By Walter B. Fenton
The Global Methodist Church is pleased to announce that Seedbed has published a Catechism of the Christian Faith and Doctrine for the Global Methodist Church and it is now available for pre-orders. Printing has commenced and orders will be shipped beginning June 1, 2023.
A Wesleyan Covenant Association task force began work on the catechism in December 2020. Originally drafted by Dr. Phil Tallon, Dean of the Houston Baptist University School of Christian Thought and Associate Professor of Theology (Houston, Texas) and the Rev. Teddy Ray, a third year student at Yale University Law School (New Haven, Connecticut), the catechism was edited and refined by the task force which was led by the Dr. Jason Vickers, the inaugural holder of the William J. Abraham Chair of Wesleyan Studies at Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University (Waco, Texas).
The task force then delivered its draft to the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s 37-member Global Council for its study and review. After reading and engaging in robust discussions about it, council members approved it and directed its Doctrine and Practice Committee to evaluate it for consistency and to add Bible citations supporting all the major teachings addressed in the catechism.
Once the Scripture passages were added, the catechism was sent to the 250 plus delegates at the WCA’s 2022 Legislative Assembly. The body voted overwhelmingly to commend it to the GM Church for its consideration and adoption. After further edits and changes, the GM Church’s Transitional Leadership Council accepted and approved the catechism on August 1, 2022.
“I trust every congregation that joins the Global Methodist Church will use this new, attractive version of the catechism,” said Ms. Cara Nicklas, the TLC’s chairwoman and an attorney based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “If we are to be the church we aspire to be, it is essential that laypeople understand the faith we confess, joyfully and obediently live it out in their daily lives, and also know how to warmly and winsomely share it with others. The new catechism will help all of us do just that!”
When it adopted the catechism, the TLC members encouraged the new denomination’s local churches to regularly use it to guide children in the faith, as a resource for confirmation classes, and with adults as they prepare to be received as new members in the Global Methodist Church. Some said they would strongly encourage local churches to walk all their members through the catechism as a way uniting the people of the new Church in its transitional season.
“A foundational catechism for a denominational family is not only a good idea; it’s essential,” said the Rev. Dr. Jessica LaGrone, a TLC member and Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary. “For us to start out from the beginning in the Global Methodist Church in agreement around our most basic beliefs sets our feet together on the right path. One of my favorite lines in the introduction of our catechesis proclaims that its purpose is to help those in our connection to ‘understand, recall, profess, and enjoy the church’s essential teachings.’ The proclamation that right doctrine is something that we enjoy is a powerful one, and one that is to be celebrated.”
To order the catechism in various quantities, please click HERE.
The TLC recommends the following resources for use with the catechism, particularly for pastors, teachers, and leaders guiding people through it. The resources are available through Seedbed:
“The Absolute Basics of the Christian Faith” by Phil Tallon
“The Absolute Basics of the Wesleyan Way” by Phil Tallon and Justus Hunter
“Foundations of the Christian Faith” by Timothy C. Tennent
You can learn more about the Global Methodist Church by exploring its website.
The Rev. Walter Fenton is the Global Methodist Church’s Deputy Connectional Officer.