There are few places in the USA as beautiful as Northern Alabama. I’m always blown away by the scenery as we drive through the verdant landscape. It is another reminder of the joyful creativeness of our God.
On July 18, I met with over a hundred pastors and leaders from across our denomination in Atlanta, GA. We worshipped, prayed, and talked together about where we stand at this time in the church and what our next step should be. The statement below came out if that discussion. I encourage you to read it, sign your name to endorse it, and share it with the members if your church. The bishops need to hear the voice if the church! Now is not the time for timidity or silence.
Integrity and Unity
We are United Methodists. We are sinners, saved by the grace of God in Jesus Christ, who have found a spiritual home in The United Methodist Church. We firmly believe in our Articles of Religion and Confession of Faith. We treasure our orthodox Wesleyan heritage.
I first came to Ceta Canyon in July of 1979. I was there to prepare for my first storytelling assignment. That year I went to Camp Butman, near Abilene, and told the C.S. Lewis story of “The Last Battle”. Since that year, there have been over 10,000 boys and girls who have heard the stories of the Bible and over 3,000 of them have made a first-time commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Hundreds more have been called into full-time Christian ministry and many of them are scattered across the nation and world as pastors and missionaries. This ministry is, without question, one of the most important things we are involved in.
One of the great evangelists of all time, Dwight L. Moody, said, “If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
These are the beautiful prairies of North Dakota. This area was settled by the German Russians in the late 1800′s. They have had the camp meeting in this location since 1920. They were originally a part of the German speaking Evangelical Church which later merged with the United Brethren. When I was there 25 years ago, the meeting was 10 days long, and one of the days was all German speaking. (I didn’t understand much that day.) You can read an interesting history of the people and the camp meeting here.