In the Bible Study on Sunday, Dr. Elaine Heath said that “We are at the beginning of the Third Great Awakening.” What are the signs? She indicated that 80% of students who go to seminary don’t plan on being ordained. She sees a shift to the youth wanting nontraditional ministry; it’s a global movement due to things like the internet. Note that when God does a new thing, she said, he never starts from the top; he starts from the margins. Good things happen when you start from the bottom, with the small and with the weak, Heath indicated. She continued, “Jesus was born in a poor family; he was at times homeless. What does it mean to follow a God who is homeless? God will not be boxed in. We are in the front end of an awakening. All you have to do is study church history. In the Book of Revelation, it says ‘God in Christ is making all things new.’ It’s a new unfolding and we are privileged to be part of it.”

Heath explained that the new awakening is Eucharistic; small communities of faith are where this will happen. She said that we need to make space for the apostolic innovators. Heath explained, “The bad news is that change calls into question who has the power, who gets to preside, who gets to wear the stole. There is a very special role for people who now have power and influence. These people love God, have been faithful, will continue to be faithful the rest of their lives. Make sure that the people in the old system are being cared for in the new structure. They’re providing resources for the apostolic innovators.”

Heath said, “This really has to be the work of the people and not the clergy. We have a lot of work to do to heal the polarization in the Church. Jesus is calling us into a new way of thinking of how we relate to others. The third great awakening is upon us. It’s happening. The seeds have been planted. God is calling forth people of this Annual Conference. This is an exciting time; we don’t need to be afraid.” She encouraged Wisconsin to call forth the ones who have apostolic gifts, have the courage to say yes, and protect the young seedlings. 

Click here to view the PowerPoint slides from her presentation.