Such Language

By Chuck Griffin

I’m sure some of you have seen where a small group of United Methodist bishops recently labeled a Wesleyan Covenant Association outreach effort as having “marks of colonialism.” The WCA wants to help overseas General Conference delegates get their Covid-19 vaccines so they will be able to travel to the United States for the repeatedly delayed UM General Conference, scheduled for Aug. 29 through Sept. 6 of this year.

The folks at the Global WCA don’t need me to defend them. They did a fine job of that on their own.

As someone who has worked with language for years, including as a journalist and as a public relations executive, I do want to voice my disgust with the efforts of liberals to push their agenda by starting conversations with what amount to slurs. Here’s my main takeaway when I see such a tactic: The people using such language have no interest in finding a middle ground—they simply are waving an emotional flag to keep their audience’s eyes off their real intent.

My best guess is these institutionally bound bishops want to keep General Conference from ever happening. They know that if the current stalemate continues long enough, the liberal wing of the church can continue to drain the conservative wing financially until dry, keeping these bishops employed in the process.

Once again, we have an excellent argument for why we need to launch the Global Methodist Church as a scriptural, traditional Methodist denomination, preserving what Methodism has always been about.

Folks, contrary to the way we’ve been depicted, theological conservatives have tolerated the histrionics of theological liberals for decades. I suspect that tolerance is what opened the door to this mess we now find ourselves in.

What can we do? It’s simple. First, get better at rolling our eyes and saying some version of, “Really, that’s where you’re going?” Then ignore the liberals and do the kingdom work that needs to be done.

Regional Chapter Meeting

Wesleyan Covenant Association members residing in the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, mark your calendars for March 19! We will meet that day to worship and take care of chapter business, including the election of clergy and lay delegates to the WCA’s 2022 Global Legislative Assembly, set for Friday, May 6, in Indianapolis.

Our Holston WCA chapter meeting will be held at Alcoa First UMC, located at 617 Gilbert St., Alcoa, TN 37701. Doors will open at 10 a.m., and we will begin at 11 a.m.

If you need to begin or renew your annual WCA membership, you can do so online. Be sure to mark your conference affiliation as “Holston,” regardless of what state you live in. If you’re unsure of your current membership status, let us know at holstonwca@gmail.com, and we will check it for you.

New In ’22

What do you sense the Lord has in store for this new year? More shakings and unexpected events would be a good guess. It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the change and confusion, but God IS still working His plan for us as Methodists, as well as for all His creation.

Recently I heard a Christian teacher say that in the coming year we must learn to “live out of heaven.” I think what he meant is that we are already living our eternal life. We can access it now if we shift our mindset and focus to Jesus instead of to the physical world. This quote from A.W. Tozer is a reminder that we do have a choice which realm we walk in.

O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things.

The world has been too much with me. Thou hast been here and I knew it not!

I have been blind to Thy presence. Open my eyes that I may behold

Thee in and around me. For Christ’s sake, Amen.

A.W. Tozer The Pursuit of God

We have two new “helps” to keep our minds on the Lord: An Invitation from Bishop Wallace-Padgett to join her in reading through the Bible this year–holston.org/readtogether, and a new weekly prayer guide called The Way to the Kingdom written by GMC and WCA leaders to help us focus on personal and group renewal. Watch for it each month.

Thank you for your faithful prayers as we grow into God’s plan for our future.

PRAYER POINTS FOR JANUARY

  • Transitional Leadership Council of the Global Methodist Church (globalmethodist.org)
  • WCA President Rev. Keith Boyette, Vice Presidents Rev. Walter Fenton and Rev. Angela Pleasants, and Council Members as they continue to prepare for what’s ahead
  • Churches and pastors to have fresh encounters with Holy Spirit
  • Bishop Wallace-Padgett as she leads Holston
  • Holston WCA Chapter President Rev. Chuck Griffin and leaders
  • Resurrection Youth weekend Jan. 21st-23rd as the Lord calls the next generation to holiness

The Holston WCA Intercessory Prayer Group continues to meet on Zoom at 11:00 Wednesdays and we would love for you to join us. Contact me at wilderfamily@hotmail.com and I will send you the access link.

Becky Wilder WCA International Intercessors Leader for Holston Chapter

Scripturally Gentle

Below a link to a meditation about salvation, Christmas and the attitude of the traditional Methodist. We are praying you all are blessed as we approach the celebration of Christ’s coming into the world.

Scripturally Gentle

Solemn Assembly

The WCA International Intercessory Prayer Network is calling all Methodists to set aside some time during Rosh Hashanah, from sundown Monday, September 6 through Wednesday, September 7 for prayer and fasting focused on repentance and cleansing of the past failures of our church and of ourselves. If we expect God to pour in his new wine going forward, we must prepare our vessels to hold it. We will also have a special Holston Solemn Assembly Prayer Hour via Zoom for all those who can join in on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Hope to see you there!

Blessings,

Becky Wilder Holston WCA International Intercessory Prayer Network leader

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