When the Wesleyan Covenant Network began in January 2014 in Atlanta, our stated purpose was to foster network relationships for Kingdom advancement among the Wesleyan theological family. Our idea was born out of frustration with too much focus on politics and issues and too little focus on Kingdom issues like revival, next generation leaders and church planting. We had no idea that our passions would connect with so many other's passions. The response and interest in WCN has been overwhelming, averaging three new requests per week and growing a constituency that has now reached over 250 pastors and churches.
That kind of interest has been very humbling. And, that kind of interest has been overwhelming to us, because like so many of our constituents, we are full time pastors with every day ministry demands. We hope that you will extend grace to us given our sometimes slow response to your emails and methodical approach to the way forward. What you have experienced and what we now understand is that this shared passion is something more than any group of pastors can handle alone.
So, when Seedbed approached us last fall about working together for resourcing, training and networking we eagerly accepted their invitation to meet with them. Not long into that discussion, it was apparent to us that Seedbed, through an initiative they are calling the New Room Network, was poised to financially, administratively and strategically lead this initiative. They wanted our input and shared leadership—but it was very apparent to us that God had rasied them up for this opportunity. And so, we ceded the work of networking and resourcing the Wesleyan family to them and intended to announce a different role for WCN at our gathering at the New Room Conference in September.
After that meeting, WCN met to clarify its mission. We stated in Atlanta, that our desire was to network for Kingdom advancement—acknowledging that there might also come a day when that meant life together outside of the UMC. At that point, none of us hoped it would come to that, but we all were willing to assent to the possibility of that reality. Freed from one responsibility and given the worsening climate of the UMC, we felt led to continue to develop a potential landing place, should one be needed in the post General Conference 2016 world. With that in mind, we set to work doing some legal exploration and preparation to announce that this would be WCN's role going forward. As we proceeded with these explorations, we discovered that other persons and groups were having similar thoughts, and work was being done and we have joined in these conversations. This is a monumental task , but we are confident that it will be accomplished in time to serve post General Conference. When clarity comes on this issue, you will certainly be informed. After some discussions with them, it seemed that God was again directing us to support, encourage and follow their lead in these matters.
And so, last week we met, and confirmed what God has been affirming in us over the last month. What God raised us up for, what we were not doing very well for various reasons, is being done superbly by The New Room Network, and others who share our Kingdom heart and Christ-centered passion.
So, today we are announcing that The Wesleyan Covenant Network is going dormant. God may raise us up again at sometime in the future , but for now we are ceding the work that God gave us to do to those who will do it better than we ever did or could. We will be participating with these partners in their leading, prayerfully supporting their work and encouraging their faithfulness. .
We encourage you to join the New Room Network that you will hear about at this year's Seedbed Conference. The resources, the strategy and the people leading this effort are exceptional!
Finally, we want to thank you for interest and support of WCN. As always any of us stand ready to help you in any Kingdom advancing way.