What is ....?
What is Epiphany?
Epiphany is a time in the life of the Christian year celebrated on January 6th, 12 days after Christmas. The symbol of Epiphany is light and marks the coming of the wise men to the manger and celebrates the appearance of Christ's light and love in the world. It is a time to absorb the message of Christmas and to spread the light of God's love through Jesus. Epiphany celebrations--festive or contemplative--are a good way for churches to launch the New Year.
What is Lent?
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday, including Holy Week. Believers prepare for the resurrection through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, giving, atonement and self-denial. Holy Week marks the death and burial of Jesus, ending in the joyful celebration on Easter Sunday of His Resurrection. Some Christians "give up" certain foods or behaviors during Lent to help them focus on the sacrifices Jesus made to free us from sin. Many Christians to practice a spiritual discipline during, such as reading a daily devotional.
The 40 days of Lent commemorates the forty days that, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent fasting in the desert, before beginning his public ministry.
What is the Book of Discipline?
The Book of Discipline documents the rules, law and doctrine of the United Methodist Church. The book, orignally published in 1784, is a living document as it undergoes ongoing scructiny. Legislation is proposed and voted on at annual conferences. Legislation that is recommended by annual conferences is submitted to General Conference. The Book of Discipline is updated every 4 years after General Conference meets and passes updates. Delegates to General Conference are elected from the body of lay and clergy delegates at each annual conference. Annual conference delegates consist of clergy and locally elected lay delegates.
The book opens with a list of the bishops followed by a brief history of the church, the church constitution, a statement of doctrine and theology, and the Social Principles of the church. The largest part of The Discipline is the legislative section. The book provides a foundation while providing each congregation the flexibility to adapt to the community they serve.