Dianne Glave: Ministry & Church

Archive for the ‘United Methodist Church’ Category

Aldersgate: Holy Spirit Theology in the UK

In a few weeks, I will be ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church, and there is a connection to Aldersgate Day which falls on May 24 this year. We will remember the day in worship on Sunday, May 22, 2016.

Part of my long spiritual journey through time was a trip through place to the UK, which included a stop at Aldersgate in London in April 2016. Many visiting London may not see Aldersgate as a critical destination but United Methodists visit the location as part of a Methodist pilgrimage.

It was at Aldersgate in 1738, that John Wesley, the founder of the Methodism, experienced the Holy Spirit. Wesley described his transformation:

In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.

During my brief time at Aldersgate, I reflected on how the Holy Spirit is central to my theology and experience.

Photos Dianne Glave

Video by Jeffrey A. Vanderhoff

Edited by William Jacka

Ethnic Clergy Gather Together

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The ethnic clergy in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church gathered together for a spiritual retreat. This second retreat from March 4-5, 2016 was a important opportunity for most of the United Methodist clergy of color to meet.

marilyn_thorntonThe retreat was led by Rev. Marilyn E. Thornton who is an elder in the United Methodist Church. She serves as the Campus Minister/Director of the Wesley Foundation at Fisk University and a Lead Editor of African American Resources at the United Methodist Publishing House.

At the retreat, Rev. Thornton led the group in moving worship. She also facilitated the retreat. Rev. Thornton began with the lament as many of the ethnic clergy face racism. We then moved to hope in Christ who calls the clergy to pastor others even in difficult circumstances.


Elder Commissioning Resources, United Methodist Church

So you want be an elder? Over several years, I’ve learned it is not quite that simple. A better way of phrasing this is: has God called you to the ministry as a pastor through the Word—preaching and teaching, Sacrament—communion and baptism, Order—administration and service—to the local congregation and larger community? God sent me on quite a journey that led me to be a local pastor in Pittsburgh Metro and prayerfully an elder in the United Methodist Church in the future.

Right now, I am working on commissioning questions and answers. I thought a collection of resources would be a start in gathering my thoughts and helping others too.


Resources for Commissioning Questions (Updated August 3, 2015)


Harper Collins Study Bible (NRSV)

Wesley Study Bible (NRSV)

Class Notes (variations of these classes required):

UM Theology

UM Polity

UM History

Christian Theology

Christian Ethics


The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (2012)

The Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church (2012)

Abraham, William J. and James Kirby. The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies

Barth, Karl. Dogmatics in Outline

Campbell, Ted. Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Collins, Kenneth J. The Scripture Way of Salvation: The Heart of Wesley’s Theology

Denomination Comparison (pamphlet)

Felton, Gayle Carlton. This Holy Mystery: A Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion.

Foster, Richard. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

Frank, Thomas Edward. Polity, Practice, and the Mission of the United Methodist Church

George, Carol V. R. One Mississippi, Two Mississippi: Methodists, Murder & the Struggle for Racial Justice in Neshoba County.

Hamilton, Adam. Confronting the Controversies: Biblical Perspectives on Tough Issues

Heitzenrater, Richard P. Wesley and the People Called Methodists

Heitzenratner, Richard P., ed. The Works of John Wesley Cd or Hardcover

Hickman, Hoyt L. Worshipping with United Methodists.

Jones, Scott. United Methodist Doctrine: The Extreme Center

Kalas, J. Ellsworth. Being United Methodist: What it Means Why It Matters.

Langford, Andy and Sally. Living as United Methodist Christians: Our Story Our Beliefs Our Live.

Langford, Thomas A. Practical Divinity: Readings in Wesleyan Theology

Langford, Thomas A., ed. Doctrine and Theology in the United Methodist Church

Long, Thomas. What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith

Maddox, Randy L. ed. Rethinking Wesley’s Theology for Contemporary Methodism

Maddox. Randy L. Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology

Matthews, Rex D. Timetables of History for Students of Methodism

Migliore, Daniel L. Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology
Nickell, Jane Ellen. We Shall Not be Moved: Methodists Debate Race, Gender, and Homosexuality.

Outler, Albert C. ed. John Wesley’s Sermons

Outler, Albert C. John Wesley

Plancher, William C. Essentials of Christian Theology

Proctor, Samuel D. and Gardner C. Taylor. We Have This Ministry

Richey, Russell E. ed. The Methodist Experience in America: A Source Book

Richey, Russell E. The Methodist Experience in America, Vol. 1: A History

Ricoeur, Paul. Evil

Runyon, Ted. The New Creation: John Wesley’s Theology Today

Warner, Lacyeye C. The Method of Our Mission: United Methodist Polity & Organization.

Watson, David Lowes. God Does Not Foreclose: The Promise of Universal Salvation

White, James F. Sacraments of God’s Self Giving (ordered)

Willimon, William H. Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry

Willimon, William. United Methodist Beliefs: A Brief Introduction

Yrigoyen, Charles, T & T Clark Companion to Methodism


Heitzenratner, Richard P., ed. The Works of John Wesley Cd or Hardcover

The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (2012)


Ministry of Elder

Pastoral Appointments: Overview

Kentucky Conference, United Methodist Church Commissioning Question Tips

Mark Calhoun’s Answers

Scott’s Thoughts on Questions

Rev. Neal on Questions

When asked specifics I plan to focus on Care and Creation so will be using the following:

Barnett, Tanya Marcovna. Greening Congregations

Gottlieb, Roger S. This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment

Hessel, Dieter T. Christianity and Ecology

Goodbyes: Crafton United Methodist Church

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It is the way of the United Methodist Church in which . . . it is that season in June when . . . many pastors across the country prepare to leave for an appointment elsewhere, at another church. I am one of those pastors.

And so I say goodbye to the members of Crafton United Methodist Church in these last days before my new appointment starting July 1. With these often traumatic changes comes anxiety, sadness, and disappointment. This is the way of things when people depart from one another, when we enter the unknown. I am grateful that so many faced and embraced these feelings with me in the midst of so much change.

As I said in my last sermon at the church on Sunday, June 24th, “Crafton UMC is a David, a boy vanquishing the giant Goliath.”

Photos by David Maier

In the Bathroom: A Letter to Anyone on United Methodist Annual Conference?!

To Whom It May Concern,

I know this may sound odd . . . I know this may lack decorum but might I suggest we squeeze everyone into the bathroom with feet tucked into the sink and belongings carelessly scattered about for the many United Methodist Annual Conferences across the country. I know: scandalous.

We might face a logistical problem squeezing thousands into bathrooms but I think we can get around that for the sake of corporate intimacy.

On the agenda: What’s your name? Where are you from? Why are you here? I REALLY want to KNOW!

Legislation: On this day, June, 11th, 2012, everyone must climb up on the sink, sit down, and talk to this smart grown 17 year old woman at Annual Conference. We will engage her, and others like her, in conversations in the bathroom until she is sick of talking to us and wants us to go away at least for now.

We don’t even need to take a vote.

When I saw this young woman tucked in the sink, I thought of Johannes Vermeer’s The Girl with the Pearl Earring. Can Annual Conference be so luminous, so infused with life much like Vermeer’s painting, much like this teen in the photo? Can we take it to the bathroom, a place in which we are most stripped down and most vulnerable?

I wonder. I hope.

Photo by Dianne Glave on her iPhone

A Silver Lining: Race, Racism, & Ethnicity

In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:28, The Message)


Hey, I am the first to say I don’t view church life through rose-colored glasses. I’m a pretty practical feet-planted-on-solid-ground person. So it makes sense I am guarded but hopeful about all of the modern issues concerning race, racism, & ethnicity in the US.

This month’s conversation, perhaps this year’s conversation concerning race relations took place on the street outside the church. I walked out of the church to be greeted by the street’s handy-man. He did odd jobs at the parsonage over the last several months. He texted me every holiday.

Well, today, he was landscaping a neighbor’s yard. He pulled himself up from his knees and crossed the street to talk to me.

He said, “I hear you are leaving. Is it because you wanted to get away from us white folks.”

I responded, “No, I’m actually headed to serve at another church so I have some new white folks.”

I went on to explain some of the internal financial issues at the current church that led to my new appointment.

ImageAs I walked away, I said to myself, “My how SOME things have changed.” Just 10, maybe even 5 years ago, an African American woman appointed to a United Methodist Church would have to assume that the congregation did not want her and there would be attempts to drive her from the church, instead of people wanting her to stay on. Even today, that is still the case.

ImageEveryone once in a while people surprise you. And I can say I was happily surprised by my first appointment as a United Methodist pastor in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. Good people . . . good church.

We still have much to do, but thankfully there are silver linings.

Departure || New Appointment

My letter to the members and friends at Crafton United Methodist Church . . .

March 18, 2012

Dear Crafton United Methodist Church,

Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Isaiah 43:19 (The Message) speaks to change, suffering, and hope. Brand new things call for change often coupled with the book-ends of suffering and hope. The desert, the badlands are in-between places taking us on difficult roads and treacherous rivers that lead to a cool breeze threading across the sky or can look like a goblet beaded with and filled with crisp refreshing water.

When I learned last week that the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church was appointing me as an associate pastor at Ingomar Church effective July 1, 2012 change, suffering, and hope came to mind.

With this news some may be considering the road, the desert . . . the river, the badlands. I have served at Crafton UMC since September 15th 2011 for about six months now, struggling with all of you in the desert or the badlands.

I pray as I continue as the pastor of Crafton UMC during the next three months or so that God leads us through these times of change, suffering and hope, and that we grow and are transformed spiritually.

It has been a blessing to be your pastor even in our short time together. I am grateful for the loving presence and service of each of you here at Crafton UMC. May God continue to lead us on the paths, the road or the river, He has in store for us as individuals and as a faith community.


Pastor Dianne

Warren United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh

Not far from the University of Pittsburgh

While living in Georgia, I have been an associate member at Warren United Methodist Church. I was warmly welcomed by Pastor Emma Smith and the congregation where I preached a sermon titled “The Body and the Tree.” I also got to be a tourist in Pittsburgh.

Photo by Dianne Glave

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