Dianne Reistroffer

Rev. Dr. Dianne Reistroffer, an elder in the Wisconsin Conference and former dean of Louisville Theological Seminary, lead an inspiring Bible study Saturday morning at the Annual Conference session. The theme of her presentation was Sowing the Seeds: Freed By Love, Acting with Justice. On a personal note, Reistroffer congratulated Bishop Jung on his 10 years in episcopacy. She called him “wicked smart and deeply compassionate.”

She went on to tell the story of Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874) who was raised with strict Methodist values and a family that worshipped together twice a day. Although she lost three of her first four children, she found herself religiously renewed. Palmer went on to author three books on holiness. She emphasized entire sanctification or Christian perfection as the “beauty of holiness: or the grace of perfect love.” According to Reistroffer, Palmer had a huge impact on us and the Church. She still offers us a compelling vision for us, she said.

Reistroffer said that today there is more emphasis on conversion, rather than discipleship. She continued, too many Christians stop at conversion, but we need to sow the seeds. She explained that John Wesley called on Methodists to strive “to have all that mind that was in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5), with love as the motive of their lives and actions. “We love because God loves us first. God is love.”