A Way of Life in the World

Spiritual Practices for United Methodists

Book - Paperback
A Way of Life in the World
Paperback ISBN: 9780687022465
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Published May 2004

"What does it mean to be a United Methodist?" The answer to this question, says Kenneth H. Carter, Jr., is to live a particular way of life and follow a particular form of discipleship. The distinctive aspects of that way of discipleship are contained in what has recently come to be known as "the practices." Christian practices are things done together, over time, in response to God's grace. They constitute an extended argument against some harmful alternative in the culture; they address and define a fundamental human need; they come to focus in worship; and they add up to a way of life. Carter contends that there are 6 essential practices in the United Methodist tradition: (1) searching the scriptures, (2) generosity with the poor, (3) testimony, (4) singing, (5) Holy Communion, and (6) Christian conferencing.

Written primarily for those who lead in United Methodist congregations, this book will give the reader not only an understanding of what the central United Methodist practices are, but also how they can be taught. Being formed in and by these practices does not happen overnight; it happens across a lifetime of observing the practices in others and trying them out oneself. Neglecting the Christian practices--failing to attend to them--can mean a life devoid of much of the purpose and power that life in the Spirit can hold.

About the Author

Rev. Kenneth H. Carter JR.

Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. is resident bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Along with the Cabinet, he gives pastoral and administrative leadership to almost 800 congregations, fresh expressions of church, campus ministries and outreach initiatives in an episcopal area that stretches from Tallahassee and Jacksonville to Miami and the Keys. He came to the Florida Conference in 2012, following a ministry of almost thirty years in Western North Carolina, twenty-nine as a local church pastor.
Bishop Carter is the immediate past-president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, and he was one of three moderators of the Commission on A Way Forward, the commission authorized by the General Conference in matters of unity and human sexuality.
He is author of a number of books, most recently Fresh Expressions of People Over Property and Fresh Expressions: A New Kind of Methodist Church (both with Audrey Warren) and Embracing The Wideness: The Shared Convictions of United Methodists.
He travels extensively across the state, preaching in local churches and encouraging lay and clergy leaders.
Bishop Carter and his wife, Pam have been married for thirty-seven years. Pam is also an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, and was previously a regional team leader in disaster recovery for the Florida Conference. They are blessed with two adult daughters: Liz lives in Los Angeles, where she is a PhD. student at U.C.L.A., and Abby is on the staff of Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee. Abby and her husband Allen are parents of Paige, the bishop’s granddaughter.
The Carters consider it a great blessing to live and serve in Florida.