KINGSPORT, Tenn. (March 30, 2015) -- The children at Mountain View United Methodist Church in Kingsport recently hosted John and Charles Wesley for two weeks!
Well, actually they hosted the Flat Wesleys. The Flat Wesleys are based on the popular character “Flat Stanley.” Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church (formerly the General Board of Discipleship) created the Flat Wesley brothers as a way to encourage children to live out their discipleship as United Methodists and followers of Jesus Christ. The program began in February with one congregation from each annual and central conferences. The children at Mountain View’s CrossClub were excited to share their guests with their church family and the community.
We greeted them by jumping for joy and singing “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing.” Flat John and Charles greeted us with a letter where they asked us to learn about Works of Mercy and Works of Piety.
See Mountain View's special PDF with photos.
We learned that these works are what John Wesley called Means of Grace.This means of grace is given to us by God to help us make time and space for God in our lives. It is a “method” to nurture and build our relationship with God.
The Flat Wesleys spent time in acts of devotion in our Holy Space. We also shared in acts of worship.
CrossClub Missions led them in acts of compassion and acts of justice by creating snack bags for clients of the Kitchen of Hope, a local soup kitchen; collecting cans of food for Help and Hope Food Pantry; and by creating personal hygiene kits for women guests at a local safe house.
We also took the Flat Wesleys on a field trip to Acuff Chapel (formed in 1783), the oldest Methodist church in Tennessee. Francis Asbury was a frequent preacher at this chapel.
We learned John Wesley said that loving God with all that we are (Mark 12:30-31) is the vertical beam of our cross (these are our works of piety). Living out our love of God by loving those whom God loves, our neighbors and ourselves, is the horizontal beam (works of mercy). By following this “method” we become a sign of the coming reign of God, our faith is increased, hope in Christ is confirmed and we become growing disciples of Jesus Christ.
We encourage congregations in the Holston conference to join the itinerate of the Flat Wesleys by visiting http://ministrywithchildren.com/flatwesleys/ Like the many generations before us you will be blessed by John and Charles Wesley!