Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

April 29, 2020

Exodus Bible Study J.D. Walt 4/29/20 #3

April 26, 2020

Wesley UMC Sermon April 26, 2020

Sermons during Covid 19 – April 5th Palm Sunday

April 23, 2020

March 29, 2020 Sunday Morning Sermon

April 23, 2020

This is the second Sunday Morning Sermon after all services were canceled at Wesley Orange. Hope you enjoy and stay safe.

1st Sermon during Covid 19, March 22nd 2020

April 22, 2020

Sunday March 22, 2020 Sermon. This is the first sermon after we started self isolation. Have a blessed day.

Pastor’s Ponderings

December 30, 2018

As I think about Christmas I can’t help but be drawn into the act of renewal for the world that Jesus brought to us. Christmas is at the end of a year, at the end of another age. It is an opportunity for us to think about the year past and really look at how we represented Christ to the world. Does our love for Christ show in our daily actions such as our speech, our face, our reactions to events, our acts of compassion or our outreach to those less fortunate than ourselves. These are all opportunities to fulfill the call of God in Jesus Christ. Jesus left His disciples to change the world and we are the descendants of those disciples so it is our job to change how the world knows who God in Jesus Christ is. Jesus came, Jesus taught, Jesus suffered, Jesus resurrected so that all who believe in Him would be His witness in His Love for the world.

Kind words and loving actions practiced repetitively will become habit and what better habits to have than showing love to the world in all you do.

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and wish everyone a blessed New Year.

Pastor Randy

Lectionary Scriptures for Advent’s fourth Sunday 12-23-18

December 19, 2018

Remember our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.

Candlelight Service Christmas Eve

December 19, 2018

Wesley United Methodist Church will be having its Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 5pm. If you cannot make it in to Wesley please find a church near you to attend. We get so busy this time of year and Christmas Eve Services are a few moments out of the day to refocus on the true meaning of Christmas. God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.

Have a blessed Christmas Season because you believe in the love God has for this world and all of it’s inhabitants.

The picture above is one I took one evening at the church.

Pastor Randy

UMC’s Hope for the Future – The Traditional Plan

August 21, 2018

This article is from the Wesleyan Covenant Association and is about one of the three plans to be brought before the called General Conference in St. Louis in February of 2019. Described below is the Traditional Plan and some history that has brought about the proposal of three different plans: The Traditional Plan, The One Church Plan and the Connectional plan.

This is the second of three articles briefly describing and analyzing the various plans that are slated to come before the special, called General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019. Readers wanting to read the official reports, plans, and enabling legislation can click HERE. See Exhibit C, pages 82 through 130 of the whole document to review The Traditional Plan.

In January 1999 the Rev. Don Fado of St. Mark’s UM Church in Sacramento, California, presided at a same-sex union. An additional 67 UM clergy claimed they co-officiated at the faux wedding – same-sex marriage being neither recognized by the church nor the state at the time. Formal complaints were lodged against the clergy participants, but the charges were dropped and no one involved was held accountable.

In October 2013, retired Bishop, Melvin Talbert presided at a same-sex wedding in Birmingham, Alabama, in violation of The UM Church’s Book of Discipline. He did so despite the request of his colleague, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, not to disrupt the good work of local churches in her episcopal area with such a provocative act of defiance. He refused and presided anyway. Talbert was never held accountable.

In July 2016 the Western Jurisdictional Conference elected the Rev. Karen Oliveto as a bishop of the whole church. It was widely know that Oliveto had presided at numerous same-sex weddings, and was herself married to a deaconess in the UM Church, all in violation of the Discipline. The next day the Western Jurisdiction bishops consecrated her and in short order she was assigned to lead the Mt. Sky Episcopal Area. Complaints have been filed against Oliveto, but to date she has not been held accountable.

These are just some of the more noteworthy examples of the blatant defiance of the Discipline over the past couple of decades. And yet, some UM centrists and progressives now profess to be alarmed that one of the plans coming before the special 2019 General Conference calls for enhanced accountability. The Traditional Plan (TP) does, among other things, just that. However, it is not nearly as onerous as its detractors make it out to be. Briefly, here are the main features of the TP.

First, it does require annual conferences and bishops to categorically state they will abide by the church’s teachings regarding its sexual ethics, definition of marriage, and ordination standards, or face stiff penalties for violating them. Again, given the serial acts of defiance and lack of accountability, this should surprise no one.

Second, for those individuals who cannot, in good conscience follow the denomination’s teachings on these matters, the TP offers a fair and even gracious way for them to step away from the UM Church.

And finally, unlike the One Church Plan, the TP provides a gracious way for any local church and any annual conference to leave the denomination without having to worry about the possibility of losing or having to litigate for their property and assets.

In short, the TP is a sincere attempt to restore good order to the church, and to refocus the denomination’s attention on its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

United Methodists understand every church must have a form of governance that provides a way for it to discern God’s will when it comes to defining its core theological and ethical beliefs. (And yes, unlike supporters of the One Church Plan, proponents of the TP believe our sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and our ordination standards are core convictions that derive from Scripture and nearly 2,000 years of Christian teaching. These are not novel or esoteric claims; they are ones the vast majority of Christian faith communities ascribe to.) It is widely known that the important task of discernment in the UM Church is the purview of the General Conference – a body composed of duly elected clergy and lay delegates from around the world that speaks authoritatively for the whole church.

For over 45 years the UM Church has engaged in a debate over its sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and its ordination standards. For many years that debate was a healthy and helpful one as one General Conference after another thoughtfully, prayerfully, and graciously engaged these matters. Blue ribbon panels were formed, studies were commissioned, and reports were widely shared. General Conference delegates, with civility, candor, and grace, debated the key issues repeatedly. And the results have always been a re-affirmation of not only the UM Church’s teachings on these matters, but what the vast majority of Christians world-wide have practiced and taught, in all times and all places, for the past 2,000 years.

Unfortunately, some progressives, particularly in the past six years, have decided to reject the UM Church’s time-honored way of discerning God’s will. Even though General Conferences have reaffirmed the church’s sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and its ordination standards, they have embarked on a strategy of ecclesial defiance. And some of our bishops have abetted their defiance, and others have even joined in it.

Therefore, it is no surprise a proposal like the TP has been submitted to the special General Conference, and that it might actually pass. Laity and clergy want local churches where all people are warmly welcomed and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is passionately proclaimed. They also want a church where clergy and bishops promote and defend its standards. They want a church where good order is maintained. And they want a church that is growing, healthy and vibrant. Proponents of the TP want nothing more and expect nothing less.

So reactionaries can make their hyperbolic claims – the TP ushers in an “inquisition” or it is only interested in “enforcing the rules”– but the fact of the matter is the vast majority of United Methodists world-wide sincerely believe the church’s sexual ethics, teachings on marriage, and its ordination standards are grounded in Scripture and 2,000 years of Christian teaching. They believe the church has openly and fairly arrived at these teachings, reaffirmed them – repeatedly– and now rightly expect its clergy and bishops to abide by and embrace them. Current and prospective clergy members are not entitled to violate UM Church standards with impunity. And a church that prizes unity, health, and vitality cannot endlessly tolerate those who would brazenly undermine its core theological and ethical convictions.

Simply put, after years of defiance, the TP calls for the reaffirmation of the church’s sexual ethics, teachings on marriage and its ordination standards. It calls for accountability for those who refuse to abide by them. And it offers a generous and gracious pathway for those who want or need to part ways with the UM Church.

Walter Fenton is an elder in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and the WCA’s vice-president for strategic engagement.

4th Sunday of Advent – Lectionary Scriptures 12-24-17

December 18, 2017