Archive: Conference Celebrates Holy Spirit

By Diane Knippers, Associate Editor  

UM charismatics gathered for a second national conference on the Holy Spirit last August 7-10 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sponsored by the UM Renewal Services Fellowship (UMRSF), the conference was intended to witness that “God, through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is bringing new life to the church.”

Speakers for the main sessions were Joe Harding, pastor of Central United Protestant Church in Richland, Washington; Tommy Tyson, well-known UM evangelist and teacher; Francis MacNutt, a leader in the ecumenical charismatic renewal movement; Bishop Roy Nichols, president of the UM Council of Bishops; and Canon Michael Green, rector of St. Aldate’s Church in Oxford, England. The conference program also included periods of worship and praise, plus selection from some 20 workshops.

During an early session, UMRSF president William P. Wilson announced the appointment of the fellowship’s first full-time executive director. Ross E. Whetstone assumed the new staff position in early September. He had served as part-time director since the group was organized in late 1978.

UMRSF is an autonomous organization with a liaison relationship to the UM Board of Discipleship where its offices will be located. (A Board of Discipleship staff member serves ·on the UMRSF board and a UMRSF representative serves as a member of the Board of Discipleship.)

The purposes of UMRSF include providing an avenue for United Methodists to contribute to the renewal of the church by upholding “the teaching of Scriptural holiness in both its personal and social dimensions to all constituencies of the church,” and also increasing understanding of the “historical relationship between other churches in the Wesleyan tradition, including those of Holiness and Pentecostal doctrinal emphasis and the United Methodist Church.”

When asked how UMRSF differed from Good News, Dr. Whetstone replied, “Purpose. We have good relations with Good News and are not antagonists in any way, but they are issue oriented and we are experience oriented.” Dr. Wilson and some other UMRSF leaders are active in Good News.


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