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UM Confessing Movement Conference: Liberal Themes Given Compassionate Conservative Spin

From: Leo Schol lschol@aol.com
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2001 10:22 
PM To: jude@topica.com
Subject: [Jude] Confessing Movement Publicity

Houston Conference Summary - 4/21/01

The Confessing Movement within The United Methodist Church celebrated its seventh birthday in a National Conference at Houston, Texas, Aril 19-21, 2001. First United Methodist Church in Houston hosted the conference of about 500 persons from across the country.

The pendulum of United Methodist theology and ethics has swung an enormous distance in those seven years as evidenced by the remarkable General Conference of May 2000. We are a different denomination now. Our rate of membership loss is declining. Worship attendance is rising. The United Methodist tide is running in a Wesleyan, evangelical direction. The Confessing Movement is officially endorsed by 3518 United Methodist pastors and 1367 local congregations whose combined membership is over 600, 000.

Keynoter Maxie Dunnam, President of Asbury Seminary, challenged The Confessing Movement to flesh out its doctrinal orthodoxy in caring, nurturing ministries, underwritten by prayer and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Dr. Robert Hays, Jr., Dr. Jerry Neff challenged the conference to help United Methodism become more racially and culturally inclusive. Dr. Hayes issued a three-point challenge: 1) Get to know each other all over again, 2) Get outside your comfort zones and deal with fears. "Nobody like change except a wet baby," and 3) celebrate the fact that our difference enrich us.

Dr. Eddie Fox, World Director of World Methodist Evangelism, reported that the Methodist family has been growing worldwide at the rate of one million per year for the last decade. He declared that if we confess Christ, we must have a radical commitment to evangelism and mission. According to Dr. Fox, the main sin of the church is neither the sin of omission nor commission; it is the sin of no mission. Dying churches focus on institutional survival. Vibrant churches focus on mission and ministry.

After seven years in existence, The Confessing Movement celebrates it extensive influence within The United Methodist Church, but much remains to be done. Our mission statement continues to challenge us: "Confessing Jesus Christ as Son, Savior, and Lord, The confessing Movement exist to enable The United Methodist Church to retrieve its classical doctrinal identity, and to live it out as disciples of Jesus Christ."


Taken from handout at Conference Forwarded by Leo

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