Each year when the Pan-Methodist Commission meets, The Methodist Gathering is held in a local Methodist Church. The Methodist Gathering is a worship service that celebrates the Pan-Methodist family and our work together. Part of the service is the Pan-Methodist Litany, which highlights the histories of five Pan-Methodist Denominations. The litany is a well-loved part of The Methodist Gathering. Many in the Pan-Methodist family have inquired about the Litany for reference and use at Pan-Methodist events. The litany is in full below.
PAN-METHODIST LITANY OF THANKSGIVING, REMEMBRANCE AND RE-COMMITMENT
Bishops: O God, we give thanks for the opportunity to assemble as kindred hearts, joining together to walk along the journey of faith, fulfilling a vision of oneness in Christ. We rejoice that we are yet alive to see each other’s face as we each enjoy the blessings of life, health and strength.
All: The heritage of the Methodist tradition is so rich, as it strives to follow the teachings of John Wesley. We commit ourselves to keeping the legacy alive and building upon it.
U.M.: The Methodist Church began in America through the efforts of lay preachers set to work in the colonies by John Wesley. By 1784, what was once a movement became the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Though we acknowledge the injustices of racism and separation that caused division in our ranks, we rejoice that by God’s transforming grace, in 1956, women were ensured full clergy rights and by 1968, segregation was abolished in our denominational structure. Now, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and the Evangelical Association have become one: The United Methodist Church.
A.M.E.: The African Methodist Episcopal Church has a rich and glorious history. It is unique in that it was the first major religious denomination in the Western world that had its origins over sociological and theological beliefs and differences. It rejected the negative theological interpretations which rendered persons of African descent second-class citizens. Ours is a theological declaration that God is God all the time and for everybody. The A. M. E. Church was born in 1787 in protest against slavery – against dehumanization of African people, brought to the American continent as laborers. The African Methodist Episcopal Church stands proudly under the banners of freedom and justice for all, held high by the sons and daughters of Richard and Sarah Allen.
A.M. E. Z.: We, too, stand in the Methodist tradition, following the lineage of James Varick who led the founding of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1796 in New York City with the historic Mother Zion Congregation. We separated ourselves from the John Street Church for reasons of injustice and became known as the Afreedom church:@ a church where people can worship freely and express their dignity and self-determination. We are committed to nurturing persons in the Christian faith and laboring for the advancement of people who are oppressed.
C.M.E.: We share in the Methodist tradition as we were led by forty-one former slaves and assisted by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in forming the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of America in 1870 in Jackson, Tennessee, and recognize Mother Liberty Church as a symbol of our origin. William Henry Miles and Richard H. Vanderhorst were elected the first bishops, overcoming restrictions and making possible the ordination of clergy, pastoral and lay leadership. In 1954, to emphasize its ministry to all God’s children, the General Conference voted to change the name to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and that name change became official in 1956.
U.A.M.E.: We come to the Methodist movement through Peter Spencer who was repeatedly denied the rites of the church and legal redress from the congregation of the Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1805, forty-two black members left Asbury Church and worshiped in houses and groves until 1812. In 1813, the first church was built and the United Church of Africans was formed. A split in 1852 over the issue of governance led to the formation of the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church.
Clergy: John Wesley taught that we should do all the good we can in all the ways we can. But there are times when what we may perceive as good is not good for all parties concerned. We ask forgiveness for those wrongs and desire to join hands with other members of the Methodist family. The barriers are to be destroyed and we will not be silent when we see wrong. We pledge to lead the way with the help of God.
Laity: God can heal wounded spirits and broken hearts. God can make anew that which is broken and disjointed. God desires unity and oneness. We are willing to seek the common path within the Methodist family, striving for oneness in the future.
Commission: We stand as members of the Pan-Methodist Commission, charged with the task of providing leadership and coordination in the process of finding ways of cooperation and unity. We will do this by redefining and strengthening our relationship in Jesus Christ.
All: Though we each stand as a member of one of the six Methodist denominations, we are one body. Therefore, we share the conviction and unity through the blood of Jesus, the Christ. As we follow in the footsteps of so many faithful Methodists, let us remember our responsibility to build upon their foundation but never forsake the true foundation of our faith — Jesus, the Christ. Therefore, we commit ourselves to God for guidance and empowerment to give the best service possible. We also commit ourselves to exploration and openness to the new uncharted waters of cooperation and unity. God being our Helper. To God be the glory! Amen.