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Tuesday, January 21, 2014


In 1934 the "Wesley News" was a weekly production of the High School Epworth League (the early youth group of Methodist churches).
In those early days there were terms used that are unfamiliar for many modern Methodists and church people in general.
"Subscription" -
"Square Up Day" -
"Pay Up Sunday" -
These terms reflect very pragmatic and real aspects of church growth and ministry.  Church buildings, ministry, outreach, evangelism, music, activities, and growth come with price tags.
Other religious traditions may use terms such as "Tithing", "Offerings" to convey the same subject. The dependence on inconsistent 'freewill' offerings translated into feast or famine ministry in a community or region.  Pioneer or circuit pastors were familiar with these privations and seldom had families.  If they starved, as one old minister said, they just called it a "fast."  If a family suffered, that was a different matter.
People were encouraged to "subscribe" or pledge annual support to the church. This kept the electricity paid, the heat on, the Sunday School materials ordered, ministry supported and paint on the church.  Every family and person was encouraged to subscribe to the support of the church.  The ending months of the year were then seen as 'catch up' days to fulfill the promise made. 
Until WW2 the custom was to have quarterly conferences and part of that process was to 'keep the books straight'.  Monthly a day was marked as a day to bring into the modern 'tabernacle' the offerings, the pledges, the subscription and make good on the promise made to support the church.  Other offerings, above and beyond the pledge, were often used to expand ministry into new areas or give to special causes in the church (local, national, or global).
Methodism was born from a movement of personal intentionality in areas of spiritual development, Christian action, and evangelistic effort.  It was aware of the raw truth of Paul's New Testament comment that the "spirit was willing but the flesh weak".  Good intentions, with out accountability, often died an early death.
Methodism was inspired and motivated in its halcyon days by the Wesleyan adage that basically said, "Make all the money you can so that you can give all the money you can."  Great blessing translated into great giving and advancement of the Gospel of Christ.  In our modern church world, finances are often matters of great secrecy leading to an old joke that the greatest church complainer is often the worst church giver! 
In Methodism the membership has always, in one form another, been called to not just give their money but to be whole-hearted in their commitment.  In doing so, it is expected the Methodist will support the local work of the Gospel (the church) with their regular presence, their monetary gifts, their acts of service (mission, witness), and the ongoing and personal witness to the work of God at work in them and in their world.

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A special "Friends of Wesley" group is made of individuals, organizations, and businesses who wish to support the historic preservation of the century old and historically significant Wesley Methodist Church (Wesley United Methodist Church) founded in 1910.

The inspiring windows dating to 1928 honored people significant to local Oklahoma City history but also to the history of Oklahoma Methodism.

The church founding and development was guided by lay people who were leaders in Oklahoma City development in real estate, banking, business, and education.

It stands as a rare remaining example of Methodist Churches in the English Gothic style and as work by a significant early architectural firm.

Donations may be sent to:

Church Treasurer
Wesley United Methodist Church
1401 NW 25th
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma