Talk:United Methodist Church/Archive 1

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John Wesley, the founder of the UMC???

How can John Wesley be the founder of the United Methodist Church? The UMC was founded in 1968 and Wesley died in the 1800s. I guess no one cares about Jacob Albright or Otterbien, the founders of the other churches that merged into the UMC. If Wesley is the founder of the UMC, does that mean that Martin Luther (who died in the mid 1500s) is the founder of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (established in 1988)? KitHutch 19:10, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Hello. Thanks for your inquiry. Yes, John Wesley is considered the spiritual founder of the United Methodist Church (source 1, source 2, source 3, source 4). The other important leaders (Jacob Albright, Philip William Otterbein, etc.) are all mentioned in the article as well as in the template here. I would also assume that the ELCA and the LCMS both consider Martin Luther to be the spiritual founder of their respective churches as well. I hope this helps! Thanks, AnupamTalk 03:31, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Wesley is considered the founder of the UMC because he is considered the founder of Methodism as a whole back in the 1720's. Since the UMC is a branch or denomination of Methodism, I think it's fair to say that Wesley is still its founder. David Mitchell 17:59, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Right on, Kit. Francis Asbury is the founder of North American Methodism. Wesley died a loyal Anglican cleric. Though I'd much prefer Jesus to be our only founder, if you have to trace INFLUENCE, it goes to Wesley, who himself was influenced by Luther, Zinzendorf, William Law, his mother and father, etc. (talk) 01:58, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I believe that it would be more accurate to say that Barbara Heck, not Francis Asbury, was the founder of Methodism in America. While Asbury was an early leader, he was not the first. Revmqo (talk) 11:46, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Infobox description

In the infobox, it says that the UMC is both mainline and evangelical. I would remove the term "evangelical." Part of the definition of "mainline" is that there are a variety of groups in that particular denomination including evangelicals. Therefore, you are being redundant when you say that the UMC is both mainline and evangelical. KitHutch 20:18, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Hello Kit Hutch! Thanks for your concern. In my opinion, it is better to leave the information box as it is. Unlike most mainline denominations, the United Methodist Church, like other evangelical Churches stresses the concept of New Birth (source). According to the official United Methodist statement (source), By Water & Spirit, the United Methodist Church has a balance of sacramental and evangelical emphases and is a synthesis of sacramentalism and evangelicalism, where the sacramental aspect of the UMC puts itself with other mainline denominations and the evangelical aspect places the UMC with other evangelical denominations. According to the official website of the United Methodist Church,
Despite the fact that some UMC members do not recognize themselves does not affect the official stance of the denomination. Furthermore, the UMC official webpage aligns itself with Wikipedia's definition of evangelicalism. As the term mainline includes a diverse amount of denominations, so does the term evangelicalism. According to the United Methodist Church as well as Wikipedia (source a, source b), evangelicalism is:
The United Methodist Church also states that (source):
A few other references also call John Wesley, George Whitefield et. al. leaders of the Methodist evangelical movement (source a, source b, source c, source d) In light of these facts, I think that it is appropriate for both the words mainline and evangelical to appear in the information box. I hope this helps! With regards, AnupamTalk 01:33, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Old talk

Additional points:

  • History of the United Methodist Church, including the merger between (some Methodist church?) and (some Brethren church?) that formed it.
  • Overseas presence
  • Possibly the conflicts between 'liberals' and 'conservatives' within the denominations and the repeated threats to divide into two smaller denominations over the last 10 or 20 years
  • The issue of autonomy vs globalism of some Central Conferences
  • The "some Methodist Church" was between the Methodist Church North and South. The "some Brethern Church" was the Evangelical United Brethren Church which was not a Brethern Church but the German speaking Methodist church in theology and governance. The EUB Church was the result of the Evangleical Church and the United Brethern Church union in 1946 which were the two german speaking methodist denomination both arising in Pennsylvania among German farmers and meeting in barns. The Methodist Church which was English speaking did not want to become associated with the German language during the formation of the American church. There was an agreement between the English and

German speakers to develop separately and co-exist. This history is documented and easily available to anyone interested.

  • The conflicts have mainly existed between the Texas Conference and the rest of the Church over the issue of social responsibility of both the Church and individuals. The Texas group being the stronghold of the conservative influence. The United Methodist has a strong Social Responsibility Code which is officially endorced by the Church at every level. The Texas Conference has a problem with that. 23:42, 14 December 2005 (UTC)Doug Taylor

  • Why is this page centered? It looks "not in line" with normal Wiki pages.

  • What about the UMC tenet to move clergy around between churches every few years?
  • My Methodist church had the same reverend from 1979 until 2002.
I'm not familiar enough with the history to cover the subject, but the practice has been reduced significantly in recent years. RadicalSubversiv E 00:41, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • In many annual conferences, appointments average about 4 years -- some shorter, some longer. Perhaps, some text describing the itinerant nature of a Methodist pastor would be appropriate. Early Methodist pastors served a charge for only a year; the hope was that pastors and congregations, if they despised their pastor, wouldn't have to endure forever (as well as to prevent cliques among congregations and pastors). It seems now that there is a move to lengthen appointments, but I don't see the average exceeding 5 or 6 years. --Chiacomo 04:44, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I believe that in the Philippines Central Conference, appoitments are determined in the seaparate Annual Conference sessions. User:Aeron Valderrama
  • The admonition to move pastors goes back to the founder, John Wesley, who believed that Pastors should be moved or "itenerated" to prevent them from becoming overly influenced in their preaching and work by the attitudes of particular local churches and members. 23:42, 14 December 2005 (UTC) Doug Taylor

Book of Discipline Research Needed

Christian Perfection

Perhaps the article should include information concerning the church's belief in Christian Perfection... I believe clergy are still required to profess belief in Christian Perfection. What do you think? --Chiacomo

We are indeed required to take a vow at ordination in which we profess to be going on to perfection and that we expect to be made perfect in this life. While this is an important, vital part of United Methodist theology, it is a doctrinal distinctive which is (sadly) not emphasized much anymore. KHM03 10:42, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm of the personal belief that the church should in many ways "return to its roots" -- with more emphasis on study, personal holiness, pursuit of perfection, service etc... Inclusiveness is great, but the worship of God and service to Christ should be our cornerstone. Perhaps at least a mention of the "doctrine" of Chrstian Perfection as it relates to Methodism would be both "encyclopedic" and instructive for Methodists who might find an article about their church here. I dunno... --Chiacomo 14:24, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • The doctrine of "Perfection" is more appropriately "going onto perfection" which is vastly different from the above. It was a centeral tenant of John Wesley, founder, which states that you never actually reach perfection but should be moving toward it in your Christian life. Any other interperetatation is erroneous or poorly understood. The concept is well defined in many Methodist publications and histories. Guessing is not facts.
  • Actually, John Wesley believed that a Christian should be striving for perfection in this life. He fully believed that it was possible to achieve that perfection in this life, and he claimed to know some who had achieved this level of faith. Most assume that he meant his mother Susanna. For John, Christian perfection meant reaching the point where all actions were a result of our love for God, not that we had reached actual perfection in our lives. Charles Wesley, John's brother, beleived that it was possible to reach perfection, but that it likely happened in the moments immediately preceding death. Revmqo (talk) 11:54, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

need clarification

In April 2005, the United Methodist Council of Bishops approved "A Proposal for Interim Eucharistic Sharing." This document would be the first step toward full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which the UMC bishops believe will happen by 2008. The church is also in dialogue with the Episcopal Church for full communion by 2012.

  • The United Methodist Church has been a leader in the national and international ecumenical movement for dating back at least into the 1960s. This is not a new direction. 23:42, 14 December 2005 (UTC)Doug Taylor

The linked text for "Episcopal Church" leads to a disambiguation page. --ZekeMacNeil 01:22, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Also, is it possible to source this section? --Chiacomo (talk) 14:17, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I thought the UMC's governing body had already made this stance


In the "Characterization" section, how can we make the blanket statement that the UMC is considered "liberal" in light of it's current discriminatory practices and doctrines around sexual orientation?!? Emerymat 23:20, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

How? How about because the statement made is "the UMC is considered one of the more liberal and tolerant denominations with respect to race, gender, and ideology." How about because the UMC is "considered liberal", to the extent that Reader's Digest has accused it of being a communist front. How about the fact that nothing is said in that comment about sexual orientation. How about if you follow the included link to Liberal Christianity; I think you'll find that most of the points listed describe the majority of United Methodist's fairly well.

While the UMC has leaned to the left in recent years, they seem to be swinging right. They're probably as middle of the road today as is possible. KHM03 22:27, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with KHM03. Political viewpoint's vary tremendously within the church, let us remember that this is the church of George W. Bush. My experience has been that the chuch varies greatly in the north versus the south, and in urban versus rural areas. Also, everyone here really should sign their posts with four tildas "~~~~," otherwise its hard to take your posts seriously. -MrFizyx 16:12, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Speaking as a member of the UMC and the daughter of a United Methodist minister, I have watched the church become steadily more politically liberal in my lifetime. The issues surrounding homosexuality in the church are hotly debated within the church. While the Judicial Council remains rather conservative, politically leanings of the church vary region by region. On the whole I would say the church is rather liberal though. The church does have an Open Hearts Open Minds Open Doors policy that calls on congregations to practice non-discrimination. I don't think it's expressly supported by the Judicial Council though. If that's confusing, imagine the UMC operating similarly to the three branches of the U.S. government; they often act in seeming opposition to each other. This is the United Methodist Church's social policy on homosexuality: [1]. --Xaraphim (talk) 04:51, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

As the UMC discipline states it, it's a pretty accepting stance. It's not radical in either direction and more accepting if anything. I would say the church is more liberal. The UMC does pull of a lot of its learning resources from Cokesbury which rarely has very conservative material and normally distributes progressive Christian material. A small group study program called Living The Questions was put together by United Methodists which includes several progressive scholars such as John Dominic Crossan. That's only one example of material that is definitely not conservative at all. It may not be liberal to the level of the United Church of Christ, but it is close enough. Also, not only is George Bush in the UMC, Hilary Clinton is also a United Methodist. So it is definitely accepting. Xe7al (talk) 06:28, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

T.V. ads

It should also be noted that the UMC is one of the few religions to advertize on television (mainly CNN and other news channels). This is something that very few other religions do and may be worth to put in this entry. Personaly I think it's kinda silly that a religion advertizes on T.V., but the United Methodist Church does it.

United Church of Christ advertises. Mormons advertise a lot. Personally, I wonder why it would be considered silly to try and reach people where they are.

Because it's pathetic and Jesus is not Coca Cola. McChurch would be the way to describe a church that advertises on T.V.
As a former member of the UMC, I am going to have to defend their ads. They are very tastefully done. There is nothing McChurch about them. Perhaps you should watch them before you evaluate them. KitHutch 18:06, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

The ads aren't advertising Jesus, they're advertising the churches Open Hearts Open Minds Open Doors policy. --Xaraphim (talk) 04:52, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Exactly, the church isn't selling Jesus, they're telling people they are welcome (and as with some of the themes of their commercials, they're also showing they accept anyone). It's not much different from the commercials alerting everyone that they can apply for government coupons for converter boxes for the transition to digital television. Xe7al (talk) 06:34, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

re: External links

There are a lot of external links. They are not well explained, and most don't seem related to the content. I'm going to remove some recent adds that appear to be organizations of United Methodists that do not represent the church as a whole, but rather some grassroots sub-group. If a majority of editors feel we need these things linked then we should have some note so that readers will understand them for what they are. This should apply whether it is the Confessing Movement, Lifewatch or the Reconciling Milistries Network right? -MrFizyx 17:06, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Reconciling and confessing congregations

An anon user: has deleted a large chunk about the positions of reconciling and confessing congregations. Since the same anon has made some other edits which seem generally ok, I am reluctant just to revert this. But as a semi-outsider to the UMC (I'm a UK Methodist, but I visit the US regularly and often attend UMC churches when there), I found the deleted material enlightening; neither of the terms is self-explanatory (indeed both could be accused of hijacking Christian terminology of broad historical significance to a narrower cause). On the other hand, this article is surely too heavy on the homosexuality issue, at the expense of more fundamental matters, so maybe the deleted material deserved to go. I'd be interested to know what others who are perhaps closer to the matter think. seglea 22:08, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

  • I vote for revert. I am a former united methodist and the explanation of what's been going on since I left is very educational. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bajenkins (talkcontribs) . 31 July 2006
  • I think it would be ok to have this in the article, but I have two concerns (1) these need to be presented as grass roots efforts upon which the wider church has no stand (I think many active UMC members might have little awareness of these and would find the info enlightening as well). (2) It is very important that these be cited and presented with the neutral viewpoint. I'm also troubled by the section that has been added regarding "failed liberalizing efforts," this sounds very much like original research which of course is a no-no. -MrFizyx 16:03, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
We have had the same recentism debate on the United Church of Christ page regarding the Current Issues section of that article. IT was much longer than other sections but contained lots of good information relevant to the denomination. Perhaps you could model the UMC article after UCC controversies. Focus on documented statements by notable groups from both/all sides of the issue. If the homosexuality issue is not the only current issue facing the Methodists then mention others, like church planting the Middle East, or other initiatives. Be sure to document these claims. Anyways, hope this helps. Peace, MPS 17:11, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Largest churches in the denomination

This page contained reference to the two larges churches in The United Methodist Church being Windsor Village and Church of the Resurrection. This information was only partially correct.

According to the year-end statistics for 2004 (the most recent fully-audited data) compiled by the General Council on Finance and Administration (UMC), the five largest churches and their memberships are:

Church                        Membership
WINDSOR VILLAGE               15945
HIGHLAND PARK                 11774
FIRST FT WORTH                11084
GLIDE MEMORIAL                10653

The references have been deleted. I don't think they fit well in the Organization unit anyway.

Crude version of logo is now available for those that want to show it on their user page

I now have a non-fair use version of the Church logo that can be used on your user page. You can't use the offical image because fair use images can only be used in the main namespace. So I came up with the image at the right.

I created the image for use in a user box. The code below results in the box shown below.

{{Userbox|border-c=#000|border-s=1|id-c=#fff|id-s=12|id-fc=#000|info-c=#77F|info-s=8|info-fc=#fff|id=|info=This person is a [[United Methodist Church|United Methodist]]}}
This person is a United Methodist

Please note that the image is, at best, crude. Feel free to replace it with a better copy as long as you draw it yourself. However, please note the image is marked with {{ShouldBeSVG}}. That is because the Scaleable Vector Graphics format would be better suited than PNG. The problem was that I could not save to SVG. In fact, I had to omit the transparent background that I felt the image should have.

If someone expresses interest, either here or on my talk page, I will make the code above into a template at User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/United Methodist. Will (Talk - contribs) 06:26, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

It's still a copyvio - and can't be used on user pages. Rklawton 04:31, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
United Methodist users can use the following template on their userpage: {{User:UBX/umc}}. It will render a beautiful template which does not violate any copyright laws. I hope this helps. With regards, AnupamTalk 07:32, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, to not get back to you when you posted, but it is my understanding that if images weren't straight copies of the logo, they could be used. I remember the Tiger fans user box having a version of the logo for the Detroit Tigers logo. I was told it was OK because it did not match the official logo. So how did my version fail that test? Will (Talk - contribs) 07:09, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

You were mis-informed, that's all. No poor imitations. Rklawton 13:38, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the box proposed by Anupam is no good. It looks wrong without the flames. Will (Talk - contribs) 21:36, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

How about the letters "UMC" - a common abbreviation for the church? Rklawton 21:51, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Maybe. However, it is clear that if you have an image that even remotely resembles a copyrighted image, even if not by design, it is not allowed on Wikipedia. To bad. Will (Talk - contribs) 02:09, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Captial Punishment...not John 8:31

Under social issues, it referese to the UMC being apposed to capital punishment in part because "Jesus explicitly repudiated the lex talionis in Matthew 5:38-39 and abolished the death penalty in John 8:31." The reason John 8:31 is mentioned is because it is referenced from the UFC's own website. However, the passage in question is actually John 8:1-12 where Jesus spares the life of the adulterous woman. I'm pointing out the correction here rather than fixing the main article because it is a direct reference from the UFC website, so changing it would be altering the reference. David Mitchell 18:04, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Judicial Council/Church Court

The Homosexuality section refers to a "Judicial Council, or "Church Court". I can't find another reference to this in the article, and I think it would be great if someone who knows about it can add something about it - possibly in the Organization section?

Thanks very much, Drum guy (talk) 18:44, 11 December 2007 (UTC)


I've removed the word "breakfast" from this sentence.

At the 2004 General Conference, one of the speakers at a Good News movement (a conservative caucus) breakfast floated the notion of an "amicable" separation due to the divisive theological issues that have occurred among Methodists. Later, a proposed resolution unrelated to the speaker [38] was circulated that suggested a Task Force of 21 persons to be set up to come up with a proposal for an “amicable separation” within the UMC to be presented at a special session of General Conference in 2006.

I'm assuming it was vandalism. Let me know if I made a mistake. --Xaraphim (talk) 04:12, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Poorly put together with POV

The section on Homosexuality seems to have been put together by at least two different people with opposing view points. I think the facts stated here are important, but it could flow together better and maybe have a little less POV. I'd like to reword it incorporating the existing facts. If no one has any reasonable objections, I'll start working on it. --Xaraphim (talk) 05:18, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Being put together in that fashion sounds like an annual conference session. It's quite reflective of the church I think. I think the most objective way to write about any stance in the church is to use the Social Principles: [2]. It is the official stance (since it was voted on and approved by the church to get around the issues with these different points of view). Xe7al (talk) 06:42, 8 June 2008 (UTC)


In the section on homosexuality it reads

The United Methodist Church maintains that "Homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth...," [61] and encourages United Methodists to be in ministry with and for all people.[62]

In accordance with Scripture,[63] the Church officially considers, "the practice of homosexuality (to be) incompatible with Christian teaching." It states that "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" cannot be ordained as ministers.

can someone explain this seeming contradiction? Thanks--Nigazblood (talk) 18:50, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

That is considering scriptural support that anyone who is considered to not be in line with Christian thinking is still able to be Christian (examples: tax collectors and those with ailments were considered as being sinners yet, as the bible points out, Jesus still saw them as equals and accepted them as Christians).
My further understanding is that the church was avoiding other issues that would occur such as homosexual marriage which is also not condoned by the church as a whole. So that is what tipped the decision (since the homosexual issue is nearly a 50-50 decision as is with the country as a whole). Just remember that the church does make decisions democratically so it is quite easy to see things that look contradictory. Hopefully, that sheds a little light on the subject without starting a debate as Wsanders points out below. Xe7al (talk) 07:13, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

The church teaches that even though the church does not condone homosexuality, it would be un-Christian to reject them as people. Homosexuals are still children of God, so the church must work with them. This discussion, however, is not necessarily appropriate for a talk page, since Wikipedia isn't a place to debate these issues. Wsanders (talk) 21:26, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Proposed Methodist work group

There is now a proposal for a WikiProject group, possibly initially a subproject of Wikipedia:WikiProject Christianity, to deal with articles relating to the Methodist churches at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Methodism. Anyone interested in taking part in such a group should indicate their interest there. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 15:24, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Judicial Council

I added a section on the Judicial Council. it needs work but it's a start; I think it's important to have a section on this, since as Drum Guy said above the judicial council is talked about in the homosexuality section. I'll add references when I have my Discipline handy, or someone else could do it. Wsanders (talk) 22:03, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references !

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "UMC-Evangelical" :
    • {{cite web|url =| title = Is the concept “saved, born-again” unique to evangelicals?|publisher = The United Methodist Church|accessdate = 2007-03-25}}
    • {{cite web|url =| title = Is the concept “saved, born-again” unique to evangelicals? |publisher = The United Methodist Church|accessdate = 2007-08-01}}
  • "Oremus Bible Browser" :
    • {{cite web|url =| title = Galatians 3:28|publisher = National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America|accessdate = 2007-06-24}}
    • {{cite web|url =| title = 1 Timothy 6:9-10a|publisher = National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America|accessdate = 2007-06-24}}

DumZiBoT (talk) 06:38, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

I was born a Methodist & I will die a Methodist...... are you?

Hi there brothers & sisters in Christ!

You know what? My grandfater is a Methodist. My mother is a methodist, my father is a converted methodist, all of my uncles,

& my auntie are a methodist, my siblings, my causins are all methodist, my kids are all methodist. I was born & baptized a

methodist..... therefore I will die a methodist. We have 4 workers in our clan members 1 senior rev. pastor, 2 rev. ditrict

superintendent and 1 retired deaconess. I am happy to have them and to be part of our clan.

I love going to solemn services, it makes me feel good & my soul rejoice once I am attending solemn services. Without

offending those brothers & sisters of the other denomination who are jumping & shouting in their services. I was invited &

was able to attend to other denominations & christians gathering, but for me, I still like the solemn service we do... do

you agree with me? Without offending those people that expressing their belief and faith, I still and really respect them

for they are still our brothers & sisters in Christ. So Methodist out there! Lets keep the flame beside the cross burning,

remember? Its our emblem ..... our logo....our faith....I love You All in Christ! :) (Albertlonghair (talk) 07:18, 12 September 2008 (UTC)).

    • I was born and baptised a United Methodist, and I love the religion, but Catholisicm and anglicanism are very interesting to me and I want to try them out as well. Tarheelz123 (talk) 21:38, 13 April 2009 (UTC)