New Hope UMC


There is news that offers hope for Methodists who aren’t satisfied with the direction of the UMC but at the same time do not want to leave the church which has deep roots for many of us. There is a separation on the horizon but the timing is uncertain. The Global Methodist Church looks like it may be our new home but it could be a long time coming and a bumpy ride ahead. An organization exists that offers help and hope -  the Wesleyan Covenant Association. It has been around for a while, but assumes more importance as the separation is now inevitable. New Hope has voted to join the association to learn more and to lend our support I learned about it just recently so I’m not far ahead of you. It is nowhere  to be found on our UMC website or any of their  communications with us.  I was introduced to it by a response to my email to the support to those leading the way. 

What is the WCA?

It is an association of Methodist congregations and individuals who share a common understanding of our Wesleyan doctrine and a desire to become a vibrant, faithful, growing 21st century church. It is not a separate Christian denomination. It is a network of traditionalist local United Methodist churches, laity, and pastors who long for a theologically conservative Methodist church that is global in nature. The GMC in formation is the church the WCA and its theologically conservative allies all around the world are working to bring into existence. Once the GMC is officially a denomination the WCA will begin to wind down its work and phase out. The WCA began in 2016 when a group of pastors became convinced that the direction of the UMC was misguided. "Although blessed with sound doctrine, a history of personal and social holiness, and a rich heritage, the church seems to have lost its way in the 21st century. The Wesleyan Covenant Association provides us with a wonderful opportunity to gather around the best of what we are with those who are of like commitment to work toward making disciples for the transformation of the world." - Rev. Jim Cowart, pastor of Harvest UM Church in Byron, Georgia. 

The WCA is a movement. Progressives hold the value of inclusivity the highest ideal, being on the right side of history, as it were. For centrists, it is unity. For orthodox Methodists, it is fidelity to Scripture and the covenants we have made. The theological doctrines for our denomination come from founder John Wesley.

The Global Methodist Church

In 2022, conservative Methodists. or traditionalists as they are known, will be leaving the UMC and forming a new denomination. It will be called the Global Methodist Church, and some details are available on this website including FAQs which are helpful in learning its origin and purpose. "It is a church committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly."

The split is over the issue of LGBTQ, specifically gays in the pulpit and gay marriages performed by the church. The current Discipline prohibits both and the progressives, who will remain as the UMC, will change that rule when the action is official. This will not be finalized in 2021 as the General Conference has been postponed until 2022. There is an interim plan that is discussed in the FAQs that could be enacted under certain conditions. 

But LBGTQ is not the root cause, only the presenting symptom. Recent communications from the UMC include a call to prayer for societal injustice and tips to help your church go green.

There is no shortage of worthy causes and countless ways to love thy neighbor, unless, of course, he is a conservative Christian. Christianity is losing members and relevance as it marches toward progressivism in an alliance of politics and religion. Dividing the Body of Christ to impress the world is not the answer.

From C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. "The Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but God will make us good because He loves us. Just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it." And this commentary on the Grace that makes our religion unique in all the world. From Pastor Michael Yousef, "We are saved by grace; then we are made holy by grace; and every moment of every day, we live by grace. It is grace that sustains us as we uphold the Truth; it is grace that empowers us to pour the Truth into others."