HSUMC 2007 Annual Meeting at Chevy Chase, MD

Charles Wesley, Charles Wesley and more Charles Wesley – the participants of the Sixth Annual Historical Convocation of the UMC were immersed in the life, theology, ministry and most importantly, the poetry and hymns of United Methodism’s co-founder, the Rev. Charles Wesley. All who attended were able to sing or hear sung their favorite Wesley hymn at least once during the Convocation. Participants gathered at the 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD for daytime meetings and workshops, walking or riding across the street to Chevy Chase UMC for evening presentations and Sunday morning worship.

Those who arrived on Thursday, along with the members of the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) had the privilege of attending a presentation by Karl Heinz Voigt, the first of two 2007 Distinguished Service Award recipients. Dr. Voigt is a United Methodist minister from Germany and has written extensively on German Methodism. He presented a paper entitled, “John Heyl Vincent: A Bridge Builder between Denominations, Confessions, Continents and Cultures.” This was Dr. Voigt’s first lecture in English to an English speaking audience and was very well done.

Chevy Chase UMC
Chevy Chase UMC
Robert Williams, Bishop Toquero, Karl Heinz Voigt

The Convocation opened officially on Friday afternoon with two excellent presentations on Charles Wesley by Dr. Timothy McQuibban and Dr. Karen Westerfield-Tucker. After dinner we boarded buses for Asbury UMC in downtown Washington, D.C. where HSUMC President Pat Thompson presented two awards. The first is a new award, established this year, the Ministry of Memory Award, to be given to an individual who has done outstanding work in some aspect of United Methodist history at the local church, conference or jurisdictional level. The 2007 award was presented to Lonise Robinson, a member of Asbury UMC, for her excellent service at all three levels of the church. The second annual Saddlebag Selection Award, given for an outstanding publication related to United Methodist history, was presented to the Rev. John Tyson, for his book, In the Midst of Early Methodism: Lady Huntingdon and Her Correspondence. Following the awards the “Friends of Charles Wesley Choir” gathered by Dr. Eileen Guenther, associate professor at Wesley Theological Seminary, presented “A Festival of Music: Charles Wesley at 300 – Texts of Charles Wesley Set by Composers of our Time.” This was en excellent and inspiring concert to end the first day of the Convocation.

Lonise Robinson - Ministry of Memory Award
Friends of Charles Wesley Choir

On Saturday morning participants had the opportunity to choose from two additional workshops related to Wesley, two workshops on aspects of African American history or a most interesting tour of Washington, D.C. United Methodist (or former Methodist) churches and United Methodist historic sites led by Jane Donovan. During the afternoon two more excellent presentations by Dr. Dennis Dickerson and Dr. Thomas R. Albin completed the plenary sessions. In the evening the second 2007 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. S.T. Kimborough, Jr., who gave a wonderful solo concert of renditions of Charles Wesley poems set to music by either himself or his sister, who accompanied him throughout the evening.

S.T. Kimborough and Bishop Toquero
Jane Donovan - Tour of Dunbarton UMC
On Sunday morning the HSUMC (along with other groups in attendance) held their annual meetings, followed by two presentations. The first was by Mary Kay Ricks, whose new book, Escape in the Pearl addresses the most ambitious and dramatic escape attempt of the Underground Railroad in Washington, D.C. Most, if not all, of the enslaved persons who tried to escape on The Pearl (a sailing ship) were Methodists. The second was John Tyson, who spoke about his book, In the Midst of Early Methodism: Lady Huntingdon and Her Correspondence, the winner of the 2007 Saddlebag Selection Award. We ended with worship at Chevy Chase UMC with the Rev. Dr. Paul Chilcote preaching. Minutes of the HSUMC were printed in the October issue of Methodist History.
John Tyson - 2007Saddlebag Selection Award
Chevy Chase UMC