Thursday, January 05, 2006

Journey to United Methodism

During the months of January and February, members and guests at Waldron United Methodist Church will delve into the distinctive aspects of United Methodism in a thematic sermon series and two weekly discussion groups.
The series will begin on January 15 with the traditional New Year's Wesleyan Covenant Renewal Service found on pages 288-294 of the Book of Worship. The sermon for this date will be "What Sets Us Apart."
To celebrate the Ecumenical "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity," the next sermon in the series on Jan 22 will be "What Draws us Together--Connectionalism." Other sermon themes will be "Holiness," "Sacrament," "Three or Four-fold Grace," and "The World is My Parish."
To conclude the six week sermon series, the church will invite the local Nazarene church to an evening "Wesleyan Hymn Sing" where we will sing and learn the stories of many of the Wesleyan hymns.
To round out the six week "Journey to United Methodism," Rev. Nathan Mattox will lead small group discussions of the book "The United Methodist Member's Handbook," by George Koehler.
Rev. Mattox was prompted to plan the comprehensive series a few months ago when he read an article in the September 6, 2005 Christian Century article "What Teens Believe." The article cited a survey that found most teens learn their beliefs from their parents and that most teens were unaware of the distinctive aspects of their religious identification and instead "boiled down" their belief system to what the researchers called "Moralistic Theraputic Deism." Rev. Mattox was also involved in a preaching workshop with Eugene Lowry at Hendrix College in November, where Lowry suggested, "If you typically work with the lectionary, try going off it for a while. If you don't usually follow the lectionary, get on it!" Rev. Mattox and members of the church used the upcoming series to make "New Year's invitations" to past constituents of the church. Check the church's website to keep up with the weekly sermon series and class notes at


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