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Source: (consider it) Thread: Methodist Unrest
HCH
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I am not certain which forum is the right place for this post. Please direct it where it fits.

In the United States, the biggest branch of Methodism is the United Methodist Church. I was told recently that it may be headed for a split over the issues of gay marriage and uncloseted gay clergy. I don't know what other issues may be involved.

Has anyone heard of this possibility? Where would I look for more information?

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Stetson
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Maybe it has something to do with this recent ruling of their Judicial Council?

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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jedijudy

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The possibility of a split in the UMC has been a huge subject in both the Annual Conferences and the General Conference, which meets every four years, for a long time.

The article that Stetson linked to contains the concepts that I think displays one of my problems with organized religion, even though I am a member of a United Methodist Church, and purposely chose to become a United Methodist over forty years ago. This phrase: "The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching" and this one : “Under the longstanding principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law…” Trying not to tread on a Dead Horse, it seems to me that the PTB of the UMC declare that their words and laws are more important than those of Jesus.

Of course I think there's much more to the threat of schism than this issue. My observation has been that many of the hierarchy of the UMC don't really care about saving souls. They care about money and possessions. If I, in my little bubble, have noticed it, I'm sure a lot more folks have done so, too.

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Jasmine, little cat with a big heart.

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Brenda Clough
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(sigh)
In a couple years, when we actually do make our projected move from one coast to the other, I will start a thread about searching for a new church home. It is my goal (as an Anglican/ex-Episcopalian) to bypass all the church wars. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt. I do not need to spend my declining years doing it again.
So, Methodists off the list, along with Anglicans and Episcopalians. I may wind up at the United Church of Christ after all.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:
Trying not to tread on a Dead Horse, it seems to me that the PTB of the UMC declare that their words and laws are more important than those of Jesus.

I don't think that's what they're saying, any more than the Pope is declaring that he's more important than Jesus when the Magisterium pronounces on some issue or other.

The hierarchy (whichever hierarchy) is declaring that it has the authority to interpret the Word of God, and that its interpretation supersedes whatever personal interpretation you might have had.

This is perhaps less familiar to Methodists than to Catholics [Biased]

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Gamaliel
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If you are an Anglican, how can you be 'ex-Episcopalian' ...

[Confused]

Anglicans are Episcopalians ...

Or are you ex-TEC and part of some kind of 'continuing' Anglican group?

I thought the 'continuing' types weren't particularly 'gay-friendly' as it were.

Even more confused ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by jedijudy:
Trying not to tread on a Dead Horse, it seems to me that the PTB of the UMC declare that their words and laws are more important than those of Jesus.

Of course I think there's much more to the threat of schism than this issue. My observation has been that many of the hierarchy of the UMC don't really care about saving souls. They care about money and possessions.

I don't know much about the UMC, but it should be said that 'saving souls' isn't necessarily how all leaders in the traditional congregations would describe their vocation.

Moreover, it's not evident that declaring the denomination to be uniformly in favour of SSM would either save souls or, more tangibly, increase membership or attendance levels.

If this decision is taken and accepted then it would have to be for other reasons. They may well be good reasons in their own right, but 'saving souls' is unlikely to be a significant outcome.

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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
If you are an Anglican, how can you be 'ex-Episcopalian' ...

[Confused]

Anglicans are Episcopalians ...

Or are you ex-TEC and part of some kind of 'continuing' Anglican group?

I thought the 'continuing' types weren't particularly 'gay-friendly' as it were.

Even more confused ...

Be happy in your ignorance, Gamaliel. Some things known cannot be unknown. At the moment the church I attend is in ACNA (horrible acronym, one always wants to type ACNE), which split off from TEC. A plague on both their houses.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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John Holding

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So you're not Anglican as I (a member of the Anglican Church of Canada) or a member of the CofE or of the other churches of the Anglican Communion are. You're "Anglican" because the schismatic group to which your church belongs calls itself that, without regard to what the word means for the rest of the Anglican world.

Glad we've sorted that.

John

[ 08. May 2017, 19:46: Message edited by: John Holding ]

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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I believe the ACNA (Anglican Church in North America) is in communion with Canterbury but not with The Episcopal Church.

However, the Charismatic Episcopal Church calls itself Anglican, uses the Book of Common Prayer, and claims apostolic succession, but is in communion with neither Canterbury nor The Episcopal Church.

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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hatless

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Interesting language:
quote:
The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching" and this one : “Under the longstanding principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law…
Lots of things that we all do are incompatible with Christian teaching; all that selfishness and pride and envy. 'Incompatible' is odd. Why not against? Because, I guess, they don't just think gay sex is wrong, they want to stop it, at least among church members.

Again they say that no member may violate church law. A very strong and strange phrase. Anyone, of course, can break the law (violate is a bit hysterical). So the threat of expulsion is clearly at hand for those who do.

The language betrays, to my mind, a very determined desire to control people.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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keibat
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Amanda B. Reckondwythe wrote:
quote:
I believe the ACNA (Anglican Church in North America) is in communion with Canterbury but not with The Episcopal Church.

However, the Charismatic Episcopal Church calls itself Anglican, uses the Book of Common Prayer, and claims apostolic succession, but is in communion with neither Canterbury nor The Episcopal Church.

No: ACNA is not in communion with Canterbury, nor (as Amanda correctly surmises) with TEC, The Episcopal Church [of the United States etc]. Abp Duncan of ACNA was invited to attend the last Primates' Meeting by Abp Justin, but did not co-communicate (or vote).

ACNA is indeed, from a broader perspective, one more of many breakaway churches from historical and Canterbury-centred Anglicanism. And yes, in choosing to call themselves 'Anglican' they were taking advantage of the fact that the Canterbury church in the USA calls itself (for good historical reasons) 'Episcopal'; but this has created some complications in Canada, where the Anglican-Communion Church does call itself 'Anglican', but where ACNA is also active.

Similarly, the 'Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA)' [formerly the 'Church of England in South Africa' ] which has today Monday 8 May consecrated Jonathan Pryke, a C-of-E priest in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, as an irregular bishop for dissident C-of-E and SEC [Scottish Episcopal Church] conservative-evangelicals, is not in communion with Canterbury, nor with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, which is a full member of the Anglican Communion. Quite where this leaves the newly-bishoped Mr Pryke with respect to his canonical obedience to the Church of England will be an interesting conundrum to explore in the coming days and weeks.

Even more interestingly and convolutedly, GAFCON did not and does not approve of this move by REACH-SA despite their own recently-stated intention to do something very similar.
Ho-hum.

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keibat from the finnish north and the lincs east rim

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Bishops Finger
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Well, that clears the matter up (I think)! So, we have a shiny new episcopus vagans in the UK - as keibat says, it'll be interesting to see how the Diocese of Newcastle deals with him...

Referring back to the OP, though, it seems odd to an Englishman to read about Methodist bishops. Where does the Methodist Church in this country stand, in regard to the Dead Horse issue?

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
So you're not Anglican as I (a member of the Anglican Church of Canada) or a member of the CofE or of the other churches of the Anglican Communion are. You're "Anglican" because the schismatic group to which your church belongs calls itself that, without regard to what the word means for the rest of the Anglican world.

Glad we've sorted that.

John

ACNA came about because Bp Duncan of Pittsburgh considered that he should be the successor to Bp Griswold as Presiding Bishop of TEC; not everyone else had that opinion. To make matter worse, not only was he not elected, but a woman, yes a woman, was. So he and some supporters went of and formed ACNA. This group is rather strange, in that Abp Jensen of Sydney was a major supporter, but ACNA covers a range of churchmanship and my understanding is that very few would be of the Sydney school. GAFCON supports ACNA.

The old Church of England in South Africa (CESA) does have some claim to being successor to the original Anglican Church in the old British colonies in what is now the Republic. By far the majority opinion in the Anglican Communion is that the claims of the Anglican Church in South Africa are the ones to be recognised and so that Church is the one in the Communion. Unlike ACNA, CESA has a pretty uniform churchmanship which has evolved over the years. It has for a long time had close links with the Diocese of Sydney and as the traditional low churchmanship of Sydney become more radical under the direction of the Moore College school, so has CESA's.

There are quite a few other groups in the US which call themselves Anglicans - many more than other parts of the world - including the one of which Shipmate PD is currently the bishop.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Brenda Clough
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You can understand why I want to shake all this dust off my feet. It makes my head ache simly reading about it.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
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I propose we start our own: the Anglican Church of Fools. I'd be happy to stand for presiding bishop.

[And now Miss Amanda will get her wrap and scurry off as she ducks asparagus spears.]

[ 09. May 2017, 01:24: Message edited by: Amanda B. Reckondwythe ]

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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Gwai
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Churches move, denominations move, people move, and this thread's moving to DH). Grab your beliefs. We're going down.

Gwai,
Purg Host

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
I propose we start our own: the Anglican Church of Fools. I'd be happy to stand for presiding bishop.

[And now Miss Amanda will get her wrap and scurry off as she ducks asparagus spears.]

But Miss Amanda, the lady who has copied your style is married to a man who's Supreme Governor on Earth of the Church of England. Why need you take a step like that?

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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Well, OK, then, the Anglican Methodist Episcopal Church of Fools. Not in communion with Canterbury.

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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Steve Langton
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by
quote:
it seems odd to an Englishman to read about Methodist bishops.
I can't remember all the details but I think this goes back to a time at the end of Wesley's life when the CofE in what were still 'The Colonies' were so inadequate in dealing with the burgeoning Methodist 'Religious Societies' still nominally attached to Anglicanism that Wesley ordained priests for the US Methodists.

Which of course hastened the probably already inevitable split between the Anglicans and the Methodists....

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John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
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There is in the US (and perhaps still in a couple of places in Canada) a Methodist Episcopal church, which is Methodist in theology and has bishops. When I first came to Ottawa, I belonged to an ANglican parish that worshipped in a building bought many decades before from the Episcopal Methodists. T hey no longer have a parish in the city.

I believe, but could be shown to be wrong, that the EMs in the US are/were predominantly black. I would assume that they spun off from the methodists or from the episcopalians for reasons related to colour.

John

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
There is in the US (and perhaps still in a couple of places in Canada) a Methodist Episcopal church, which is Methodist in theology and has bishops.

I think there are quite a few Methodist Episcopal churches:

AME Zion Church
A.M.E. Church
A.U.M.P. Church
C.M.E. Church

... and probably others

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arse

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stonespring
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The Methodist Episcopal Church (not to be confused with various African-American Methodist Episcopal Churches which were later founded because of racism and segregation at the time in the Methodist Episcopal Church) was founded in 1784 in Baltimore, MD, USA. The largest Methodist denominations in the US were called Methodist Episcopal until 1939. At that time, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, (the two of which having divided over the issue of slavery prior to the Civil War), and the Methodist Protestant Church merged to form The Methodist Church. This denomination merged with The Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968 to form The United Methodist Church, which is the church that has the current controversy over non-celibate LGBT bishops.
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
There is in the US (and perhaps still in a couple of places in Canada) a Methodist Episcopal church, which is Methodist in theology and has bishops. . . .

I believe, but could be shown to be wrong, that the EMs in the US are/were predominantly black. I would assume that they spun off from the methodists or from the episcopalians for reasons related to colour.

Not really. The original Methodist organization in the US was called the Methodist Episcopal Church. Prior to the Civil War, southern Methodists broke away to form the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church (another offshoot of the Methodist Episcopal Church) merged in 1939 and adopted the name The Methodist Church. The Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church.

So until 1939, "Methodist Episcopal" was standard for most American Methodist bodies. As mr cheesy notes, "Methodist Episcopal" still lives on the in the names of numerous historically African American denominations. But historically, most if not all American Methodist denominations are directly descended from or offshoots of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

ETA: Sorry. Cross-posted with stonespring.

[ 09. May 2017, 17:48: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by
quote:
it seems odd to an Englishman to read about Methodist bishops.
I can't remember all the details but I think this goes back to a time at the end of Wesley's life when the CofE in what were still 'The Colonies' were so inadequate in dealing with the burgeoning Methodist 'Religious Societies' still nominally attached to Anglicanism that Wesley ordained priests for the US Methodists.

Which of course hastened the probably already inevitable split between the Anglicans and the Methodists....

However, I understand that Wesley never wanted the American Methodists to create bishops, and he was cross when he heard that this had happened.

AFAIUI British Methodism today will have to become more American in its attitude to bishops if it's to reunite with the CofE.

[ 09. May 2017, 18:29: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Gramps49
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To go to stonespring's point, I do wonder if the merger been the Methodist Church, North, and the Methodist Church, South is playing into this. The former EUB also tends to favor a more conservative tradition.

Chances are, the UMC will go through a split similar to what the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) did.

And, maybe that will be positive in the long run for all parties.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
To go to stonespring's point, I do wonder if the merger been the Methodist Church, North, and the Methodist Church, South is playing into this.

Perhaps a bit, but given that that merger was almost 80 years ago, I doubt it's much. (Regional differences in the US generally may be a different story.)

The UMC has conferences and congregations in Asia, Africa and Europe as well as in the US; more than a third of the UMC's members are in Asia, Africa and Europe. My understanding is that the fault lines lie partially between the American (and European) conferences and congregations on one side and the Asian and African ones on the other. Additionally, there are fault lines between the conferences in the western US and the rest of the US.

Like most mainline groups, the UMC has its conservatives. But my understanding is that the relevant provisions of the Discipline might have been changed a while back but for Asian and African UMCers.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
To go to stonespring's point, I do wonder if the merger been the Methodist Church, North, and the Methodist Church, South is playing into this.

Perhaps a bit, but given that that merger was almost 80 years ago, I doubt it's much. (Regional differences in the US generally may be a different story.)

The UMC has conferences and congregations in Asia, Africa and Europe as well as in the US; more than a third of the UMC's members are in Asia, Africa and Europe. My understanding is that the fault lines lie partially between the American (and European) conferences and congregations on one side and the Asian and African ones on the other. Additionally, there are fault lines between the conferences in the western US and the rest of the US.

Like most mainline groups, the UMC has its conservatives. But my understanding is that the relevant provisions of the Discipline might have been changed a while back but for Asian and African UMCers.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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keibat
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Nick Tamen wrote:
quote:
Like most mainline groups, the UMC has its conservatives. But my understanding is that the relevant provisions of the Discipline might have been changed a while back but for Asian and African UMCers.
Now that seems oddly familiar from an Anglican-Communion perspective...!

And à propos Wesley, the colonial missions, and the postcolonial ecclesiologies in the US, the reason that the mainstream-Anglican church in the States is called Episcopal is that after the Revolution, when they (finally!) wanted to set about having their own homegrown bishops, the C of E bishops (who earlier couldn't be bothered) now said they couldn't consecrate to a jurisdiction no longer under the Crown, so the Americans went to the Scottish Episcopal Church for their consecrations. Hence it is the SEC that is the original Episcopal church.

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keibat from the finnish north and the lincs east rim

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keibat
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But so far, no one on this thread seems to have said why the American Methodists - or some of them - (re)introduced bishops, and how they did this. I certainly don'tt know. I guess the Apostolic Succession probably didn't play a very prominent role in the discussion, but then again I could be badly wrong...

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keibat from the finnish north and the lincs east rim

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Nick Tamen

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Apostolic succession had nothing to do with it. Basically, in the days between the American Revolution and the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, American Methodists, led by Thomas Coke and perhaps due to an Anglican background, decided they liked the word/title "bishop" better than Wesley's oereferred term "superintendent." That's pretty much it.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by keibat:
Nick Tamen wrote:
quote:
Like most mainline groups, the UMC has its conservatives. But my understanding is that the relevant provisions of the Discipline might have been changed a while back but for Asian and African UMCers.
Now that seems oddly familiar from an Anglican-Communion perspective...!

And à propos Wesley, the colonial missions, and the postcolonial ecclesiologies in the US, the reason that the mainstream-Anglican church in the States is called Episcopal is that after the Revolution, when they (finally!) wanted to set about having their own homegrown bishops, the C of E bishops (who earlier couldn't be bothered) now said they couldn't consecrate to a jurisdiction no longer under the Crown, so the Americans went to the Scottish Episcopal Church for their consecrations. Hence it is the SEC that is the original Episcopal church.

Neither could they consecrate a foreigner even had they wanted to - C of E consecration at that time required by UK law an oath of loyalty to the Crown, which by US law Seabury could not take. AIUI, both archbishops expressed strong approval of Seabury's suitability for consecration. The SEC was not subject to the law which bound English bishops, and Seabury took himself north.

2 bits of trivia - the UK law was altered soon after and the prospective bishops of New York and Pennsylvania were consecrated by both archbishops and + Bath and Wells (from memory). In gratitude to the SEC, the TEC arms quarter a St Andrew's Cross.

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Steve Langton
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Sorry I set off the tangent about 'bishops' - shouldn't you get back to the original deceased equine?

For further discussion 9on another thread!) interesting suggestion that the Yanks substituted 'bishop' for 'superintendent'. After all the original word 'episkopos' was originally not an ecclesiastical word but a secular word for overseer or, yes, superintendent. If you don't accept the quasi-magical idea of 'apostolic succession' then 'bishop' is an entirely appropriate word....

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by keibat:
But so far, no one on this thread seems to have said why the American Methodists - or some of them - (re)introduced bishops, and how they did this. I certainly don'tt know. I guess the Apostolic Succession probably didn't play a very prominent role in the discussion, but then again I could be badly wrong...

If you google "bishop Methodism Wikipedia" (the link doesn't work if I paste it here because it has parentheses), there is a Wikipedia article about bishops in Methodism. It doesn't give much explanation about why the term is used, but it does say a little about what the role of bishops is believed to be (if Wikipedia is to be trusted).
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
If you google "bishop Methodism Wikipedia" (the link doesn't work if I paste it here because it has parentheses), there is a Wikipedia article about bishops in Methodism.

TinyURL to the rescue: https://tinyurl.com/ldfplu2

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Banner Lady
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And Jesus wept.

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Marama
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Does anyone know anything about the Wesleyan Church in America? They seem to be pretty small, but have expanded (well, a little bit) to Australia
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SvitlanaV2
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Do you mean the Wesleyan Holiness Church? I don't know much about them, but they've been described as a kind of link between American Methodism and Pentecostalism.

The denomination arrived in the UK via immigration from the Caribbean in the mid 20th c., and the UK's most famous black theologian was raised among them. He tends to emphasise the movement's Pentecostal rather than its Methodist credentials. But it's not a large movement here. (I believe there are related groups such as the Nazarenes, etc., but they're very small.)

There may be other groups which refer to themselves as 'Wesleyan' something or other, but nowadays most British Christians are unlikely to use the word except in a historical sense.

I shouldn't think the W. Holiness movement in the USA is currently very large.

[ 19. May 2017, 14:38: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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