Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Order of the Flame

Order Of The Flame

I had never heard of the Order Of The Flame before last January. My wife and I were attending the United Methodist Congress on Evangelism in Savannah, GA. There, down the hall from the registration booth, was a table marked "World Evangelism". I had no idea who or what they were - but, silly me, I stopped and asked. It seems that this group represents Methodists around the world as they complete the task of evangelism. As part of that vision they sponsor yearly (or nearly so) "Order Of The Flame" conferences where they pull together 100 men and women involved in the work of the church from the various Methodist denominations in the Americas.

The conference interested me for three reasons -

  1. The focus on Wesleyan-Arminian theology, a general interest of mine.
  2. The focus on evangelism, a gift and a passion of mine
  3. The interdenominational nature of the conference - another passion of mine. The church crosses a great many boundaries, the various flavors of Methodism among them.

But there was a catch, you need to be nominated by the ecclesiastical leader of your denomination - and that is where it gets tough. It was okay to ask for an invitation, but from who? Though I pastor a United Methodist Church, I am ordained by the Wesleyan Church. It was unclear to the representative at the table or to me whether I should ask for an invitation from the Bishop serving the Western NY Conference of the United Methodist Church or the General Superintendent serving the Central NY District of the Wesleyan Church. The solution was easy - ask both.

And I did. Within a week the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church wrote an invitation asking that I be allowed to attend. And the Bishop of the United Methodist Church wrote that the invitation really should come from the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church. And so, my wife and I began making plans to attend the eighth class of the Order of the Flame.

And today we arrived at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simon's Island, GA.


Anonymous said...

And I just left Epworth by the Sea! How about that! Beautiful place, eh? Except for the rain you're about to get....

Pastor Floyd said...

It sprinkled as we walked over to the afternoon meeting, it rained cats and dogs during the afternoon sessions, but had stopped while we walked to and from dinner. We'll see what happens later.