and pass a plan to […]

Responding to Reactions to the Special General Conference

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 to the decisions […]

Ensuring the Integrity of General Conference

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 in our leaders and agencies was […]

The Dawning of a New Chapter

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 General Conference is now behind us. […]

Overview of Legislation Adopted By the Special General Conference

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 vote of 436 (53 percent) to […]

Reflections on the Special General Conference

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

A Message to Local UM Churches In Progressive Annual Conferences

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 the denominational impasse and, perhaps, launch […]

Statement of the Wesleyan Covenant Association Council on Next Steps

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 places. The UM […]

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 […]

Searching for a Way Forward

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 around the world as they gather […]

The One Church Plan: Calm and Rational?

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 church” by people like the Rev. […]

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

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 bridged, unity of the Spirit will result, and […]

The Importance of the Creeds in the Intersections of Our Lives

“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 school students, had come to the […]

A Clear and Gracious Letter to GC Delegates

The Wesleyan Covenant Association is thankful for all the clergy and laity who have stepped forward to provide leadership for its many chapters across the United Methodist connection. In the midst of various challenges they have enabled us to fulfill many of the goals the association set for itself in October of 2016. We are […]

Why the Old Testament?

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 are the Old Testament’s claims resolved in […]

Survey Results Reveal Strong Support for Exit Provision

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

A God of Covenants

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, making a right beginning of a […]

A Modest Way Forward

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, jurisdictional, central, and General Conferences, no […]

Wesleyan Covenant Association Welcomes New Council Members

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

A Calm Critique of the One Church Plan

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

The Modified Traditional Plan: Faithful, Fair and Gracious

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. These ethics, teachings and standards have […]

Keep Your Head

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

Take the Survey

The Wesleyan Covenant Association invites our followers, friends and members to participate in an anonymous survey regarding the various plans and proposals coming before The United Methodist Church’s special General Conference slated for February 23 – 26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. As the 864 delegates prepare to gather for the special General Conference, we […]

Understanding the Plans

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

Best of All, God is With Us!

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 warrant eternal life. Most likely you […]

Freedom in Christ’s Cross

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

Unashamed of the Future of Methodism

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

Unashamed to Preach Scriptural Holiness – Contending for the Faith

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

Unashamed of Christ in a Post-Modern World

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