Our unique heritage
I am writing in regard to Frank Decker’s column, “Examining Our Glasses” (November/December 2009). I suspect it is of little consequence to some, but we are not Protestant in the common use of the term. Our heritage is through John Wesley to the Anglican tradition, not to Martin Luther, Zwingli, et al. Too bad so many Methodists do not know our heritage which includes the rich Arminian response to Calvinism, our approach to infant baptism, and our emphasis on grace in all its forms. If the United Methodist Church wants to blossom, it will best be done by emphasizing our unique heritage rather than some ill-conceived and unconscious adoption of the Protestant approach.
David Calhoun
Fair View UM Church
Mooresville, North Carolina

Appreciate your article
Just want to say that I really appreciate Rob Renfroe’s article “Speaking the Truth in Love” (September/October 2009). I have said this myself for a few years now…grace and truth, we have to have both!
The article is refreshing, and frankly offers me some hope that “someone” in a leadership role sees the big picture for what it is.
Keep reflecting the light!
Jeff Stafford
Binghamton, New York

Truth in love
Thank you for Rob Renfroe’s article “Speaking the Truth in Love” (September/October 2009). It brought to mind a wonderful study called The Truth Project—a 12-week course that my wife and I took at a sister United Methodist church, and we are now planning to offer it at our own church. The Truth Project explores the very theme you expressed, truth, and the Christian worldview that seeks it.

As you point out, United Methodist membership rolls in the United States have been shrinking for some time. Yet, the denominational hierarchy’s proposed remedies are often tried with little positive results to show for the large expenditure of time and resources. We are confronted daily with lies coming at us from all sectors of society, but people are hungry for the truth.

The Truth Project examines society from the Christian perspective. When someone finishes the series, they will have been challenged to examine how real their faith actually is to them. Then, when it comes time to put themselves totally into their ministries, they are more willing to endure the scars on their backs that you wrote about. Isn’t it time for the United Methodist Church to look outside of itself to the reality that advances the cause of Christ and in the process rebuilds its membership?
J.D. Collner
Conference Lay Delegate
First UM Church
Port St. John, Florida


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