- The History Of The Willow United Methodist Church: 150 Years In The Service Of Christ, 1860 To 2010
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The Western church, including the Roman Catholic Church, is in real danger of ceasing to be a Christian body. Neither St. Augustine nor St. John Chrysostom would recognize as Christian much of what goes on in Roman Catholic parishes. A quiet advocacy of homosexuality goes on unimpeded by rebukes from the Vatican. Belief in the sacraments is rapidly evaporating. Confirmation and confession are almost totally neglected. Feminism is the reigning ideology, and bishops promote it as much as they can without provoking direct action from Rome.
Reports of concelebrations by laywomen are increasing, and the archdiocese of Chicago plans to put women in charge of dozens of its parishes. Feminism is the chief challenge to the Church today. It is as dangerous as Gnosticism, to which it bears a strong resemblance in its internal incoherence and its resentment of the natural order.
It is more dangerous than even grave doctrinal errors, such as the unitarianism of the Second Person propounded by a handful of Pentecostal groups, because it appeals to a sociological situation in the Western church. Women dominate, sometimes by large ratios, the congregations of the West, and Western church life has been profoundly affected by this sociological fact. The Western churches perhaps for this reason are unable to deal with feminism, because they fear to alienate the last group in society that goes to church: women.
I have my fears that the Orthodox also may succumb. Although the spiritual significance of gender is prominent in Scripture, it is not treated by the Fathers, who adopted the Greek attitude to the body, that, if it was not evil, it was certainly not important, especially in its gendered and sexual aspect.
Jung, the main channel for the revival of Gnosticism in the Church, is all too appealing to Christians who think that his system can be used to elucidate Christianity to modern man. The novel challenge of feminism is probably beyond the internal resources of Orthodoxy; it also requires both careful rational analysis and new delving into the resources of Scripture, specialized tactics that are more the province of the West.
Each church may properly maintain its identity and traditions, not in isolation, but in fruitful communion with other churches with divergent traditions. It is hard to see what other institution than the papacy could provide visible unity. The popes, especially the current one, regard their office not as an opportunity to lord it over other Christians, but as a grave burden of responsibility.
As in a marriage, authority is based upon self-sacrifice.
After all, the man is equal to her, and who is he to exercise authority over an equal? But if the husband shows his willingness to die for the wife, his exercise of authority becomes not a means of self-aggrandizement, but an act of love. The pope, too, is the first among equals, and knows that his authority has to be validated by self-sacrifice. His endless travels and extensive writings try to bring the gospel to all. His greatest desire is for reunion with the Orthodox, a union that would revivify the Church, allowing it to breathe with both lungs, and that would lead eventually to the reunion of all Christians, not in an institutional consolidation, but in a communio that reflected the communio of the Three Persons of the Trinity, eternally distinct yet eternally one in love.
But a church tribunal acquitted a bishop who ordained an openly gay priest, leaving others free to do likewise.
The History Of The Willow United Methodist Church: 150 Years In The Service Of Christ, 1860 To 2010
Now the issue is gay bishops. The report is due in That work could take years. The Rev. The Telegraph said a spokesman for the Orthodox Church indicated the chapel had to be demolished because it was desecrated. Some local officials said it was going to be leveled anyway to make way for a larger church, but the new facility is not scheduled to open until During the Sept. The ceremony sparked outrage across the nation, even among people not associated with the church. The topic of discussion was the controversial television ad by the United Church of Christ UCC that was banned from national broadcasting networks for its apparent implication that gay and lesbian couples are affirmed by God.
Albert Mohler Jr. Rather, He came to save us from our sins and to make us what we otherwise could not be — and that is victorious over all the sins that entrap us. Homosexuality is one of those. The second UCC commercial began running on several cable channels Dec. The ad, which can be viewed at www. But the point is not from those of us who are inside the church but those people who feel alienated and rejected.
On the same day of the Good Morning America broadcast, Chase released a statement saying the two networks never told the UCC they felt the commercial was controversial. Our understanding was that such negotiations between media buyers and networks were not unusual and were nothing to be concerned about. The CBS explained in a written statement that the commercial is too controversial because it touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups in a sensitive time of debate over those issues.
Such decisions shut out the Christian community from the national conversation. It could lead to healing. However, Mohler disagreed. During his appearance with Diane Sawyer, Mohler pointed out that while every church is composed of sinners, these sinners make an effort to repent and turn from their sins. Mohler answered that the moneychangers would be urged through proclamation of the Gospel not to remain in their sin. Homosexuals would be welcomed. There would be no bouncers at the door at our church to keep them out but they would hear the authentic Gospel when they came inside.
The UCC is a network of nearly 6, congregations with 1. The world is becoming more and more polarized religiously and the ecumenical movement needs to adopt interfaith dialogue and cooperation as a priority in the 21st century, at least according to Samuel Kobia, the head of the World Council of Churches WCC. In a seminar on Ecumenism held in Bangladesh, a nation known for violent clashes between majority Muslims and minority Christians, the Rev.
Kobia emphasized that church bodies must strengthen interfaith dialogue at the grassroots level where most of the negative impact of religious intolerance and violence is felt.
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He also told Kobia that the government is determined to prevent such activities and not to allow the extremists to have an impact, according to a WCC press release. Meanwhile, Kobia asked president Ahmed to consider declaring Easter Service a public holiday; Ahmed said he would support the proposal, and encouraged Christian leaders to start negotiations with the government. The CCDB, which works toward strengthening civil society, hopes to sustain and protect justice and freedom in society. In the inaugural ceremony, Kobia affirmed that the CCDB is needed in a nation such as Bangladesh, where high levels of human deprivation exists.
Such systematic efforts under the Commission will ultimately ensure freedom and human dignity for all, Kobia said. Kobia was joined by his wife, Mrs. United Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians may begin worshiping, studying and evangelizing together as early as next year. Should the Lutheran and Episcopalian lawmaking assemblies approve those agreements, the three churches will be sharing communion, studying with one another and being involved in mission together.
The UMC will be entering into separate agreements with each of the denominations. The Lutheran and Episcopal churches are also in conversation for communion with each other. According to Methodist Bishop William B.
Oden expects the interim agreements to be made within a year, and the full communion process by What is the fastest-growing religion on Earth? Most news reports suggest it is Islam. But a new book makes a compelling case it is a new, or, perhaps, old form of biblically inspired evangelical Christianity that is sweeping through places like China, Africa, India and Southeast Asia.
Rutz makes the point that Christianity is overlooked as the fastest-growing faith in the world because most surveys look at the traditional Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church while ignoring Christian believers who have no part of either. So fast is this group growing that, under current trends, according to Rutz, the entire world will be composed of such believers by the year According to the author, until , Western evangelicals outnumbered non-Western evangelicals — mostly Latinos, blacks and Asians — by two to one.
As of , non-Western evangelicals outnumbered Westerners by four to one. He says by , the ratio will be seven to one. This trend, says Rutz, has been missed by Westerners because the explosive growth is elsewhere. Hundreds of millions of these Christians are simply not associated with the institutional churches at all. They meet in homes. They meet underground. They meet in caves. They meet, he says, in secret. Until our time, the ancient war between good and evil was hardly better than a stalemate. Now all has changed. The Creator whose epic story flows through the pages of Scripture has begun to dissolve the strongholds of evil.
This new drama is being played out every hour around the globe, accompanied sometimes by mind-bending miracles. The vote is not binding on individual churches, but could cause some churches to leave the fold. They debated for about an hour before voting.
On Sunday, a committee of about 50 United Church of Christ representatives gave nearly unanimous approval to the resolution, recommending that the General Synod approve it. Traditionally strong in New England, the liberal denomination of 1. The committee also voted against an alternative resolution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
The church was criticized last year for its television advertising campaign featuring a gay couple, among others, being excluded from a church. In the early s, the UCC became the first major Christian body to ordain an openly gay minister. The same-sex resolution was submitted by the Southern California and Nevada Conference. The resolution specified that bisexual and transgender persons merit the same support and protections as gays and lesbians. UCC churches are autonomous, meaning the General Synod does not create policy for its more than 5, congregations.
The denomination has 10, ordained ministers. China today is undergoing an unprecedented total transformation. She is a contradiction in terms: a communist dictatorship overseeing a capitalist economy. A socialist society only 25 years ago, she is facing the rise of a new postmodern generation of young people. China also faces some fundamental options. What will be the core values of her worldview as she steps into the 21st century?
Which ideas will guide her future? From a Christian perspective, there seems to be four alternatives for China to choose from:. There is ample evidence for the first three. As for the influence of the Christian worldview, this is dependent on the sovereign grace of our God, and a strong presence of Christians in China, both native mainland Chinese, and Christians from overseas, living out the power of the kingdom as salt and light.
There is no short cut in influencing China; it takes painstaking, patient work, building relationships, influencing institutions such as the school and the family. It yields incredible rewards. Today, the gospel of the kingdom of God is proclaimed in China by three parties.
They often do not know each other, but they are nevertheless partners in the gospel. The first is the indigenous church in China. This includes the unregistered and the registered churches, as well as the many groups of students, professors and professionals studying the Bible in small groups. Chinese Christians from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, North America and elsewhere are deeply involved in serving and supplying the church in China, as well as commercial and non-profit enterprises in China.
The third the is the church from west and other parts of the world. Christians from the west often do not know about the tremendous influence which the overseas Chinese church has on the mainland Chinese church. Overseas Chinese Christians are the most important outside sources of Bibles and training materials for the mainland Chinese church! It is unfortunate that western Christians do not meet overseas Chinese Christian in China service.
It is high time that they did. There is a tremendous information gap that exists in the field of China service today. An incredible amount of information — news, Christian inspirational writing, and theological scholarship — is pouring out from the overseas Chinese church, from centers such as Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore and North America. The western church does not read these materials, and as a result, often do not know about the major role played by the overseas Chinese church in China.
The western church often has no access to these materials, because the overwhelming majority of these materials is published in Chinese. There is a bottleneck of strategic information badly needed by western Christians for an in-depth understanding of the Chinese world. The overseas Chinese do not have the manpower nor the desire, sometimes to make a systematic effort to translate every important book or document into English. Overseas Chinese may not even know that there is such a need. For the sake of more effective kingdom service in China, we need to break this bottleneck.
John Naisbitt wrote an outstanding book in , Megatrends Asia. In his concluding section, Naisbitt calls upon American young people to go to Asia, and to learn Mandarin, in order for America to remain competitive in the world.
How true this is for the outreach of the church in China service. The North American church needs to commission and groom a new generation of China hands for the 21st century. They do not grow on trees! We have to groom them. Let the missionary societies provide eighteen missionary statesmen who shall have, after their university career, a post-graduate course in Comparative Religion, and in the Science of Religious Missions, Christian and non-Christian, who are to be placed one in each provincial capital of the Empire average population of each province is twenty million , where they will keep the leading mandarins in their respective provinces well informed with regard to the leading factors in the progress of all nations, will co-operate with all the missionary societies in the province, and help to organize the best forces, so as to produce the highest good Timothy Richard, The China Problem, From a Missionary Point of View, London, , pp.
These are prophetic words. I propose a year plan to nurture such ambassadors. It usually begins with the stirrings of the Spirit of God in the heart of a young person. More prayer, reading, sharing of vision follow. This needs to take place in a school which truly believes in the absolute trustworthiness and inerrancy of the Scriptures.
Two to four more years pass. Another two- or three-year term in China follows. The language study, of course, can take place in China during any one of the terms of service in China. What China needs in the 21st century more than anything else, is a clear message of the sound, complete gospel, not a watered-down version. I may venture to say that the majority of evangelicals who started off in graduate studies in these schools as an unswerving evangelical with absolute confidence in the Bible end up, by the time they receive their doctorates, with a weaker, not a stronger, faith in the Bible.
This is easily detected by reading journal articles and books by evangelicals. The vigilance against erosion of faith in the church is sorely missing with rare, notable exceptions, of course. This is true in the American church as well as in the overseas Chinese church! I use the example of the colorful career of Timothy Richard to illustrate how the best of intentions in missions is no guarantee for doctrinal orthodoxy. Richard had a very enlightened view of missions: as a student in Haverfordshire in England, he wanted his seminary to offer Asian languages and history as preparation for missionary work.
He dialogued with Confucian and Buddhist scholars, and befriended them sincerely. He introduced science, history and other branches of western learning to China. He hired Liang Qichao in to be his secretary; Liang was a leader in the s, belonging to the younger generation of radical scholars who called upon the Emperor to institute a constitutional monarchy. Richard translated dozens of books and booklets into Chinese, including a 19th century history of Europe. Richard had a very broad concept of the mission of this translation work:.
Christian literature is all that literature which best enables us to do the Will of the Father in all the relations of life. There is a grand comprehensiveness in the command to disciple all nations. He who thinks it simply calls Christians without plan or organization, to seek the conversion of the largest number in the shortest time, has a very inadequate idea of its scope.
It means not only to make disciples, but to make the nations Christian nations, to destroy heathenism and to cause Christian faith and morals to interpenetrate the whole structure of society. The famous Stone Lectures have since been published under the title, Lectures in Calvinism. Kuyper, a theologian in his own right, reminded the church in America never to forget that the primary battle in history will always be an antithesis between truth and error, God-centered culture and man-centered culture.
Richard and his fellow reformer-missionaries, some of the most brilliant minds whom the church in England and America sent to China, became Universalists by the s. They no longer believed in the exclusive claims of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christianity has the power of assimilating all that is good in other religions. We come here to counteract their false teachings and to fill up what is wanting just as Christ came not to destroy but to fulfill Timothy Richard to Baynes, Shansi, May 18, ; quoted in Rita Therese Johnson Sister M.
Virginia Therese, M. Richard and Fryer did not sail from Britain as liberals or Universalists. They were zealous evangelicals, burning with the fire of revival. What happened? What led to this downward spiral of doctrinal belief and vigilance? Was it the fact that he was enamored with Buddhism? No, I think not.
Whether she will or not the tide of western civilization and progress is rolling in upon her, and its resistless might will certainly overflow the land. Not only so, but many of her own people are inquiring after and eager to learn the science which has made the west so great, and whose fame has already filled China to its remotest corner. There are two sufficient reasons why Christian missionaries should strive to prepare men to lead in the great transformation which is bound to be wrought in China. First, it is a good thing in itself. It will bring to China unnumbered blessings, physical, social, and political.
Moreover true science and the arts which proceed from it, will effectually uproot heathen superstition, and if rightly controlled and directed, prepare a highway for the general triumph of Christianity. This leads to the second reason, which is, that if conscientious and Christian men are not forthcoming to control and direct this movement, it will be controlled by heathen and infidel men.
Science and art and material improvement, will fall into the hands of the enemies of Christianity, and will be used by them as a mighty engine to hinder the progress of truth and righteousness. Science is either the ally of religion, or her most dangerous enemy. It is a grand opportunity which the Christian church has, to train u the men who shall take the lead in, and leaven with Christian truth the great mental and physical transformation, which western science and civilization is soon to make in China Mateer, Records of the General Conference, , Mateer was sober to realize that, if Christians do not bring science and with it, Christianity at the core of it to China, someone else will!
Mateer and Richard were truly prophetic. Their words sound so contemporary when we read them in the year ! Lesson for us to learn: keep theological education, sound, biblical, evangelical training, as a life-long part of the diet of our English teachers, expatriate business and corporate executives, and other Christian professionals serving in China. Keep them faithful to the Word of God! Today we are sending English teachers, doctors, and businesspeople in the name of Christ to China. Some are going to China without being sent by the church; the church is too slow to respond, so off they went!
We, too, are enamored by the awakening giant: except this time, the giant has awakened. China is open to religious studies programs at universities; doctoral programs in religious Christian studies have already been launched in at least five universities, and more are opening up. We need to reach out to China in a spirit of friendship, servanthood, and dignity, offering to be a blessing and friend to China, without jeopardizing the safety of the church of Jesus Christ in that land.
All of this is wonderful; the American church can do much of this, which the overseas Chinese church cannot. The overseas Chinese church, of course, can do certain things which the American church cannot do, in China. Broken hearts and lives need a strong Savior, not just a sympathetic friend who will walk with them. We must make the claim that Scripture is the divine address of a king, not just a document which witnesses to and record the eternal-existential encounter which is the Word of God Karl Barth, Epistle to the Romans — currently very popular among American and Chinese evangelical theologians, like never before.
We must proclaim the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ as propitiation for the sins of men and women, not just as therapy for broken lives. The gospel has therapeutic powers and fruits; but therapy is not the gospel! We must not forget that God has revealed himself through a the things which were created, and b his work in human hearts. This is general revelation. We, in our benevolence, often say that God has revealed himself to the Chinese people through Chinese-language characters, and ideas in Confucius and Lao Tzu.
Nothing can be more dangerous than this: the implications are enormous, for accommodation, syncretism, and paganization of the church in China. The work of English teachers and other professionals in China contribute in a very valuable way to all three aspects of the goal! But we must not do one at the expense of another. Students and local churches must do likewise. And we need to reaffirm verbal, prepositional revelation. Few theologians are doing so these days.
I call upon the church in America to wake up from her pragmatic slumbers, and to re-affirm Scripture as verbal revelation, the very words of God. We must reaffirm the absolute lostness of man and his need for salvation, which is available only on the basis of the blood of Jesus shed on the Cross at Calvary.
China, after going through the horrors of the Cultural Revolution , wants healing for hearts. But she cannot afford to be comforted by the false hopes of humanism, only to have those hopes dashed. She needs a strong Savior, one whom men and women can know only by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, using the infallible, inerrant and all-powerful Word of God, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. If you are not prepared to firmly believe in, boldly defend and proclaim this inerrant Word of God and all the doctrines taught therein, please think twice before going to China.
China needs a stronger messenger. The Disciples of Christ elected the Rev. Sharon E. Watkins as its new president, marking the first time a woman was chosen to lead a major U. Protestant denomination. Watkins was elected today as General Minister and President of the Disciples of Christ, a liberal mainline denomination also known as the Christian Church, during a General Assembly meeting in Portland, Oregon. We must join together and let God work with us and through us…and must share that love with others. Reading the June letter, it is hard to remember that the NCC ostensibly represents nearly 50 million American church members and was once a mainstream organization that championed civil rights and supported the U.
So, seemingly writing for a largely secular audience, who are expected to react viscerally to the mere mention of names like Falwell and Limbaugh and Bush, Edgar hacks away at hard-core political themes. Church-going mainline Protestants once again last year voted more Republican than Democrat. But the NCC is not a think tank or even a careful political commentator. Its policy statements, usually delivered as brief news releases, merely provide a slight religious veneer to talking points that could just as easily be found on MoveOn. Its stances are largely the now aging protest slogans of the s and s, the era in which Edgar came politically of age, culminating in his six years as a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania.
Returning to the simple old political themes from his salad days of chronic protest is no doubt reassuring to Edgar. This assertion is remarkable, not only for its implied comparison of conservative Christians to mass murderers, but also because it is a rare occasion for the NCC to criticize communism and radical Islam!
Who are these Christian monsters who rejoice over natural disasters and the deaths of innocent thousands? Edgar does not name them, of course. At this point, it is easy to suspect that Edgar does not actually know any conservative Christians, so he must rely exclusively on angry stereotypes constructed by his secularist neighbors in Manhattan. But perhaps that is a generous interpretation. Its staff has also fallen from over persons to fewer than About The Author. Along with nurse and health visitor Nicki Bainbridge, he ran Healthy Start Clinics in South London, helping parents soothe the struggles of early childhood through positive touch.
Select Parent Grandparent Teacher Kid at heart. Age of the child I gave this to:. Hours of Play:. Tell Us Where You Are:. Preview Your Review. Thank you. Your review has been submitted and will appear here shortly. As a first time mommy I loved this book with it's great descriptions and colourful illustrations! Maybe it's just the nature of the baby, but starting infant massage early and partnering it with Helen Garabedian's 'Itsy Bitsy Yoga' I've got the most relaxed baby in our Mommies group!!
The Sunday wife, Cassandra King.
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Dequincey Newman, electronic resource. The workbook on keeping company with the saints, Maxie Dunnam, electronic resource. Transforming ventures : a spiritual guide for volunteers in mission, electronic resource. University United Methodist Church. Welcome to the religious fellowship of University Methodist Church. Wesley : a heart transformed can change the world, electronic resource. Wesley United Methodist Church th anniversary brochure. Wesley for armchair theologians, William J. Abraham, electronic resource.
Wesley's revision of the shorter catechism: : with notes : the Scottish confession of , Patrick Hamilton's "Places," the creeds, etc. Wesley: : a heart transformed can change the world, electronic resource. World mission in the Wesleyan spirit, electronic resource. Year book of the First Methodist Church. Context Context of Methodist Church Focus of. Embed Experimental. Layout options: Carousel Grid List Card.
The History of the Willow United Methodist Church by Alan J. Heath - Read Online
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