The event will serve as the inaugural meeting of the new Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) chapter, which will serve the Holston Conference. Among other things, the meeting will include a discussion about the church’s stance on homosexuality and scriptural authority.
“We’ve got some issues surrounding scriptural authority and how we handle the issue of homosexuality that are being dealt with in the global United Methodist Church,” said Chuck Griffin, one of the organizers of the meeting. “The WCA is a group that advocates really, in a lot of ways, for maintaining the current position we have, with perhaps some more enforcement in place.”
What is the UMC’s stance on homosexuality?
UMC.org, an online ministry of the United Methodist Church, argues that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
While anyone is welcome to attend church services, practicing homosexuals cannot currently be ordained as ministers or appointed to serve in the United Methodist Church.
In addition, “ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches,” UMC.org states.
Griffin said the Holston Conference chapter of the WCA will, like the national WCA, advocate to maintain a traditional stance on homosexuality in the United Methodist Church.
“The WCA has people on a national level, and really an international level because we’re a global church, that are advocating for a more traditional position,” Griffin said. “We just felt like we needed a local chapter of that in the Holston area, too.”
Who should attend Saturday’s meeting?
The meeting is geared toward regional United Methodists who advocate “traditional, scriptural Christianity,” according to a press release.
“The Holston WCA will be the regional chapter for orthodox United Methodists, both laity and clergy, living within the bounds of what the United Methodist Church calls the Holston Conference,” the release states. “The Holston Conference covers southwest Virginia, East Tennessee and a portion of northern Georgia.”
What should attendees expect?
Griffin said the meeting will begin with a worship service led by the Rev. Keith Boyette, president of the national WCA.
Boyette and the Rev. Walter Fenton, WCA vice president for strategic engagement, will speak during the Q&A and business portions of the event, which will include the homosexuality discussion and an election of officers for the Holston WCA chapter.
How can you register?
Griffin said preregistration is open online at holstonwca.org. Same-day registration will begin at noon on the day of the event, and the worship service will begin at 1 p.m.
The event will be held Saturday at Glen Alpine United Methodist Church, located at 3200 Glen Alpine Road in Kingsport. There is no cost to attend.
“Any Methodist needs to have a good understanding of what we’re rooted in,” Griffin said. “We have always been a very scripturally sound group of people who take the Bible very seriously.”
For more information, visit wesleyancovenant.org or holstonwca.org.