Questions about The United Methodist Church

Yesterday morning I enjoyed an hour with a small group at Resurrection lead by Nancy. My task was to talk about Methodism – at large. I am passionate about knowing who I am as a United Methodist and helping others claim their identity as well. I began by asking for questions. I sought to respond to each one there and let them know they could check my blog for a short written response as well. So here goes…

  • What are distinguishing features of the United Methodist Church?
    • There are several distinct characteristics of the United Methodist Church. One is the approach to organization which involves Christian conferencing. Another is the understanding of grace:
      • Prevenient – God is at work in our lives before we are aware of it.
      • Justifying – There is a moment when we recognize and claim God’s grace for ourselves.
      • Sanctifying – We are always moving on to Christian perfection, the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.
  • Is the UMC connected with Catholicism?
    • There are some similarities in that property is held in trust and priests / preachers are sent to their location.
  • Has there been split or controversy within the denomination?
    • The denomination split around whether or not to have bishops and slavery. Major reconciliation for both of these issues. Today the ordination of homosexuals continues to be a controversy.
  • Why is there a decline and decrease in relevance within the denomination?
    • I believe that we forgot our task of spreading scriptural holiness across the land. No good answer in a couple sentences…
  • Say more about the Moravians.
    • John Wesley learned from the peace he saw a group of Moravians experience during a storm at sea.
  • Is there a connection with the Anglican church?
    • Methodism began as a renewal movement within the Church of England.
  • How are Methodists connected with the Protestant Reformation?
    • The UMC is a protestant denomination
  • How important are saints?
    • One cannot become a United Methodist saint. However, the value of saints, mothers and fathers of the church is of value.

Thanks to the class for great questions and your desire to be on the journey of knowing, loving and serving God. It is an honor to be one of your pastors.