The United Methodist Church at 40: What Can We Hope For?


The necessity we face for the future of Methodism is the re-invention of traditions. To re-invent traditions is to re-visit the past with all of its richness; to discern what in our tradition is most central to Christian faith; to analyze those parts of our past that continue to give life; to discern and build upon what is of value in the newly emerging tradition; and to reflect on those aspects of the neglected and rejected past that challenge our present perspectives and practices. To re-invent traditions is to develop new perspectives and practices from the building blocks of the past and from the fresh movements of the Spirit in the present. To do so is to recognize that Christianity in general, and Methodism in particular, is marked by traditions that have continually been passed on, critiqued, eliminated, created, and re-invented for the sake of a living Christian witness. What we can hope for is that God is there in the future already, pulling us toward God’s own New Creation

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