Transcript: Churches Host Traveling Wesleys
(Locator: Greenville, South Carolina)
Photo montage (“I’ve Been Everywhere” by Hank Snow)
Narrator: Centuries ago, the Wesley brothers traveled thousands of miles to share their beliefs and make disciples. Today, John and Charles are making their rounds again—this time, in the form of laminated paper dolls. Meet the Flat Wesleys.
Narrator: On this Sunday, the founding brothers are special guests at, fittingly, Disciples United Methodist Church in Greenville, South Carolina.
(Offscreen): What are some of the cool things y’all are doing with the Flat Wesleys?
Addison Garrett: We’re going to the homeless shelter.
Lillian Garrett: We’ve colored pictures of them and talked about them in Children’s Church.
Debby Balcer: This is a great, fun way to introduce them to some of the history of the Methodist Church.
Isabelle Garrett: John Wesley died at 88.
Lillian Garrett: John Wesley went to Oxford College.
(Offscreen): And what did Charles do?
Natalie: He wrote songs.
The Rev. Debra Griffis-Woodberry: It helped us in a very creative way to reemphasize who we are and some of the unique principles of being a Wesleyan church.
Lillian Garrett: They call it The United Methodist Church because they would sit in their room and study for hours, and people would laugh and say “It’s a methodical way to study.”
Debby: The one with the Bible is?
Lillie: John Wesley!
Debby: And the one with the hymnal
Lillie: Charles Wesley!
Narrator: The Wesleys were circuit riders, and these paper versions will also circulate all summer at hundreds of United Methodist churches. Each congregation hosts the visitors for two weeks, then mails them to another church. Participants share their experiences through Facebook posts, pictures, and handwritten letters.
Melanie C. Gordon, Discipleship Ministries: That is pretty special, I think, for children to know that around the world people believe in the same way that they believe. What we want children to understand is that, in their Methodist heritage, there were these young men who saw that the church was not doing what the church needed to do. So we decided to connect it to covenant discipleship and help children to see that young people can lead the church.
Richardson Garrett: Glad my girls are a part of this. The Flat Wesleys, the part I like about it is, it’s helping them learn the history. It’s going to help them interact more with their classmates, people their age, help bring them into the church. And you can’t get where you’re going unless you know where you came from.
Lanneau Grant: The Flat Wesleys have been something that has made us come together as a church. We’re very proud to have had the Flat Wesleys here.