Since I began studying Methodism in America and learned more this summer of the church's early roots from John and Charles Wesley, I continued to be drawn back to Susanna Wesley. As I heard hymns anew and listened to the teachings of John on my trip, I was intrigued by these men and yet still longed to know even more than I already have learned about this woman, their mother.
Her methods were precise. Her timing was intricate. Her patience was immeasurable. Her letters and journal entries model for us her life and the life of learning she encouraged for her children. I have a longing to connect with this woman who as a mother made a difference in this world in a huge way without being ordained in the church. She did what was before her. She answered the call to the nineteen children in her life. She trained her children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). It seems the model she set in her home had a great impact on Methodism and the church we know today as the United Methodist Church. Many of the hymns we sing and the small groups that are formed in churches all across our country are also inspired by these men and their upbringing. The impact of this woman cannot be measured by her duty to the church as much as it can be measured by her duty as a parent. This is an important reminder to me as a parent serving in ministry. I can never forget that my greatest mission field is inside my own home.
Whitney R. Simpson
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Whitney R. Simpson,
Exploring Peace Ministries, LLC