Monday, June 3, 2013

Discussion: Trip celebrates historical roots of the global Methodist movement

World Methodist Evangelism sponsored a recent trip to England to visit historical sites associated with the origins of the Methodist movement in England in the 1700s.  The trip began with a celebration on May 24th of the 275th anniversary of John Wesley's Aldergate experience, the even in which his heart was "strangely warmed," issuing in a live of deeper and more vital piety for Wesley.  From there, the trip proceeded to visit other Methodist sites.  For a larger description of the trip, see this coverage by the United Methodist News Service.

The trip raises several questions about connections in the global Methodist movement.  World Methodist Evangelism is a project of the World Methodist Council, an international body consisting of denominations around the world (including The United Methodist Church) with Methodist roots.  World Methodist Evangelism's executive director, Dr. H. Eddie Fox, is American and a United Methodist, and the organization is based in Nashville.  Three out of the five officers of World Methodist Evangelism are also American United Methodists (one other is an American AME bishop and one is a bishop in the Kenyan Methodist Church).  The worship at the trip was led by four American United Methodists and one bishop of the Methodist Church in Nigeria.

Does this trip represent history uniting Methodists across the world and even across denominational boundaries?  Is it really an American United Methodist endeavor with token diversity?  Does it have anything to say about the role of history in forging a global UMC?  Share your comments below.

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