Wonder, Love and Praise: Sharing a Vision of The Church

August 06, 2017
From the opening words of Wonder, Love, and Praise:

“United Methodists are in need of a renewed vision today: not just a new view—which might be just the latest rationale for the latest operational program—but a renewed capacity to see and apprehend what “church” is all about. With our fellow Christians everywhere, we witness a rapidly changing church, both within our denomination and within the larger Christian movement around the world. Migration, immigration, and the push and pull of globalizing forces are reconfiguring the face of Christianity, as well as the larger religious make-up of the human family. Old customs and certainties are being challenged and a yet-unclear future beckons. United Methodists, too, wish to enter into that future with joy, resilience, grace, and hope.”

At the request of the Council of Bishops, the Committee on Faith and Order has developed a resource to facilitate conversation on the nature of The United Methodist Church. The document, entitled Wonder, Love and Praise: Sharing a Vision of the Church, seeks to capture how our United Methodist tradition shapes our understanding of the ministry and mission of Christ's body, the Church. 

You are invited, together with United Methodists from all over the world, to engage with Wonder, Love and Praise in study, conversation and reflection, and to provide feedback to the Committee on Faith and Order. The Committee asks that a large number of clergy and laity read the paper, or engage in the provided small group study, and then complete feedback forms. The Committee will be using those responses to prepare a revision of the document for submission to the 2020 General Conference. Introductory videos, a small group study guide, feedback forms and the document itself can all be found at www.umc.org/CFOWonderLovePraise. There is also a four and a half minute orientation video that explains the process. 

This is your opportunity to learn about how we, as United Methodists, understand what it means to be the Church, as well as to add your voice to the conversation. You are also invited to use Wonder, Love, and Praise as a resource to process some of the deep questions that seem to arise in congregations, Sunday School classes, and at Annual Conference. If you have any questions about the study or feedback process, please email cfo@umc-cob.org.

Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee;
Changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” Charles Wesley, 1747