We Believe in the Church!
A Wesleyan Covenant Association Event
April 28-29, 2017
Hosted by Christ UMC, Memphis, TN
WCA: Pursuing a Promising Future
By, Rev. Thomas Lambrecht
What does it mean to be the church? What does it mean to be United Methodist? These are two of the core questions that the Commission on a Way Forward is wrestling with. The answers we give to these questions will influence the direction that our denomination takes over the next several years.
But we don’t need to wait for the Commission’s recommendations to answer these questions. The Wesleyan Covenant Association is committed to pursuing a promising future starting right now. No matter how the conflict in our denomination turns out, we believe we are called to be a church of warm-hearted, Bible-believing, orthodox, Wesleyan Methodists.
We already know from our doctrinal heritage what it means to be the church. The Nicene Creed and the United Methodist Confession of Faith declare that the church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Articles of Religion emphasize the preaching of the pure Word of God and the due administration of the Sacraments. As we celebrate the 500th year of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, we are cognizant that the church is constantly in need of reformation.
How do we put these themes into action? How do our beliefs about the church guide how we do church in the 21st century? These are the questions that will guide our reflection at the upcoming event in Memphis on April 28-29. Leading Wesleyan scholars and pastors will each address one of the themes and sketch out how it impacts the way we do church today.
How do we live into unity in the church, despite the conflict and division that we are currently experiencing? How do we connect with the Wesleyan call to holiness of heart and life, and how do we structure our churches in a way that fosters holiness? What does it mean for our churches to be truly catholic and ecumenical? How can we recover the apostolic ministry in our churches today? How can we empower the preaching of the pure Word of God by the power of the Spirit in our churches? How can we experience again the presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacraments of the church? How are we called to be part of the ongoing reformation of the church?
You will experience presentations that are not only theologically deep, but eminently practical. You will learn more about the Wesleyan Covenant Association and how we can do church together in covenant with one another. There will be time for Q&A interaction with the speakers. Both laity and clergy will find inspiration and instruction.
In the words of Dr. Bill Arnold, a WCA Council member, the Wesleyan Covenant Association is attempting to live as if the conflict in our church has already been resolved. Or in Rev. Ryan Barnett’s words (another Council member), we are living into the next Methodism. This event will focus on what we stand for and how we can do church together, connected in covenant. We hope you will join us!
Speakers include: Dr. William J. Abraham, Dr. Jeff Greenway, Rev. Carolyn Moore, Dr. Chris Ritter, Dr. Shane Stanford, Bishop James Swanson, Dr. Andrew Thompson, Dr. Jason E. Vickers
Worship will be led by Mark Swayze and Alison Broussard.