Did you know that 2018 marks 50 years since the formation of The United Methodist Church? According to UMC.org, the United Methodist Church was officially formed on April 23, 1968, with the unification of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, along with the dissolution of the Central Jurisdiction. The combining of these 2 churches is why the United Methodist symbol, “the cross and flame”, has two flames beside the cross.
Going back a little further, The Evangelical United Brethren Church was formed in 1946. According to UMC.org, The Church of the United Brethren in Christ and The Evangelical Church served the German population in the early 1800s. When they became The Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1946, they had broadened their ministries throughout the eastern and north central portions of the United States.
Now, going even further back in history: (according to wikipedia) Methodism (founded 1868) or the Methodist movement is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley, an Anglican minister in England. This was an 18th-century evangelistic movement of Charles and John Wesley and George Whitefield.
Fun fact: The term “methodist” was originally a derogatory term put to John Wesley’s fellowship because they were seen to be following a “method” in their religious affairs. John Wesley decided to take on the mockery and turn it into a badge of honor.
Now for a little quiz, courtesy of The United Methodist Church at http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/complete-answers-to-the-united-methodist-church-quiz-first-50-years
Here are the first 10 questions, plus a bonus (I’m putting the bonus question First):
Bonus Question: One example of United Methodists caring for our Earth is:
The correct answer is the green roof of the General Board of Church and Society covered with plants installed in 2013. The United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C. is a Heritage Landmark and the only non-governmental building on Capitol Hill. For almost 100 years, this has been a space for the denomination to advocate for the values of United Methodists. That commitment continues today through the work of the Board of Church and Society.
1. In what city did the 1968 Uniting Conference take place?
The correct answer is Dallas. A stirring address by the Rev. Albert C. Outler at the conference celebrated the creation of The United Methodist Church, but also laid down challenges.
2. Where does United come from in the denomination’s name?
The correct answer is that it references the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The Church of the United Brethren in Christ and The Evangelical Church served the German population in the early 1800s. When they became The Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1946, they had broadened their ministries throughout the eastern and north central portions of the United States.
3. What was the Central Jurisdiction?
The correct answer is an official means to segregate churches solely by race. The Central Jurisdiction was a racially segregated body of the Methodist Church from 1939-1968. This history is a reminder that the church still struggles with race relations.
4. In the UMC cross and flame, what do the two tongues of a single flame represent?
The correct answer is the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches. The cross and flame is a symbol recognized around the world.
5. In 1971, MARCHA was formed. What does MARCHA mean?
The correct answer is Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans. MARCHA is the Hispanic/Latino caucus within the United Methodist Church. At a recent gathering, members were asked to explain the mission and importance of MARCHA in 10 seconds or less. Watch and learn!
6. The Black College fund was established in the same year the U.S. passed the Equal Rights Amendment and Mark Spitz won 7 gold medals. What year?
The correct answer is 1972. The Black College Fund gives participating colleges the finances they need to help students have a successful college experience. It supports college staff and faculty who can serve as strong intellectual, cultural and spiritual mentors. Students can apply for direct scholarships and loans through the Office of Loans and Scholarships.
7. In 1972, two women’s organizations in the UMC merged to form one organization called:
The correct answer is United Methodist Women. This organization provides opportunities to grow spiritually, equips women and girls to be leaders, provides transformative educational experiences, organizes programs for growth and flexibility, and works for justice through service and advocacy.
8. In 1975, for the first time, the United Methodist Publishing House published a hymnal in which language?
The correct answer is Spanish. Mil Voces Para Celebrar is an official hymnal of The United Methodist Church, not bilingual, but entirely in Spanish. It includes worship services, printed prayers, hymns, and other worship resources. It is of comparable size and content to The United Methodist Hymnal. Mil Voces Para Celebrar contains not only Hispanic and Spanish-language hymns from many nations, but also Spanish-language translations of many English-language hymns.
9. The HANA Scholars program was created in 1976. Whom does the program assist?
The correct answer is Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander students. The United Methodist Scholarship and Loan Programs are a churchwide educational service providing scholarships and loans to help supplement the financial needs of today’s students. Funding for these scholarships and loans is provided through offerings, wills, annuities, and other designated gifts.
10. United Methodist Archives and History opened its headquarters in 1982 at:
The correct answer is Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. The General Commission on Archives and History serves the church’s Ministry of Memory so United Methodists may continue to learn from our past and anticipate our future. The agency also provides workshops to help conferences establish an archive, educate local church historians, manage records, and explore the agency’s archives.
Go here to finish the rest of the quiz: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/complete-answers-to-the-united-methodist-church-quiz-first-50-years