Sometimes We Get It Right: The Aldersgate Covenant

Last weekend I attended the Aldersgate Covenant meeting at the Church of the Resurrection. At this gathering, I think I finally learned what holy conferencing should be. We immersed ourselves in prayer, worship, and conversation. We prayed for unity, repented of partisanship, and confessed before God that we ourselves–and not just our neighbors–are sinners. It was holy conferencing because, when we ask in prayer with humble hearts for God to show up, God shows up. It is the presence and activity of God that makes conferencing holy–and nothing else.

This gathering really threw into sharp relief how crass our political machinations have become. We adopt the poisonous assumptions and methods of secular politics, inject them into the veins of the church, and somehow expect that the outcome will be a good one. This is nothing new. It has always gone on in the long history of the Church. Yet God continues to work in spite of us.

It made me wonder: what if we began our General Conference with two days of prayer? No meetings, no protests, no rallies–just prayer. What if each day of the conference we worshipped together for an hour, but in a service of prayer, repentance, and supplication, invoking the Holy Spirit to guide our conversations and decisions? Wouldn’t this in itself be a demonstration of faith that we are placing our church in the hands of God, and not relying on our own clever maneuverings to shape our future?

In truth, only God knows what the future of the UMC will be. Our best hope moving forward it to humble ourselves, seek God’s will in the midst of chaos, and align ourselves with God’s purposes. This is going to require considerable focused, fervent prayer. We are going to have to repent of many things. God has not abandoned our church, but the question is, are we abandoning God?

20 thoughts on “Sometimes We Get It Right: The Aldersgate Covenant

  1. I think in this article David Watson did get it right! If we love our church and I do we will do some serious praying. God does not care about our complaints and belly aching but our sincere prayers of repentance and seeking His face.

  2. David Watson DOES get it right: “It made me wonder: what if we began our General Conference with two days of prayer? No meetings, no protests, no rallies–just prayer.” But David also knows the devil skulks about like a roaring lion even when Christians pray. Pray–and be alert.

  3. Pingback: Only two things in the middle of the road? | John Meunier

  4. Uh…you prayed before a meeting…..that’s what you got right? And somehow I am to assume that is a break through? The liberal Marxist ideology is still driving “our” secular leftist leaders. I love the mission more than this institutional representation of the Wesleyan Movement. Unity by any means of compromise verses unity around the person and mission of Jesus is no break through. David your third way posture is silly and reflects the deceitful actions of the senior pastor of the Church of the Resurrection. When Hamilton confesses his sin of compromise then and only then will he have credibility.

    • Jay, I thought about not approving this comment because it is poorly argued, insulting, and deals in overstatement. Nevertheless, I have a personal policy of approving posts if they are at all publishable. If you are going to argue in this way, though, please don’t do so on my blog anymore.

      • I read through it twice and perhaps I’m just not well-versed enough in the politics of the UMC but I did not understand what he’s getting at. *shrugs* But good on you for letting his comment through. The world has enough safe spaces and while I understand this is a (reasonably? mildly?) intimate place for you it’s good you let some discordant notes through.

      • Amy, thanks for the comment. I honestly don’t mind disagreement. I just want the disagreement to have some relationship to what I actually said in the post. Fair argumentation is very important to me, and I try to maintain that on this site. I don’t always succeed, especially when there are a great many comments, but I do try.

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