The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church are the product of ninety-eight years of legislative decisions made by lay and clergy members of The United Methodist Church and its predecessor denominations. The Social Principles are prayerful and thoughtful efforts on the part of many General Conferences to speak to complex and controversial issues in the global community.
Studying the Social Principles provides opportunities to examine your own theology and ethics and to practice discipleship.
Updates for all formats include:
Membership vows, baptismal covenant, diaconal changes, and other updates made as a result of General Conference action.
Calendar for dating Easter and related holy days—extend beyond 2020.
Chart of lectionary years on page 227--update and extend.
Current version of ordinal.
Available with all digital formats PDF contents pages--hot linked to each section/item.
eBook Edition allows you download a digital file of full text of The Book of Worship to your eReader for personal use.
The Discipline includes our church Constitution, our history, our doctrinal standards, and our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ, as well as practical processes through which our congregations connect and support each other to reach the world.
Written by popular seminary teachers, this book will connect you to the life and ministry of John Wesley, demonstrating relevance for the lives of Christians today as it offers an introductory examination of each. In easy-to-understand language, each chapter is divided into five sections:
1. A Wesleyan Faith: an account of the basic ideas under discussion, understood in light of some of John Wesley’s insights;
2. A Lived Faith: discussion of the practical, everyday implications for Christian living;
3. A Deeper Faith: gets into some of the more difficult ideas of Christian thinking;
4. The Catechism: shorthand way of learning the basics of Wesleyan Christianity; and
5. In Your Own Words: reflection questions that will help you take the name of Jesus with you.
Bishop Tuell discusses the Church's unique polity and gives a frank assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. At the same time he paints the image of a worldwide connectional communion that is organized to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and to bear witness to its Wesleyan heritage.
John Wesley remains a seminal figure, not only for "the people called Methodist, " but also within the larger Protestant tradition. Understanding his theology is a requirement for understanding the development of the Western Christian tradition in the modern period. In recent years much work has been done to grasp the intricacies of Wesley's theology. However, most of this work has been thematic in organization, studying Wesley's thought according to a topical or systematic outline. The weakness of this approach, argues Kenneth J. Collins, is that it fails to demonstrate the evolution and changes of Wesley's theology. What is called for is a historical presentation--one that examines the development of Wesley's theology across the span of his long and eventful theological career. Collins thus provides a chronological presentation of the development of Wesley's theology. Drawing on an extensive examination of the primary sources, and demonstrating an intimate knowledge of the different contexts and social locations in which Wesley's theology took place, John Wesley: A Theological Journey will be necessary reading for anyone wishing to understand the broad scope of the Methodist leader's theological development and contribution.
Chapter titles: Because Religion Is of the Heart Because the Bible Is Our Book Because Religion Is Practical Because Christians Are to Witness Because Christians Are to Grow Because Religion Is Not a Private Affair
In this book, Dr. Hunterasks whether enough New Testament Christianity exists in any institutional formof Christianity, including The United Methodist Church, to change the world.
If United Methodism isto survive, it must recover bold directions in ministry, in addition toWesley’s theological vision. If only it was so simple as to stand on Wesley’sshoulders to see our way forward. This means that laity and clergy must bebiblically informed, spiritually energized, and systematically organized.
If United Methodism isto thrive, it needs to focus on mission, recalling that early Methodism was anextravagant expression of missional Christianity. Net membership decline is notfrom losing more people but from reaching fewer people than it used to.
The need for the gospelof Jesus Christ is greater than ever. United Methodists must create structuresand serve God and neighbor in order to spread, as Wesley admonished, scripturalholiness throughout the land.
George G. Hunter III isDistinguished Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at Asbury TheologicalSeminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author of several books, including Radical Outreach and The Celtic Way of Evangelism, bothpublished by Abingdon Press.
As the younger brother of John Wesley, Charles was a vital partner in the Methodist revival. While often standing in the shadow of his more famous brother, Charles Wesley was arguably the founder of the Oxford Holy Club, and he actually experienced evangelical conversion three days prior to John. In Assist Me to Proclaim Tyson explores, among other things, behind-the-scenes questions about the brothers' sometimes-stormy relationship.
Notwithstanding all his accomplishments as an evangelist and itinerant preacher, Charles is chiefly remembered for his startling facility at writing hymns that show God at work in almost every instance of life. His remarkable legacy endures around the world, as hundreds of Charles Wesley hymns are still sung in churches everywhere today.
Assist Me to Proclaim draws a picture of a man whose fidelity to both the Church of England and the original vision of Methodism energized his remarkable abilities as a revivalist and hymn writer. Readers also get a glimpse into Wesley's heart and mind through the window of his hymn texts. This is a biography that any student of church history or hymnody will welcome.
- What will happen now that the increased giving that United Methodists have enjoyed (despite declining membership numbers) has reached a plateau and begun to decline?
- Why, with 34,000 congregations and $6.5 billion in annual giving, can’t United Methodists add a net increase of even 1 new disciple of Jesus Christ in a given year?
- Why are United Methodist clergy less concerned with reaching young adults than are laity? Why are laity unwilling to make the changes to worship and budgets required to attract these same young adults?
- If the percentage of married couples with young children has declined by half since the 1950s, why is that still the group we focus on reaching?
- Why are so many mid-sized churches on their way to becoming small-membership congregations?
With insight, conviction, and calm resolve, Lovett Weems challenges United Methodists not only to ask these hard questions, but to face up to the difficult decisions they require of us as we continue to seek God’s will for our lives together.
The product of over 200 years of General Conferences of the denominations that form The United Methodist Church, the Discipline is the current statement of how United Methodists agree to live together. It acknowledges the past and addresses the future.
Updated through the actions of the 2016 General Conference, the new Discipline includes a complete listing of bishops from Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury through the 2016 episcopal elections as well as a revised historical statement, an expanded index, and six parts:The Constitution General Book of Discipline Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task The Ministry of All Christians Social Principles Organization and Administration
John Wesley distinguished between essential doctrines on which agreement or consensus is critical and opinions about theology or church practices on which disagreement must be allowed. Though today few people join churches based on doctrinal commitments, once a person has joined a church it becomes important to know the teachings of that church's tradition. In Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials, Ted Campbell outlines historical doctrinal consensus in American Episcopal Methodist Churches in a comparative and ecumenical dialogue with the doctrinal inheritance of other major families of Christian tradition. In this way, the book shows both what Methodist churches historically teach in common with ecumenical Christianity and what is distinctive about the Methodist tradition in its various contemporary forms.
For more information, please see the author's website: http://tedcampbell.com/methodist-doctrine/
Wesley came to the conclusion that real Christians are those whose inward (and outward) lives have been transformed by the bountiful sanctifying grace of God -- what he termed real Christianity--and this he strove to obtain for himself. Real Christianity, as Wesley understood it, embraces both works of piety and mercy, the person and the social.
This revised edition incorporates the actions of The United Methodist General Conference, 2004. The book discusses continuing reforms of the church's plan for baptism and church membership, as well as the emergence of deacon's orders and other changes to ordained ministry procedures. The text is now cross-referenced to the Book of Discipline, 2004, including the revised order of disciplinary chapters and paragraph numbering. Denominational statistics are updated, along with references to recent works on The United Methodist Church and American religious life.
Beginning with the Core Terms found in the NRSV version of The Wesley Study Bible, Bishop Willimon systematically lays out key Wesleyan tenets of faith so that you will have a fresh way to hear God’s voice, share in God’s grace, and become more like Jesus Christ.
This book can be used as an eight-week, small-group study. A Leader Guide is also available order #9781426708237
Let this book be your trusted companion to the NRSV version of The Wesley Study Bible as you grow to love God with a warmed heart and serve God with active hands.
This textbook has been updated with changes from the 2016 General Conference.
1. A Methodist Loves God
2. A Methodist Rejoices in God
3. A Methodist Gives Thanks
4. A Methodist Prays Constantly
5. A Methodist Loves Others
This brief book, suitable for sharing with others, provides a meditation on each of these characteristics. Prayerfully apply them to your journey with Jesus. If you are part of the worldwide Methodist or Wesleyan family, these five marks will grant a greater knowledge and appreciation for why and how you follow Jesus. If you are located in another part of the body of Christ, you can emerge with a solid foundation to keep your spiritual house standing strong. Christians marked by these five habits, when taken together, have character.
Each chapter ends with questions for reflection or discussion.
“Steve Harper goes to the very heart of faithfulness as he describes and then calls upon all those who follow Wesley to live. It is lives of integrity that are the result of following these marks. Harper rightly says this will give the ring of truth to our daily living. He then goes on to identify the “marks” or “practices” that when followed will result in a life of righteousness, goodness, peace, and joy. It is a way of living in God’s gracious presence that he encourages for everyone, and it is a way of living I choose for myself.”
—Rueben P. Job, author of Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living
Fully indexed by resolution title, Scripture reference, and topic. Available in English only.
The Seven Pathways were created by the United Methodist bishops and presented at the 2008 General Conference as a vision statement for the Church. Contributors include: Bishops Sharon Brown Christopher, Gregory Vaughn Palmer, G. Lindsey Davis, Robert Schnase, Scott J. Jones, Hee-Soo Jung, E. James Swanson Sr., Minerva G. Carcano, Thomas J. Bickerton, and Bruce R. Ough.
The seven pathways are: Planting New Congregations, Transforming Existing Congregations, Teaching the United Methodist Way, Strengthing Clergy and Lay Leadership, Children and Poverty, Expanding Racial/Ethnic Ministries, and Eliminating Poverty by Stamping out Disease.
A Deacon Is Connectional
A Deacon Is Missional
A Deacon Is Examined and Equipped
The Meaning of Ordination
A Deacon Is Appointed
Deacons Lead the Church
Epilogue: A Snapshot of Deacons and Their Ministry
From a Sunday school teacher's account of a typical Sunday morning to letters from presidents, from architects' opinions for and against the Akron Plan to impassioned speeches demanding full rights for African Americans, women, homosexuals, and laity in the Church, this riveting collection of documents will interest scholars, clergy, and laity alike. This Sourcebook, part of the two-volume set The Methodist Experience in America, contains documents from between 1760 and 1998 pertaining to the movements constitutive of American United Methodism. The editors identify over two hundred documents by date, primary agent, and central theme or important action. The documents are organized on a strictly chronological basis, by the date of the significant action in the excerpt. Charts, graphs, timelines, and graphics are also included. The Sourcebook has been constructed to be used with the Narrative volume in which the interpretation of individual documents, discussions of context, details about events and individuals, and treatment of the larger developments can be found.
Extraordinarily well-documented study with elaborate notes that will guide the reader to recent and standard literature on the numerous topics, figures, developments, and events covered. The volume is a companion to and designed to be used with THE METHODIST EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA: A SOURCEBOOK, for which it provides background, context and interpretation.
Launching the Methodist Movements 1760-1768
Structuring the Immigrant Initiatives 1769-1778
Making Church 1777-1784
Constituting Methodism 1784-1792
Spreaking Scriptural Holiness 1792-1816
Snapshot I- Methodism in 1816: Baltimore 1816
Building for Ministry and Nuture 1816-1850s
Dividing by Mission, Ethnicity, Gender, and Vision 1816-1850s
Dividing over Slavery, Region, Authority, and Race 1830-1860s
Embracing the War Cause(s) 1860-1865
Reconstructing Methodism(s) 1866-1884
Snapshot II- Methodism in 1884: Wilker-Barre, PA 1884
Reshaping the Church for Mission 1884-1939
Taking on the World 1884-1939
Warring for World Order and Against Worldliness Within 1930-1968
Snapshot III- Methodism in 1968: Denver 1968
Merging and Reappraising 1968-1984
Holding Fast/Pressing On 1984-2000
A wide-angled narrative that attends to religious life at the local level, to missions and missionary societies , to justice struggles, to camp and quarterly meetings, to the Sunday school and catechisms, to architecture and worship, to higher education, to hospitals and homes, to temperance, to deaconesses and to Methodist experiences in war and in peace-making
A volume that attends critically to Methodism’s dilemmas over and initiatives with regard to race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and relation to culture
A documentation and display of the rich diversity of the Methodist experience
A retelling of the contests over and evolution of Methodist/EUB organization, authority, ministerial orders and ethical/doctrinal emphases
In this book - of a very simple and yet profound way- Dr. Magallanes offers us the most basic traits of the social-religious context in which Wesley lived in the England of the eighteenth century, aspects that influenced the family development of his character and spirituality, the education and training received in Oxford, experiences that awakened in Wesley his passion for evangelization and the doctrine of the holiness of heart and life that characterized the movement.
What are our core beliefs? Doctrinal Standards in the Wesleyan Tradition, Revised Edition, narrates the history of the formation of Wesleyan doctrines, describing how they were transplanted from the British Isles to North American, how they became constitutionally protected in Wesleyan-rooted churches.
The first edition of this book affected the outcome of the 1988 General Conference of The United Methodist Church as the delegates decided many then-disputed doctrinal issues. This revised edition addresses the continuing hunger for more precise and useful information on the doctrinal traditions of mainline Protestantism. Hence the arguments have been updated with more than 400 changes.
Included are doctrinal statements for the Evangelical United Bethren, Free Methodist, Methodist Protestant, Wesleyan, Nazarene, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Christian Methodist Episcopal, and African Methodist Episcopal Churches; as well as an outline syllabus of a Course on the Articles of Religion.
Here is a ditty Len Sweet’s Methodist grandfather used to sing:
A Methodist, a Methodist will I be
A Methodist will I die.
I’ve been baptized in the Methodist way
And I’ll live on the Methodist side.
What “genius” of Methodism inspired this kind of love and loyalty in the earlier years of the faith? What did it mean to live in “the Methodist way” and to die on “the Methodist side?” Perhaps it is time to resurrect a neo-Wesleyan identity and to challenge the prevailing “one-calorie Methodism” that characterizes so much of our tribe today.
What makes a Methodist? How can we re-ignite the spark of genius that motivated such commitment in our cloud of witnesses?
The essence of Methodism’s genius resides in two famous Wesleyan mantras: “heart strangely warmed” (inward experiences with a fire in the heart) and “the world is our parish” (outward experiences with waterfalls of cutting-edge intelligence). For Wesley, internal combustion, the former, led to external combustion, the latter.
In the 18th century, Methodists in general (and in their younger years, the Wesley brothers themselves) were accused of being too “sexy.” What else could all those “love feasts” and “strangely warmed hearts” be about? Why else were all those women in positions of leadership? With this book the author hopes to bring back to life some of Methodism’s sexiness so that our current reproduction crisis can be reversed.
Hildebrand explores the ideas and ideals of missionaries from several branches of Methodism—the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, and the northern-based Methodist Episcopal Church—and the significant and highly charged battle waged between them over the challenge and meaning of freedom. He traces the various strategies and goals pursued by these competing visions and develops a typology of some of the ways in which emancipation was approached and understood.
Focusing on individual church leaders such as Lucius H. Holsey, Richard Harvey Cain, and Gilbert Haven, and with the benefit of extensive research in church archives and newspapers, Hildebrand tells the dramatic and sometimes moving story of how missionaries labored to organize their denominations in the black South, and of how they were overwhelmed at times by the struggles of freedom.
What were the non-negotiables for the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley? Wesley’s first priority was to grow Christian disciples who loved God and neighbor with a holy love that keeps those Commandments.
Using John Wesley as guide, Top 10 United Methodist Beliefs describes the 10 most important United Methodist beliefs, so that we are equipped for every good work. It also describes how a passionate Wesley can still inspire us to travel the road to perfection using these basic beliefs as signposts, not hitching posts, so that we can more fully follow Jesus.
But discipleship can be arduous and God’s grace is not cheap. We must be prepared to walk and walk and not just talk. The Christian life is action packed with surprises at every turn. “Are you able?” as the old hymn asks. Yes, Lord, we are able through the power and love of God to be accountable to Jesus and each other. Each chapter includes study questions suitable for personal reflection and group conversation.
This We Believe: The Core of Wesleyan Faith and Practice by William H. Willimon
For John Wesley, the Bible is the joyfully consistent testimony of God’s never-ending grace and ever-seeking love. Likewise, studying the Bible is more than merely knowing what Scripture says; it is also about living every day as a child of God.
Beginning with the Core Terms found in The Wesley Study Bible, author Bishop William H. Willimon systematically lays out key Wesleyan tenets of faith so that you will have a fresh way to hear God’s voice, share in God’s grace, and become more like Jesus Christ.
Let this book be your trusted companion to the NRSV version of The Wesley Study Bible as you grow to love God with a warmed heart and serve God with active hands.
William H. Willimon is Presiding Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama Area, and Visiting Research Professor, Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina.
M. Kathryn Armistead, Ph.D., is an editor at Abingdon Press and a deacon in The United Methodist Church.
The Methodist Unification focuses on the efforts among the Southern and Northern Methodist churches to create a unified national Methodist church, and how their plan for unification came to institutionalize racism and segregation in unprecedented ways. How did these Methodists conceive of what they had just formed as “united” when members in the church body were racially divided?
Moving the history of racial segregation among Christians beyond a simplistic narrative of racism, Morris L. Davis shows that Methodists in the early twentieth century — including high-profile African American clergy — were very much against racial equality, believing that mixing the races would lead to interracial marriages and threaten the social order of American society.
The Methodist Unification illuminates the religious culture of Methodism, Methodists' self-identification as the primary carriers of "American Christian Civilization," and their influence on the crystallization of whiteness during the Jim Crow Era as a legal category and cultural symbol.
This book will be your trusted companion to the Wesley Study Bible as you love God with a warmed heart and serve God with active hands.
The book talks about how the Wesleyan form of church contains important resources for the future of Christianity. It focuses on the United States and the first half is broadly applicable to all denominations in the Wesleyan tradition. The last half of the book discusses obstacles that are currently preventing the United Methodist Church from achieving its potential. It closes with a hopeful vision of what a renewed United Methodism might look like.