Monthly Archives: August 2014

UM Communications remembers camp meeting days in NJ

United Methodist Communications remembers the old days of the camp meetings remembering Ocean Grove, New Jersery.

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John Wesley opposed slavery

Rev. David Weeks, chaplain of the New Room in Bristol, UK, remembers John Wesley’s opposition to slavery.

When Wesley lived at the British colony in Savannah, Georgia, he was introduced to the early years of the slave trade in the colonies. Years later, he wrote in opposition to slavery.

Thoughts upon Slavery, John Wesley

Wesley’s opposition to slavery continued til his last days when he wrote to William Wilberforce to support his stand in Pariliament

 

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Methodist Church in Oxford, UK repairing stained glass

Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Oxford continues work on its stained glass windows.

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Outler on Wesley’s Christian Perfection

Craig Adams in his Commonplace Holiness blog quotes Albert Outler on Wesley’s idea of perfection.

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New Room celebrates Charles Wesley’s preaching

The New Room in Bristol, UK will hold a special event August 31 to mark the 275th anniversary of Charles Wesley’s first field preaching. As New Room Chaplain David Weeks explains in this video, early Methodist leaders were often excluded from preaching in Anglican Churches. They followed George Whitefield’s example and joined in preaching to large groups in the open air, or field preaching.

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Bristol’s role in developing Methodist class leaders

Events in Bristol sparked an important change in the growing Methodist movement in the 1740s. At the time, societies led by Oxford Methodists and others were aligning their loyalties: some with the Wesleys, and others with the Moravians or George Whitefield’s Presbyterian teachings. John had just taken on the debt for the New Room in Bristol and the Foundery in London. In his book Wesley and the People Called Methodists, Richard Heitzenrater explains lay leadership developed.

In February 1742, John Wesley met with several leading persons from the society in Bristol to consider ways of paying the debt on the New Room. Captain Foy proposed that everyone in the society contribute a penny a week, a common method of subscription used in the religious societies and already implemented in the Foundery society to assist the poor. But someone protested that many of the members of the society were very poor and could not afford to give that much. Foy’s innovative solution was simple: divide the society into groups of twelve, each with a leader who would be responsible for turning in twelve pence a week, making up themselves whatever they could not collect. He also volunteered to take as his group the eleven poorest of the lot. His offer was accepted; others fell in line; it was done.

The importance of the groups soon superseded their original design. As the leaders began their weekly rounds, contacting every member of the society, they soon discovered problems: domestic disputes, drunkenness, and other sorts of behavior not indicative of the pursuit of holiness. Wesley saw the pastoral opportunity presented by the practical structure of the class: the leaders of the classes became the spiritual overseers of their group. This method helped Wesley overcome the difficulty of coming to know each person in the rapidly increasing societies and extended the personal touch of his pastoral oversight.

Early Methodism in Bristol – Writing of Rev. John Smith Simon. More on this article on p 17 of the acrobat file, or page 64 of the text.

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Images of John Wesley

Images of John Wesley provided by Wikimedia Commons.

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New Room: Historic Methodist Center

From the New Room publication The Tablets at the The New Room comes this description:

Bristol was a memorable city for the Wesleys, linked to Methodism. Between 1739 and 1790, more particularly in the first 30 years of Methodism, John Wesley spent more time here than anywhere else in the kingdom. Charles Wesley was often here, and made it his home from 1749-1771. London, Bristol and Newcastle upon Tyne were the three early centers of the 18th century Revival.

This room was Wesley’s first Methodist Preaching-place, and had school, society room, and apartment sfor the preachers under the same roof. His first conference met in the Foundery, London in 1744, and the second was held in 1745 in this his first Conference Chapel. His last Conference was also held here in 1790. It is the only building, therefore, in the world that spans the whole of his evangelical ministry. It really consists of two buildings. The north end towards the Horsefair, was erected in June 1739; the south, towards Broadmead, in 1748.

It is thus the oldest shrine in World-wide Methodism, and the earliest monument of the evangelical revival still in existence.

This is Tablet 1 of the historical tablets placed in the New Room in 1930 and the text were made available in 1984 for the church’s Bicentennial Celebration.

The New Room

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Photos of the New Room, Bristol, UK

The New Room in Bristol is the oldest Methodist Chapel in the world and the cradle of the early Methodist movement. It was built and used by John Wesley and the early Methodists as a meeting and preaching place and the center for helping and educating the needy members of the community. You can find photos of the New Room on the JohnWesleyBlog flickr page.
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Rev. David Weeks at the New Room, Bristol, UK

John and Charles Wesley had strong connections to Bristol, UK. They established the New Room as the first Methodist meeting space. Charles made Bristol his home. Rev. David Weeks serves as chaplain of the New Room today. He talks about the Wesleys and the building on the Horsefair.

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