Dear WesleyNexus Colleague:

As we close out this year’s spring activities and look back on the accomplishments of the past year,
there are a number of high points of note.  In the fall, WesleyNexus sponsored a seminar/discussion
with Dr. Thomas Jay Oord, Professor of Theology at Northwestern Nazarene University, Craig A.
Boyd, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at St. Louis University, and Mark A. Mann, Associate
Professor of Theology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego last November.  More
recently, we promoted the “Jesus in the First and Twenty-First Centuries" program at Metropolitan
United Methodist Church featuring Drew University professor Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, Th.D. and
Robert J. Miller, Ph.D. of Juniata College.  The most ambitious project was the Evolution Weekend
panel discussion at the United Methodist Church, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference Mission
Center with Dr. Steve Freeland of UMBC, Dr. Richard Restak of George Washington University and
Dr. Ilia Delio of Georgetown University.  Over sixty persons braved a late evening snowstorm to
attend in person and nearly 80 sites from around the world logged in to view the program online.  
Since the program was professionally recorded, we are able to invite those who missed the original
presentation to view it on Youtube
here.  Not a bad year all-in-all.   

Last month, the Wesley Nexus Board of Directors met to set priorities for the coming year.  We
agreed that we will sponsor another Evolution Weekend program, applying the lessons learned from
last year’s program and make next February’s program even better.  We will continue to take
advantage of the rich network of scientific and theological professionals in the Washington, DC and
Baltimore areas and sponsor events that are of the highest caliber and meet the interest of our
participants.  In addition, and in this we are stretching and taking a faith based risk, we are planning a
Science and Religion Development Retreat where individual pastors, lay leaders and lay persons
interested in promoting science and religion can come together and learn, share ideas and provide
support.  More details on the program can be found below.     

WesleyNexus wishes you and yours a wonderful summer and thank you for your interest in support.  
As you unwind and spend time on vacation or just relaxing at home, we hope you will consider
contributing to WesleyNexus.  We are dependent on you, our participants, for donations to cover
expenses for these activities.  WesleyNexus is a certified 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so please
consider supporting this initiative with a contribution either through the PayPal DONATE link below,
or, by sending a check to:  

                       WesleyNexus, Inc.
                       24500 Fossen Road
                       Damascus, MD 20872

We will use these funds to further our efforts to promote the dissemination of resource material
promoting the dialogue between sound science and religion across the country.

God Bless,

Rick Barr, Secretary,
WesleyNexus, Board of Directors

Report from the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference

In 1784, the Methodist Church in America held its first annual conference of preachers in the city of
Baltimore. After many stages of merger and reorganization, the 230th Session of the Baltimore-
Washington Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church convened in Baltimore May 29-31,
2014, under the leadership of Bishop Marcus Matthews. One could say that perhaps 90 percent of the
discussions and actions of this Conference were routine business. But on the evening of May 30, when
Conference rules were suspended, all of the clergy and lay delegates joined in a two-and-a-half hour
discernment session focused in small groups to discuss and vote on five resolutions having to do with
human sexuality. The resolutions under consideration included one to suspend all trials of clergy who
might be reported for blessing same sex unions; another proposed that this Annual Conference end all
restrictions and discriminations against persons because of sexual orientation in all proceedings of the
church; another called on the Church to remove all provisions and language in the Book of Discipline
and Social Principles that discriminate against or restrict the participation of laity or clergy on the basis
of their sexual identity.  There were two others, including one to “agree to disagree” that
recommended that we proceed together in our common life. All five resolutions passed by a clear
majority. Although many present had concerns about the process and  called for rulings on law and
other judicial appeals are now in process, it was hailed by most of those present as a historic moment
in the life of this Annual Conference.

WesleyNexus Retreat/Discussion, September 19-20, 2014

During the Conference, WesleyNexus convened a
small group of interested persons over breakfast on
Friday morning, and the persons present supported
the idea that WesleyNexus proceed with a plan to
convene an overnight 24-hour discussion on matters
of science and religion at one of our retreat sites, the
West River Conference Center in Eastern Maryland.
Interested persons from the Virginia Annual Conference will be invited and all interested persons in the
Wesleyan tradition anywhere will be welcome. The focus will be practical: how to expand the network
of persons in the Wesleyan tradition who want to engage in this dialogue, with the intention of
convening continuing dialogue groups in local churches, addressing the issue of retaining young people
in the church when they confront science methodologies in their education, and how better to support
pastors who want to preach effectively with modern concepts and language, both as a means to
educate laity and to expand tools for evangelism. More information will be forthcoming in the
newsletters this summer as we define the objectives more exactly and refine the logistics. The dates:
September 19-20, 2014.  

Science, Religion and Evolving Faith in Minneapolis

Hennepin Church, a United Methodist Church in
Minneapolis, is offering a seven-week program
during the summer beginning on July 13 and
going through August 24 at 11:00 AM.  The
program features over a dozen leading theologians
and progressive thinkers.  Of particular note are
Philip Clayton, Dean of Claremont School of
Theology and Catherine Keller, professor of Constructive Theology at Drew University.  Both Clayton
and Keller are professors at theological schools with strong ties to Methodism. This program has been
created by two United Methodist ministers, Jeff Procter-Murphy and David Felten for
Livingthequestions.com LLC. While materials for group study are available on the website, there is
also a DVD available for individual study which can be found
here.   More information on the
Hennepin Church program can be found
here.  http://hennepinchurch.org/2014/06/painting-stars/    

Faith Communities Across the United States

The Huffington Post had an interesting article
depicting the buildings of arbitrarily selected
faith communities across the United States.  
One structure was selected for each state and
reflects the diversity of religion in this, the most
religious country in the industrial world.  I hope you
enjoy this journey, though not specifically related to
science and religion, that depict the variety of faiths
in our country.  You can find the article
here.  
June 18, 2014

Boston Avenue Methodist Church
Tulsa, Oklahoma