What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists


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Print and copy and enlarge, if necessary the timeline of churches so that it is the size of a small poster. Place a sticky note over each label so that they can not be read.

Use it as a puzzle with other education leaders and teacher or as a refresher for yourself. Read or study together on our corporate history using one of the many Methodist studies. Search Cokesbury.

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The Ministry of All Christians It is clear that all Christians are called by God, through their baptism, to be in ministry in the world. The ministers of the church are called to serve in a variety of ways. As Laity - From its earliest days, Methodism has been a lay movement. The term laity comes from laos , which means "of the people.

As Clergy - Within the body of all Christian ministry, some persons are called to fulfill a specific, "set apart" ministry through the church. Some pastoral leaders are ordained; some are lay. Ordained Deacons - ministers called to focus on servanthood.


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A deacon models the relationship between worship in the community of faith and service to God in the world. Deacons serve in a variety of ministry settings both in the church and in the world. Ordained Elders - ministers called to lead congregations of Christians in the celebration of the sacraments and to guide and care for the life of the community. Some elders may also serve in ministries beyond the local church. Local Pastors - licensed ministers appointed to perform duties of a pastor in a specific charge or church. Episcopal leaders, called bishops, are not a separate order of the church but are elected from among the ordained elders of the Church to provide oversight and supervision for the spiritual and temporal activities of the Church.

Bishops are called to. The College of Bishops includes all the bishops of a specific jurisdiction or central conference. Itinerant Ministry All United Methodist clergy are appointed to a place for ministry by a bishop. Elders, however, are appointed as part of a system known as itinerancy, which means that they commit to travel from parish to parish as the bishop directs. Methodism began with a group of traveling preachers, who went from place to place preaching, baptizing, and presiding over church affairs.

Each year the bishop of an area "fixes the appointments" of the itinerant clergy in the episcopal area, as well as the appointments of the deacons and local pastors, who are non-itinerant clergy. In addition, the bishop may also appoint clergy to an "extension ministry," which is an appointment other than to a local church, such as elders and deacons who work in general agencies, as chaplains, seminary professors, conference staff, and so on.

Matching the gifts of an elder and the needs of the church or extension ministry is the most important consideration in the making of appointments. When needs change, the itinerant system provides for new appointments to be made smoothly.

Religion in African American History

Another important feature of the itinerant system is that it provides an opportunity for churches to experience a variety of leadership and ministry styles through the years, strengthening the skills of the laity whose strong leadership is essential to any ministry. Through a commitment to open itinerancy, the connectional system of The United Methodist Church is apparent. Open itinerancy means that appointment decisions are related to gifts and needs, rather than to race, ethnic origin, gender, color, ability or disability, marital status, or age.

If you are baptized, you are in some sense a minister. Look again at the vows made in baptism The United Methodist Hymnal , pages 33 - Reflect on those vows and how you uphold them.


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How would you describe your ministry? How does what you do link with the rest of the ministries of the church for a holistic approach to disciple making? What might you want to do that is new or different? When can you start? Look up the Episcopal address in the journal of the past two or three annual conferences. What is the leadership vision of your bishop and conference? How does the ministry of Christian education and formation fit in that vision? Interview your lead minister and other members of the church staff. How do they work together, divide labor, and advance the ministry of your church?

How do, or can, they support the ministry of Christian education and formation? But what does it mean to make disciples of Jesus Christ and how does The United Methodist Church approach disciple making? One Ministry; Four Movements The Church acts as a partner to God in making disciples of Jesus Christ through four interrelated actions: receiving and welcoming people, relating them to God, nurturing them in discipleship, and sending them into ministry in the world.

Then when disciples are in ministry in the world, the cycle begins again as they receive and welcome even more people. Methodists in Mission The United Methodist faith is deeply rooted in the Scripture and in the basic beliefs of all Christians. Out of that theology and the faith have grown some specific actions that mark United Methodists as Christians engaged in ministry to the world. The General Conference will consider a new statement, which is an antiphonal reading with a musical response. Each approved, updated version replaces its predecessor in the Book of Discipline.

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The book is a collection of the official policy statements adopted by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. The statements in the Book of Resolutions are not legally binding on individual United Methodists, who may take a wide variety of stands on the issues. However, these official statements of the denomination are a resource for reference and study as church members seek to make faithful disciples related to the topics addressed by these resolutions.

Take another look at the actions that make up disciple making. How does your area of ministry help to accomplish that task? What do you do to ensure that your area of ministry meshes with other areas for a seamless, holistic approach to disciple making? If your ministry area is "siloed" or isolated from others, what might you do to be more integrated? What challenges you? If you have an alternate view, what is it, and what theology and experience support your view?

Wamethodisti - Wikiwand

Look for United Methodist studies through Cokesbury , particularly those geared to the Social Principles. Gather a group to study together. Skim through the Book of Resolutions for a resolution that calls for action and that resonates with your teachers and small group leaders. Methodism as a Connectional Church The United Methodist Church is uniquely structured to carry out its mission of making disciples.

All the local churches, the centers where the mission of making disciples is most likely to be fulfilled, are linked through an organization called the connectional system. What Does Connectional Mean? Connectional simply means that all United Methodist churches are linked to all other United Methodist churches by organization and by purpose as they go about the work of making disciples. Within the structure of The United Methodist Church are groupings of people or churches called conferences: charge conferences, annual conferences, jurisdictional conferences, central conferences, and General Conference.

The Christmas Conference in was the first in the United States. Note this diagram of the structure of The United Methodist Church — a structure that encourages Christian conferencing at every level.

Bishop Richard Wilke: A Plea to The United Methodist Church

The Local Church Ministry begins at the local church level. Each congregation has an elected lay leader who works with other lay and clergy leaders to carry out the mission of the church. These churches and charges are part of a district. Districts Somewhat similar to the way cities and towns are organized into counties, groups of churches in a geographical area form a district. Often churches in a district will work together to provide training and mission opportunities. There is work to do and as was argued in the previous sections the church has a critical present role to play in working towards a more desirable future for South Africa.

However, when we say the church has a role to play, what are we referring to? What is the church we are speaking of? The task of the Church is to enable people to see the power of God at work, changing hostility into love of the brethren, and to express God's reconciliation here and now.

What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists
What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists
What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists
What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists
What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists
What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists
What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists
What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists

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