World Methodist Council Museum Statement

To everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under the heaven

                                                                                                                                       Ecclesiastes 3:1

The World Methodist Council announces that the Museum contents in entirety will go to Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology and SMU Libraries at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. 

The Archival Committee carefully reviewed all the proposals that were received from institutions and individuals, and after prayerful discernment, chose Bridwell Library as it will allow the World Methodist Council Museum collection to continue.   

“Having been to the World Methodist Museum of the World Methodist Council several times, I was saddened to hear about its closing. Then I was surprised to be asked to help direct the deaccessioning of the holdings,” explains Robert J. Williams, Retired General Secretary of the United Methodist Church General Commission on Archives and History. “But now I am relieved and excited that the collection will remain intact and under the care of the Bridwell Library. All who care about this collection can be confident that its future impact for faithful ministry in the Wesleyan tradition is assured.”

In addition to Williams, other Archival Committee members include the CEO and General Secretary of the Council, Bishop Ivan Abrahams; recently Retired General Secretary of the United Methodist Church General Commission on Archives and History, Alfred T. Day; WMC Headquarters Coordinator Jackie Bolden, and other experts as needed throughout the process.

 “The long history of the World Methodist Museum and its collections is distinctly vital to the church, and it is important to maintain that historical continuity. We are honored to be chosen as the recipient of the WMCM’s collections and will continue to oversee and curate these items with the highest quality and standards.  In this stewardship, we are also committed to expanding public engagement in a major US city like Dallas with as broad a public as possible that reflects the global nature and endeavors of the worldwide church Anthony J. Elia, Director and J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian, said upon learning his institution had been chosen as the repository.

Longtime contributors to the Museum also expressed pleasure at the decision. “My family and I are delighted that the collection in its entirety will be maintained at SMU for study and research about the early Methodist movement and its founder John Wesley. I shall continue to support the collection in whatever way I can to help spread Wesley’s Christian message of, The best of all, God is with us,” said Thelma Barclift Crowder. The Crowders have shared Wesley artifacts, information, and finances with the Museum for many years.

Charlotte and Winston Rhea were excited to hear that the items they and their family had secured for the Museum would soon be only 30 miles from their residence. “My parents, Jimmy and Fleeta Davis enjoyed providing funds to the World Methodist Council under the direction of The Rev. Dr. Joe Hale for the purchase of historical items for the Wesley Museum.  Since their death, my husband and I have continued to make donations from the James H. Davis Foundation,” Charlotte explained. “We are very excited that the entire collection will remain intact in the Bridwell Museum at Southern Methodist University. This is especially exciting since we met at SMU in 1955.”

“We thank the many people who have contributed to the life, witness, and ministry of the World Methodist Council Museum at Lake Junaluska for the past 65 years,” Bishop Abrahams said. “This is a historic undertaking that will create a larger footprint for the Council and allow many more people to utilize the collection in a new way. It will allow the Council to become even more global as it moves into the future. We are very pleased and feel this is a great moment for Methodism. The Council is also in final negotiations with the Lake Junaluska Assembly regarding the closing of the Council’s properties there. It will allow Junaluska to enhance their educational opportunities and allow us to broaden the mission and ministries of the Council.” 

 

AME Pastor Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman to deliver benediction at inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

The Reverend Doctor Silvester Beaman will deliver the benediction at the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2021, where Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States.  Dr. Beaman is the pastor of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and a long-time friend of the Biden family. During the 2020 Presidential election campaign, a photo of  President-elect Biden holding a community at Dr. Beaman’s church after the murder of George Floyd was placed in a Republican attack ad characterizing the attendees as “thugs”.

Dr. Beaman stated, “It is an extreme honor to have the President-elect ask me to do this. The benediction is a priestly function where the pastor stands as the voice of God to announce God’s grace. I will be standing in the place where the rioters stood; in front of a building built by slaves. I hope to speak a word of healing through this prayer. As an AME, I’m proud to represent in this way.”

AME clergy have participated in several high-profile public celebrations led by leaders over the last few years. At the 2008 election night celebration for President Barack Obama in Chicago, Bishop Phillip R. Cousin delivered the opening prayer. The invocation at the 2011 White House Easter Prayer Breakfast was delivered by Bishop Vashti McKenzie who also gave the benediction on one evening of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. BIshop Sam Green delivered a homily during the official worship service before the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

WMC STATEMENT ON ETHIOPIAN/TIGRAY REGION HUMANITARIAN CONFLICT

#SilenceTheGuns, African Resolution by African Leaders for African Conflict

The World Methodist Council (WMC), joins the World Council of Churches (WCC) in its
condemnation of violent attacks in the Tigray region of conflict in Ethiopia. In addition,
WMC General Secretary, Bishop Ivan Abrahams, hears with deep distress that UNHCR, the
UN’s refugee agency, reports that women, children and men have crossed the border at a
rate of 4,000 per day in Tigray, adding to more than 100,000 Eritrean refugees in four camps
in Tigray who were displaced in the 1998-2000 Ethiopia-Eritrea border war.
In the light of WMC’s call on the United Nations to adopt UNSCR 2532 and support a global
ceasefire amidst the Coronavirus (2) pandemic, WMC General Secretary appeals to all
African political, civil and faith leaders in the African Union to support #SilenceTheGuns,
an African initiative to address African problems by Africa’s leaders.

The WMC further notes that AU President, HE President Cyril Ramaphosa, emphasised in a
meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister, HE Sahle-Work Zewde that “Ethiopia occupies a
place of pride and honour in the history of Africa, having successfully resisted colonialism,
and played a leading role in the decolonization of Africa. The decision of the Founding
Fathers that Africa’s foremost Continental organisation, the Organisation for African Unity
(OAU), should be established and headquartered in Addis Ababa, was a fitting tribute to
Ethiopia’s role as a symbol of African unity.” Ramaphosa indicated, however, that “the
ongoing conflict … is a matter of great concern not only for countries in the region of the
Horn of Africa, but for the continent as a whole.”

Bishop Ivan Abrahams, in response to #SilenceTheGuns initiative, therefore, “calls on the
‘People called Methodist’ as well as all humans globally to be mindful of and work in every
way possible for an end to this historic, regional conflict and to seek the promotion of a
just, peaceful and sustainable solution to this … fragile conflict in Africa.” “We call on all
people who are committed to global solidarity to mourn the unnecessary loss of life and
look to the legacy of historic peace and co-existence that Ethiopia has been and remains
able to contribute toward the future of African co-existence, humanitarian peace and
solidarity.” To this end, the WMC calls on its membership on the African continent and in
the rest of the world to support the African Union President, HE Cyril Ramaphosa’s deep
desire “that the conflict … be brought to an end through dialogue between the conflict
ridden parties and that such initiative be viewed against the background of the African
Union’s objective of #SilenceTheGuns, intended to achieve a conflict-free Africa, prevent
genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts,
human rights violations, and humanitarian disasters.”

The WMC calls on all to pray, work and call for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict
raging in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and the Horn of Africa: “God of healing, light and
compassion; we bring to You all who suffer in body, mind or spirit as a result of war and
conflict in Ethiopia or because of fears, suspicions raised by cultural, religious or human
differences. We pray for all who seek refuge, for those who have been displaced from
family, livelihoods or securities. Show them Your mercy and compassion, O Lord and grant
strength to those who seek victims’ relief in any form of distress; for Your Name’s sake.
God bless Africa. Guide her leaders. Guard her children; And give her peace. Amen”

Statement prepared by Keith Vermeulen, Researcher, WMC

Statement from the Methodist Church in Peru

Please read a statement from Bishop Samuel Aquilar, bishop of the Methodist Church in Peru, regarding the troubles and political unrests in Peru, a country also deeply affected by COVID-19.

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