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The Order of the FLAME 25th Anniversary Reunion by Kim Reisman

2021 has been a milestone year for World Methodist Evangelism! We have marked the 50th anniversary of WME, the 25th anniversary of the Order of the FLAME, and the 25th anniversary of the original publication of the Faith-Sharing New Testament with the Psalms. It has indeed been a wonderful year of celebration!

Our most recent gathering in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Order of the FLAME (Faithful Leaders as Mission Evangelists) was especially meaningful. Christ Church in Memphis, Tennessee was a gracious host, and we were able to gather folks both in-person and virtually. As with all our FLAME gatherings, there was dynamic teaching and Spirit-filled preaching, along with ample time to reconnect with others in the FLAME community and visit the sites of Memphis.

The Order of the FLAME is an ethnically and culturally diverse covenant community within our global Wesleyan family that equips, nurtures, and encourages emerging pastors and their spouses in evangelism and mission. Begun in North America, there are now FLAME communities in Ireland and Africa and we are excited to be able to launch a FLAME community in Romania in October 2022.

At the first gathering of the Order of the FLAME, WME provided a copy of the newly published Faith-Sharing New Testament with the Psalms to each participant. It was appropriate then, at this 25th celebration, to launch the anniversary edition of the Faith-Sharing New Testament with the Psalms. It was an honor to be able to provide each FLAME participant – whether in-person or virtual – with a copy of this updated and expanded resource.

We are grateful for all those who made our 25th anniversary celebration so meaningful. The Foundation for Evangelism and United Theological Seminary are faithful sponsors of our FLAME gatherings, and we deeply appreciate their support. We were also blessed by the outstanding teaching and testimonies of Rev. Luiz Cardoso (UK, Methodist Church of Brazil), Rev. Dan Griswold (US, UMC), Rev. Cristian Istrate (Romania, UMC), Bishop João Carlos Lopes (Brazil, Methodist Church of Brazil), Dr. Luther Oconor (US, UMC), and Dr. Dave Smith (US, Wesleyan Church). Our preachers, Bishop Darin Moore (US, AMEZ), Dr. Luigi Peñaranda (US, Wesleyan), and Bishop Darryl Starnes (US, AMEZ) were especially powerful and Holy Spirit inspired, which was a moving experience for everyone.

The Order of the FLAME has made a significant impact over the last 25 years, instilling the DNA of evangelism in emerging leaders who have gone on to become church planters, bishops, multi-campus pastors, itinerant evangelists, and founders of parachurch organizations committed to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. We are excited to continue to build on this strong foundation by deepening and expanding the Order of the FLAME to include a greater emphasis on mentoring and ongoing cohort-based learning. Our next North American gathering will be March 14-18, 2022 at Epworth by the Sea, St. Simons Island, GA and we look forward to welcoming a newly invited class into the Order.

Leadership has never been more important that it is now. We are grateful for the opportunity to identify and cultivate emerging leaders for the global Wesleyan movement.