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GBHEM Publishing Releases a Book Offering Hope for The UMC

Danecia Jones
January 19, 2018

The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) released a new book, “A Methodist Requiem: Words of Hope and Resurrection for the Church” by William B. Lawrence.

In the book, Lawrence explores the meaning for the requiem as a voice of hope for Christians. Lawrence explains that the word “requiem” heralds the promise of resurrection and power of life. A requiem is not about death, rather it is a prayer that accepts Jesus’s redemptive sacrifice, trusts in his resurrection, and finds abundant life. Lawrence asserts that this can help Christians be confident and remain unshaken by the challenges we face as faith communities and as a denomination.

Lawrence is the professor of American Church History at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University and a research fellow at the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina.

“This book offers a sobering and solid hope grounded in the promises of God to not only members of The United Methodist Church but also to lay and clergy Pan-Methodists as well,” said Evelyn L. Parker, associate dean for Academic Affairs, Susanna Wesley Centennial professor of Practical Theology, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. “The ultimate concern for survival of Pan-Methodist denominations is a mission from God that shapes our identity and practices of ministry in a world with economic, political, social, and cultural problems that are death-dealing for the people of God. A Methodist requiem should be required reading for lay and clergy leaders. I highly recommend this important book.”

“Dr. William Lawrence uses convincing examples to provide a voice for hope and the language for lamenting Christians to trust and claim the promise of the resurrection for Christ’s Church,” said Sharon J. Grant, assistant professor, Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, North Carolina.

“Bill Lawrence grew up in a Methodist church on a hill in Pennsylvania coal country. In this book, he takes us to the top of the hill to view The UMC and its social context from four distinct points of view: the grace and hope that mark Wesleyan history even in the face of death; the role of Methodism in building community in a particular place on earth; the web of personal, connectional, and legal relationships that hold The UMC together and would have to be cut by any schism; and the passion for mission that has transformed Methodism into a global church. Take your pick and step into any of these perspectives, and you will be rewarded with Lawrence's acute insight and wisdom for our times,” said Thomas E. Frank, university professor, Wake Forest University.

“This thoughtful book should be at the top of the must-read list for anyone who is concerned about the future of Methodism. Dr. Lawrence tells us that resurrection brings life even if it is not life as we have known in the past,” said Sally Curtis Askew, retired law librarian, University of Georgia Law School; former member and clerk emerita, Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church; trustee emerita, LaGrange College.

Wesley’s Foundery Books is an imprint of GBHEM. Foundery books are clearly and accessibly written by Methodist/Wesleyan experts, with an emphasis on church life and ministry. Representing the rich diversity of the church, Wesley’s Foundery Books offer a disciplined and balanced approach.

“A Methodist Requiem: Words of Hope and Resurrection for the Church” is available at Cokesbury.com and Amazon.com. For more information about GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit www.gbhem.org/about/publications or follow @GBHEMPublishing on Facebook.

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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