February 23, 2023 | by Brian Milford
Image credit: Religious News Service.
Through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the people called United Methodists continue to sustain worship, edify disciples, and repair the world. Leaders in United Methodist churches are innovating, adapting, and ordering ministries of evangelism, social witness, and Christian formation.
Our work has been and continues to be fraught and very demanding. Myriad disruptions of social and economic stability, debates about essential teachings, and the press for disaffiliations are challenging and disheartening. Local churches experience divisions, disappointment, uncertainty, and grief. Naming these struggles and pain is important, and equally important is providing a hopeful and inspiring vision for how we move forward.
Kenneth H. Carter, the Resident Bishop of Western North Carolina and past President of the Council of Bishops, offers a brief book that will help. It serves as a useful guide for congregations, individuals, and leaders, which is deeply rooted in our Wesleyan legacy. In Unrelenting Grace: A United Methodist Way of Life, Ken Carter reminds us that God is with us, we are not alone, and God’s grace is sufficient for the adventures ahead in discipleship and mission.
Unrelenting Grace is a four-part study that helps United Methodists rediscover the core Wesleyan values of grace, holiness, and connection. We see the reality of the grace that saves and sustains us, and live into personal and social holiness that brings us closer to God. As we receive and share love, we experience with thanksgiving and confidence our own healing and the healing of our congregations, denomination, and the world.
The book prompts individual reading and group conversations in four parts: