"When I am lifted up, I will draw all to myself." — John 12:32
The word "pan," derived from the Greek, means "all." "All" has been called the favorite word of Charles Wesley, our hymn-writing forebear!
Pan-Wesleyan is a term that embraces the unity of denominations of Methodists in the United States who have experienced a tragic history of racist division.
The first Methodists were marked by evangelistic and missional energy. They were known — and reviled — for being radically inclusive. The first American Methodists worshipped in interracial gatherings of Caucasian and African-Americans. Harry Hoosier was among the great tradition of African-American circuit riders.
The 2012 General Conference celebrates full communion of Pan-Wesleyan Churches: African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Christian Methodist Episcopal, African Union Methodist Protestant Church, Union American Methodist Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church.
"Full-communion" has a dissonant ring to Methodist ears, to Methodists who welcome all to the Lord's table! Go to http://www.mississippi-umc.org/news/detail/2924 to read a clear description of the impact of full communion upon our life in ministry in Mississippi with our sisters and brothers in the AME, AME, and CME churches who are our neighbors and friends in Christ.
This is a moment to rejoice in the healing grace of Christ at work among us and to celebrate the Wesleyan family in the bounds of our annual conference and around the world.
With gratitude for the all-victorious love of Christ,
Hope Morgan Ward