As I think about the troubles facing United Methodism, I am beginning to believe that we have forgotten who we are. Folks are seemingly entrenched on one side or another of any issue that you want to address… not just the issue of human sexuality which has vexed us since 1972, only 4 years after our merger with the Evangelical United Brethren to form the United Methodist Church. When I see the divisions, I have to believe that John Wesley would be very disappointed in us.
This past Sunday, I, along with Craig Leonard, our Lay Member of Annual Conference, reported on the Holston Annual Conference held last week at Lake Junaluska. We reported on the issues that divided us and we reported on the issues that unite us as well. Honestly, the issues that unite us occupied the vast majority of our time together,
Beginning this Sunday, June 23, we will worship with a theme of remembering who we are. Most importantly, we will be reminded of whose we are. We will begin by taking a look at the “General Rules of the United Societies.” The late Bishop Reuben Job wrote a book about them around 12 years ago called “Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living.” The rules are:
- Do no harm.
- Do Good.
- Attend to the ordinances of God. Now, Bishop Job renamed that last one to be “stay in love with God.” I personally prefer “cultivate the spiritual disciplines.”
No matter how you flesh these rules out, they form the heart of what the Methodist movement was all about. I look forward to teaching on this aspect of Wesleyan practice through the next three weeks.
Speaking of working together, the bulletin this week contains the tally for contributions to our mission offerings, our contributions to shared ministry like Holston Home for Children, contributions to the Change for Children offering from July 1, 2018 through June 1 of this year, and other information about our shared ministry together. I think that you will be pleased to see what we can do when we put our minds to it.
I look forward to seeing you in church on Sunday morning.