Kentucky Annual Conference
May 5th or May 12th, 2012
Commission on Archives & History
On May 5 and 12, 2013, the Kentucky Annual Conference will celebrate United Methodist Heritage Day. Also referred to as "Heritage Sunday," the day is a day for United Methodist congregations to reflect on our heritage, to celebrate where the church has been, how it understands itself as it shapes us today and the meaning of Christian conferencing.
Reverend John Wesley started a movement within the Church of England to do more than attend church on Sunday morning and recite from the Book of Common Prayer. He insisted that the people called “Methodists reach out to all humankind with works of piety and mercy. Reverend Wesley encouraged church members to live out their faith by reaching out to the poor, sick, prisoners etc. Eventually, the Methodist movement evolved into a separate church in both Great Britain and the United States and every continent on the globe.
Today, we want to celebrate this rich heritage and incorporate it into a worship service on the Sunday morning of either May 5 or 12th, 2013. We encourage local churches to use either Sunday, giving them the flexibility to celebrate our heritage.
The Commission on Archives and History encourage our local churches to build a service on both the history of the United Methodist Church and the history of the local church. It is suggested that the minister deliver a 10 to 15 minute sermon on the UMC and one or more local lay persons present a history of the local church. It is suggested that the speakers touch upon the following themes in their presentation.
1. Methodists started as a movement within the Church of England to bring God’s message to the common people who were unable to attend church services.
2. The movement emphasized bringing acts of mercy to the local communities such as providing education, medical services, and financial assistance to the poor, clothing, food, etc. along with the Gospel message. Involvement in the local community was a winning combination that grew the movement at a phenomenal rate.
3. The Methodist movement extended into North America and eventually separated from the Church of England due in part to the Revolutionary War.
4. Wesley demanded accountability through classes and bands, i.e. small groups.
5. The lay person(s) will present the local church history emphasizing its impact on the local community throughout its history.
6. How is the local church making a difference in the local community now?
7. How does our history speak to us about how we will fulfill the “Great Commission” in the future in our local churches?
8. Speakers will be free to present any additional material about the history of the local church they deem necessary.
We hope that each church will participate in one of these Sunday morning services to help us celebrate who we are, what we do, and where we are going as United Methodists.
It is requested that each local church send 2 copies of their bulletin for “Heritage Sunday” be sent to the Commission on Archives and History c/o Paul L. Whalen; 113 Ridgeway Ave.; Ft Thomas, KY 41075 for use at Annual Conference in June 2013.