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The Rev. Tonya Elmore takes communion from the Rev. Virginia Kagoro. Holy Communion was part of the Service of Remembrance at the 215 Alabama-West Florida Conference on June 1. Photo by Luke Lucas, Alabama-West Florida Conference.

Photo by Luke Lucas, Alabama-West Florida Conference

The Rev. Tonya Elmore, pastor at Enterprise First United Methodist Church, takes communion from the Rev. Virginia Kagoro, pastor at Locust Bluff United Methodist Church.

Addendum page to The United Methodist Vocabulary Quiz


1. What is the person called who assists in a worship service, including the lighting of candles?

The correct answer is acolyte.

Typically, the role of acolyte is filled by a young person, and offers a way to participate more fully in church services. Duties often include distributing and collecting offering plates, and lighting and extinguishing candles on the communion or altar table. But adults are allowed to serve as acolytes, too. The local pastor can decide who serves and what duties are appropriate.

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2. A way to partake of the elements in the Lord’s Supper is:

The correct answer is intinction, the act of dipping the bread into a chalice filled with wine, then eating the moistened bread.

The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, and the Eucharist are all names for this sacrament celebrated by United Methodists. It is a sign of our life as Christians. As the Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards explains, “…in the Lord’s Supper, God feeds us, sustains us, and empowers us to live as Christians in the world.”

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3. If you are outside the church and want to enter the sanctuary, what do you usually go through?

The correct answer is the narthex, the part of the church building that connects to the entrance door of the sanctuary.

4. What is a station?

The answer is a pastor’s only church.

A station is a pastoral assignment that is made of only one local church. This is in contrast to a circuit, which contains two or more churches.

5. When local churches send part of their offerings to their district and conference, it is called…

The correct answer is apportionment, a long-standing tradition in The United Methodist Church.

This method ensures that the important work of the church all over the world is accomplished through connected congregations, accomplishing what no single church, district or annual conference could do alone. The general funds include the World Service Fund, the Ministerial Education Fund, the Episcopal Fund, the Black College Fund, the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund, the Africa University Fund, and the General Administration Fund.

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6. Before we have a relationship with God, he offers us what kind of grace?

The correct answer is prevenient grace, a presence that does not depend upon our actions or response.

The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016, defines this grace as “the divine love that surrounds all humanity and precedes any and all of our conscious impulses.” As a parent loves a child that is not yet born, God’s prevenient grace does not require anything from us. It does motivate us, though, stirring within us a desire to know God and empowering us to respond to his invitation to relationship. How wonderful that God’s prevenient grace seeks us!

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7. What’s the name of the four-year period after each General Conference?

The correct answer is quadrennium.

The quadrennium is the four-year period after each General Conference during which the church carries out the policy and plans approved during that General Conference.

8. If you want to serve as a local pastor, deacon, or elder, you would apply for what?

The answer is candidacy, a discerning and preparatory period of time for the candidate.

Those who want to serve as local pastors, deacons or elders use this time to explore their calling. During this time, the candidates also guided and evaluated by their annual conference.

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9. What do we call the bread and wine used in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper?

The correct answer is elements, the bread and wine used in the Lord’s Supper.

This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion acknowledges the presence of Christ in the Holy Meal, but does not claim to explain it fully. United Methodists affirm Christ is truly present to us in the bread and cup over which we offer the Great Thanksgiving, led by an authorized presider. We believe the elements are a tangible way through which God works, and where… the past, present, and future of the living Christ come together by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may receive and embody Jesus Christ as God’s saving gift for the whole world.”

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10. If you want to know what United Methodists believe, you would start with what section of The Book of Discipline?

The correct answer is Articles of Religion.

In 1563, the Church of England adopted 39 doctrinal standards to guide their faith and preaching. In 1784, John Wesley edited these basic statements of belief into 24 “Articles of Religion” and sent them to the emerging Methodist church in America. The American conference added an additional article, bringing the total to 25, and becoming the fundamental standards of belief for the Methodist Church in North America. In 1808, the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church passed the first Restrictive Rule, ensuring that the Articles of Religion may not be changed. To this day, the articles are printed unchanged in each edition of The Book of Discipline.

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