Greetings and grace to you!
Many of you are basking in the afterglow of last Saturday’s gathering in Birmingham! We not only welcomed participants from North Alabama, but United Methodists were also present from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. As approximately 1,000 United Methodists gathered at Clearbranch UMC for “Why the Best Days of Methodism are Ahead of Us!” many of you have asked, “Can we get video access to what was shared at the conference?” We at New Methodist Movement are delighted to share this video with you!
The embedded video contains Dr. Chris Ritter’s presentation as well as the panel discussion from the day.
As we move forward, we want to encourage people called United Methodists to do the following:
Do not move in fear (See 2 Timothy 1:7). Realize that the Methodist Church has expressed multiple iterations throughout the course of her history (Methodist, Methodist Episcopal, United Methodist, Free Methodist, Nazarene, etc.). As recent as 1968, we were simply The Methodist Church before merging with the Evangelical United Brethren Church. In hindsight, history will demonstrate this merger was an experiment that, when blended with other factors, did not work. Regardless, the church has demonstrated over time that she will continue to exist, even if the name changes. We, as a people called Methodists, will have a future, no matter what.
Move in truth wed with grace (See John 1:17). While we hold to biblical truth, let us move in grace and compassion for all people. We welcome people into our small groups and worship gatherings who are battling all types of struggles. We have alcoholics, co-dependents, persons struggling with heterosexual temptations, and recovering Pharisees. We also have LGBTQ persons who are active in the life of our churches. Let us remember, in the midst of standing for biblical fidelity, to always operate in a spirit of love wed with the transforming power of the gospel offered to all persons. Let’s move in truth wed with grace. That is what Jesus does. This is Who Jesus is.
Be mindful that God is up to something life-giving and new!!! This phase of Methodist church history will serve to birth something that will touch the world in a powerful way.
Finally, remember that in all you do, you represent Christ and His church. We do not want the church to be the focus of satire, but to be truly known as a people who make disciples for the transformation of the world.
May God give us the grace to live into a new, preferred future!
In the belief that the best is yet to come,
Your New Methodist Movement Team