Methodists plan ‘conversation’ with Holiness churches

 — Jan. 8, 19998 janv. 1999

by United Methodist News Service

United Methodists will meet in conversation with representatives of some churches within the Wesleyan Holiness tradition Feb. 18-20 in Dallas.

Organized by the United Methodist Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, the meeting will take place on the Perkins School of Theology campus and at Highland Park United Methodist Church. Perkins is host for the event.

The commission has long thought about having such a conversation, according to the Rev. Elisabeth Gamble, associate general secretary. “We’ve done very well through our history in keeping touch with our Anglican roots, but we haven’t done so well keeping touch with our Holiness roots,” she said.

The churches in the Wesleyan Holiness tradition split from the Methodist Episcopal Church in the 19th and early 20th centuries for a variety of reasons. Those who formed the Methodist Wesleyan Church of America in the 1840s, for example, thought mainstream Methodists were moving too slowly on the slavery issue, she said.

Other groups departed from the denomination, according to Gamble, “because they didn’t want to be an institution. They wanted to stay a movement.”

Despite the separations, some elements from the Holiness traditions – such as the concept of personal testimony — still exist within United Methodism, she said.

In addition to United Methodists, the 30 participants in the February meeting will represent the Church of the Nazarene, the Church of Christ Holiness, the Korean Holiness Church, the Wesleyan Church, the Free Methodist Church, the Church of God (Anderson) and the Salvation Army.

The goals are to celebrate common roots, look together at crucial points in history when decisions were made to separate and decide “what steps we may want to take together in the future,” Gamble said.

Worship drawn from the common tradition will begin and conclude the daily program. The six topics to be discussed in plenary sessions are history and tradition; sanctification/perfection; women’s issues; racial issues; ecumenism and future steps.

Posted: Jan. 8, 1999 • Permanent link:
Categories: UMC NewsIn this article: dialogue, Holiness churches, Methodist
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Catégorie : UMC NewsDans cet article : dialogue, Holiness churches, Methodist

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