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Wesleyan Wisdom: Thank you all, goodbye, and God bless you!

Editor’s note: This article was submitted prior to the announcement of the continuation of but CircuitWriter Media LLC. We have reached out to Dr. Haynes about possibly continuing his column on-line in the future and hope to be able to announce about his participation soon.  Writing the 209th and final “Wesleyan Wisdom” column for […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Blueprint for revitalizing a UM congregation

In 1944, I walked into our four-room farmhouse and found my mother cleaning dishes in two dishpans—one for washing and one for rinsing. She was crying, and her tears were dropping into the dishwater. Troubled, almost frightened, I asked her why. She said, “They are going to put us out of the conference.” At the […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Diagnosis – So you want to be a vital congregation?

In Michigan the 11th largest city in the U.S. is called “Dih-TROIT.” However, in northeast Texas, there is a village called “DEE-troit” with a population of 732 and a United Methodist church whose membership has gradually declined from around 100 to 56. This Easter, they had an alarmingly low attendance of 15. I’ve just spent […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Continuing to mine the Aldersgate experience

On May 24, 1738, John Wesley experienced what became a key moment in Methodism, when he felt his “heart strangely warmed” during a prayer meeting on Aldersgate Street in London. Sadly most interpreters have found in Aldersgate evidence to document and justify whatever theological premise they bring to their studies. Wesley was not so precise […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: J.B. Phillips stands as writer worth remembering

I am showing my age and the younger generation’s loss when I ask if they have read J.B. Phillips, and hear them say no. For a half century nearly every preacher and many laity had read the books of the Anglican New Testament scholar and parish minister. Indeed, his books sold more than 6 million […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Christianity is all about Easter—and risen Christ

Beginning with Augustine and in contrast to Eastern Christianity, Christianity of the West has seen the meaning of our salvation primarily through the cross. We are engaged in a perennial debate over theories of the atonement, asking, “What does it mean to be saved by Jesus’ death on the cross?”  Was it that blood must […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Tracing John Wesley’s journey: His final years

Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of columns tracing the footsteps of John Wesley. I noted previously that John Wesley’s itinerant ministry covered a geographic triangle: from London west to Bristol on the Wales border, then northeast to Newcastle upon Tyne, and south back to London. He also went southwest into Cornwall, […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Back on the trail of Methodist roots, 1738-1784

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of columns tracing the footsteps of John Wesley. Let’s take a look at Wesley in the spring of 1738. Back in London since early February after his difficult pastorate in Georgia, he first met with trustees to explain why he was breaking contract and coming home […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Back to roots – Touring Methodist historical sites

A number of people have written to tell me they plan (or wish) to go on a Methodist heritage tour, retracing the steps of John Wesley from his birthplace in Epworth to his grave on City Road in London. This is a very rewarding experience; I have made the trip seven times, always learning something […]

Wesleyan Wisdom: Bad news can be good, if it stirs faithful courage

Something about a recent editorial by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye. To me, it suggested a parallel between the state of the Republican Party and the state of our denomination. Ms. Noonan began: “Viewed a certain way, the 2012 election can be seen as a gift to Republicans wrapped in […]