Showing posts from January, 2016

Essentials for Mission in a World Wide United Methodist Connection

When serving as pastor at one of our denomination's primary Heritage Landmark's, Historic St. George's Church (1767), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I was often asked what history reveals about the heart and soul of a United Methodist. My current work with the General Commission on Archives and History, affirms what I said back then all the more:
United Methodists are people whose relationship with God is grounded in A THEOLOGY OF LOVE AND INCLUSION. The distinctive theological text of our tradition, our hymnal, is the Wesley brothers’ cover-to-cover tome to God's jaw-dropping, amazing, boundless, boundary-breaking, life-igniting ALL consuming, merciful, redeeming, perfect, perfecting and sufficient love. More than pen to paper or note to score, our forebears believed, sang and gathered in ways to make it plain that God's love is fully available and must be made accessible to EVERYONE.
United Methodists are people who EXPERIENCE God's love and are TRANSFORMED by t…

Grace Upon Grace

From the fullness of Christ, we have received grace upon grace.  
United Methodists are people of grace:  we receive grace, we experience grace, we celebrate grace, we embody grace, we offer grace.  We know grace to be powerful, a force for transformation.  We believe in the power of grace:  unconditional love that has changed our lives, unrelenting love that will change the world.
What is a Methodist?  Our forebears said clearly that a Methodist is one who loves God completely - with heart and mind and soul and strength - and who loves another as much as self.  This is our deepest identity.  We are people of responsive love.  God has so loved us that we adore God as we love one another.  
Our worldwide connection is called to bear the love of God gracefully.  We are called to listen well, to give space for others, to give up insisting on our way, to humbly abide in servant love.  We do not need to control one another, to change one another, to reform or redeem one another.  We trust tha…

Our Missional Imperative

Happy New Year!!!  
It’s hard to believe that 2016 is now upon us!  We are less than 5 months away from General Conference 2016.  As many of us become anxious with anticipation for this grand gathering of United Methodists from around the world, let us continue to be centered in on WHY we do what we do for the sake of building the Body of Christ in the world today.  Laceye Warner reminds us that “the emergence of Methodism in America is commended for its heritage as a renewal movement, particularly the claim that Methodism developed from a missional imperative rather than from doctrinal disputes…”  (The Method of Our Mission: UM Polity and Organization) Reclaiming the “missional imperative” has been at the heart of our work as a connection over the past several decades as we have focused in on the mission of “Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. (and believing that) Local Congregations are the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs.…