“…unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”
For Christians, the word “requiem” is a voice of hope. It heralds the promise of resurrection and power of life. A requiem is not about death, rather it is a prayer that accepts the Lord’s redemptive sacrifice, trusts his resurrection, and finds abundant life. It affirms our belief that by God’s grace, we will enter a new realm of being. In this we can be confident and so remain unshaken by the challenges we face as communities of faith and as a denomination. What we now see as our troubles can give us new opportunities to seize God’s promises and be strengthened by the mission to which God calls us. The mission of Methodism will endure.
Praise for A Methodist Requiem
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-Methodist as well. 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.
—Evelyn L. Parker, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
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.
—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.
—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.
—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
William B. Lawrence is Professor of American Church History, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University and Research Fellow, Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition, Duke Divinity School.