History groups to observe Wesley 300th anniversary
1/30/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom ∑ (646) 369-3759 ∑ New York
NOTE: An artist's rendering of John Wesley is available with this report.
United Methodist News ServiceThe
300th anniversary of the birth of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist
movement, will be the focus of a major convocation of church historical
groups this summer.
The Fifth Historical Convocation, "John
Wesley: His Life and Legacy," will feature major addresses by five noted
scholars. The event will be held Aug. 14-17 at Drew University in
Madison, N.J., and Xavier Center in nearby Convent Station. Wesley, the
creator of the practical piety movement that became Methodism, was born
June 17, 1703, in Epworth, England.
Speakers will include:
The Rev. Justo Gonzalez, a professor of church history at Columbia
Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., who has written extensively on
church history and Hispanic theology.
¬∑ The Rev. Henry Rack, a
British Methodist minister, who is the author of Reasonable Enthusiast,
the classic biography of John Wesley.
¬∑ The Rev. Richard
Heitzenrater, a professor of church history at Duke Divinity School in
Durham, N.C., who "broke the code" of Wesley's diary and is editing the
new multi-volume bicentennial edition of Wesley's works.
Rev. Randy Maddox, professor of Wesleyan theology at Seattle Pacific
University, who has written Responsible Grace, a book on Wesley's
¬∑ The Rev. S T Kimbrough Jr., a staff member of the
United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, a musician and scholar of
the theology of both John Wesley and his brother, Charles, who is
particularly remembered for his hymns.
A panel by the five
presenters and a Wesley "hymn sing" led by Kimbrough will also be
offered. Registrants will be able to tour the Archives and History
Center of the United Methodist Church and to select four workshops from a
list of 10 topics, including oral history, Methodist hymnody, fund
raising for historical societies and sites, and planning local church
The event will conclude with John Wesley's Covenant Service and Holy Communion.
United Methodist Commission on Archives and History will present its
2003 Distinguished Service Award to Jean Miller Schmidt, a professor of
church history at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, and it will give
special recognition to Bishop James Thomas in recognition of his work in
preserving the history of the denomination's Central Jurisdiction.
convocation is being co-sponsored by the commission; the Historical
Society of the United Methodist Church; Drew University, the Divinity
School; the World Methodist Council; the Charles Wesley Society; the
North American Section of the World Methodist Historical Society; and
the Northeastern Jurisdiction Commission on Archives and History.
including housing at the Xavier retreat center and meals, will be $310;
without housing, $230. For additional information or registration
materials, contact Arthur Swarthout, convocation coordinator at P.O. Box
268, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745 until June 15. Inquiries after that time,
along with registration fees, should be directed to the Commission on
Archives and History, P.O. Box 127, Madison, N.J. 07940.
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