May 22 – Heritage Sunday/Aldersgate Day (May 24)/World Service Fund (General Commission on Archives and History)
A Moment for Mission
“The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.” —Psalm 67:6-7, NRSV
One of 13 United Methodist agencies supported by the World Service Fund, the General Commission on Archives and History does much more than preserve the history of the denomination. The commission seeks to guide the denomination into its future through critical examinations of the past. Through the Heritage Sunday theme, “Splits, Separations and Reconciliations,” GCAH will examine our past splits and separations to reassure United Methodists today that we’ve been through both major and minor institutional change before.
The new general secretary, Dr. Ashley Boggan Dreff, hopes that GCAH will continue to become an increasingly sought-after resource, especially as she shifts the agency toward a more programmatic, outward-facing organization. “We’re completely redesigning our website so that we can offer online courses to meet various needs of scholars, annual conferences and local church leaders,” she said. “We’ve begun to find new ways to engage people with the history of United Methodism through our monthly podcast, Un-Tied Methodism, where we unravel the past to help us make sense of today.”
These are just some of the changes coming to GCAH. Dreff encourages you to check out the website and sign up for the monthly newsletter to stay up to date. “It’ll be an exciting time as we transition to a more digitally centered, outward facing agency,” she said.
Because United Methodist congregations support the World Service Fund, GCAH stands ready to assist individuals and local churches in every season of life. Thank you!
Cadence, 13, loves history.
“If you don’t learn about history,” she explained, “you don’t know what happened and you don’t know what to do. If something that happened in history had a positive effect, you know what can be done to help people. If it had a negative effect, you know not to repeat it.
“From other people’s stories, you learn what was important to them. You also learn about other people so you don’t brutalize their history. Everyone needs to be remembered for what they did, good or bad.”
Cadence, who was born on the seventh anniversary of 9/11, finds that particular event very interesting.
“History is always being written,” she noted. “You’re reading other people’s stories, and people will read yours one day.”
Loving God, throughout history, you have blessed us. Guide our denomination through all of its seasons. Inspire us to continue to serve you. We love you. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Sixth Sunday of Easter — God of the mountains and the valleys, of the dry places and oceans: Your voice speaks to us across creation; the flowers and the trees sing of your majesty; and the stars of the night speak of how much we still don’t know. As we offer gifts to you and speak our words of gratitude, help us to hear your voice anew. Give us ears to hear, faith to believe, and determination to truly listen to how you would send us into a hurting world. In Christ, we pray. Amen. (Acts 16:9-15)
Don’t know much about history? Don’t despair!
If you are curious about United Methodist history, help is just a web search away. Go to the General Commission on Archives and History website (www.gcah.org) to subscribe to the newsletter, download the latest episode of Un-Tied Methodism or begin a research process.
The General Commission on Archives and History promotes and cares for the historical interests of The United Methodist Church at every level. It gathers, preserves and holds title to library and archival materials and shares interpretive materials on the history of the denomination and its predecessors. It also engages with other Wesleyan, Methodist or Evangelical United Brethren-related denominations in recalling and reminding us of our joint heritage.
Whether you are a confirmation student or a longtime United Methodist, GCAH has something for you. Because of generous local church support of the World Service Fund, the agency provides a wealth of services to individuals and congregations. Thank you!
Ashley Boggan Dreff