Members of the United Episcopal Church lead these ministries.
Primitive Methodist Society
Missionary Diocese of the West
The United Episcopal Methodist Society is an example of how methodism would work if keeping with the Rev. John Wesley’s “Old Plan”. The Wesleyite Old Plan expected ‘the people called methodists’ to remain within the Anglican Church—leaving vestments, titles, hours, and sacraments to the established clergy. Members privately follow a General Rule, attend Class Meetings, testify at Love Feasts, and frequently use the Prayer Book in local groups. If lacking a regular parish ministry, and living in Western states, please contact us!
Br. Charles Bartlett
Update: Due to relocations from the San Francisco Area at the end of 2020, our fellowship has dispersed, taking a new course. This site remains archived. Mr Bartlett is happy to discuss Old Plan Methodism or lay-led Anglicanism anytime. Follow us at the Western Harbinger.
Examples of open-air exhortations in San Jose & Santa Clara. “The first message of all our helpers is to the Lost Sheep of the Church of England“– Mr Wesley
We’re making a private methodistical society within the UECNA-West that uses class meetings and the prayer book to help spread ‘scriptural holiness across the land’, in other words, keeping the Wesleyite ‘Old Plan’. Please consider joining, especially if a lone family or individual seeking an evangelical connexion to the UECNA in the Far West where no regular ministry or diocese otherwise exists. Our offices or Ranks can be found at our Regulations page, and, after probation, new members receive a Quarterly Ticket, 1928 Book of Common Prayer, and a copy of our General Rule. Phone: 408 564 2435 (Mr Bartlett)
example of a quarterly ticket
The Wesleyite ‘Old Plan’
The Primitive Methodist Society in the UECNA-West (aka. United Episcopal Methodist Society) is an example of how a consistent Methodism would operate if keeping with Mr. John Wesley’s ‘Old Plan’. The Wesleyan Old Plan expected “the people called Methodists” to remain within the Anglican Church, which was “nearer the scriptural and primitive plan than any other national Church upon earth”. Consequently, it was Mr. Wesley’s wish for his people stay societal(*)– not forming a new sect but remaining “Church of Englandmen still”‘. This purpose Wesley called the “peculiar glory of the Methodists” to spread scriptural holiness throughout the land thereby reforming both church and nation.
Arguably, methodistical Anglicanism began with the Oxford Holy Club in 1726, but a more particular form of it, known as Wesleyite methodism, began with the Foundry Society in 1739. Respecting the latter, Wesley said if his people ever abandoned “the doctrine, spirit, and discipline they first set out”, they would become “a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.” So, we imitate the earliest scheme of Mr. Wesley and his associates as closely as possible, especially Wesley’s original General Rule with Class Meetings (see below).
Though our religious concerns are practical, far from departing from the doctrine of the Church of England– or the grammatical meaning of the Thirty-nine Articles– ministers shall conform to the American Articles adopted by the Protestant Episcopal General Convention of 1801 (so resting all concern). Otherwise, we modestly recommend the perusal of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Articles of Religion especially for lay-members.
We also offer the older form of religious society known as “Woodwardian” started by Bishop W. Beveridge in the 1680’s. However, by the middle of the 18th c., many of the extant Woodwardian societies either joined or were absorbed into the Whitefieldian or Wesleyite societies.
Our religious community is listed at the UECNA’s national website. If you are resident anywhere the Western US states, you may join, filling out the fields given at our Contact page. There is no denominational test– the only requirement being a wish “to flee the coming wrath, and be saved from sin”. We will reply in a speedy manner, further discussing the nature of our Society– its purpose, its relationship to the history of the early Protestant Episcopal Church, our connexion to UECNA, its probation period, General Rules, and use of meeting Tickets. We also pledge a personal visit by a fellow-laborer (see below). Societal grades and offices include hearer, probationer, exhorter, leader, and helper.
(*)The term “Primitive” indicates a strong commitment to be ‘societal’– deferring vestments, titles, hours, and sacraments to the established Church. Such was the example of the Irish Primitives, (see Irish Minutes Q. 3,4,5, 20, 21, and 22). But, in America “primitive” often included greater lay-involvement, as with Bailey’s Reformed- or O’Kelly’s Republican-Methodists.In keeping with the Old Plan, there are two special helps we share, namely, the Class Meetings and the American Prayer Book. See sections below.
|Class Meetings |
Today, historic class meetings are nigh extinct among Anglicans and similarly among Methodists . However, although only a private service, during the 18th-century such meetings were fairly common with pious Churchmen, even adopted by evangelical Church of England vicars and rectors, including the calvinist Whitefieldians.
In order to make “our calling and election sure”, we follow the plan of societal gatherings known by evangelical Anglican clergy like the Revs. Vincent Perronet, John Fletcher, William Grimshaw, Thomas Charles, and (on our side of the ‘water’) Laurence Coughlan & Thomas Vasey. Class meetings are a category of private worship, so they are not considered a Public Service. The key part of the class meeting is the General Rule. Class members pledge to abide by it, observing three parts: First, to avoid evil of every kind; second, doing good of every possible sort to all men; and, third, attending upon all the Ordinances of God. The general rule is a convenient way of monitoring our improvement in the Christian walk. The class meetings are inter-denominational in character, only asking attendees “to flee the coming wrath, and be saved from their sin“. Given right opportunity & season, we gently encourage others to consider Class Meetings. Again, see our society page about mid-way for the historic General Rule.
Mr. John Wesley, minister of the Church of England, said of the Prayer Book, “I believe there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety, than the Common Prayer of the Church of England”. Interestingly, Wesley’s abridged Book of Prayer anticipated many of the alterations by colonial Episcopalians. Like Wesley, our Protestant Episcopalians were concerned about ‘American circumstance’, amending the liturgy to meet long-standing scruple of a relatively substantial Dissenting population. In this way, the American book charitably extended bonds of unity in a manner an earlier generation of English revisers intended. See our BCP Preface.
Indeed, Bishop Robinson described the making of the American Prayer Book (from the Episcopalian revisions of 1785/89), “What resulted was an abbreviated and slightly more Protestant version of the 1662 that left out many of the customs that had offended moderate Puritans” (Glad Tidings 8/2019, p. 10). Hence, we believe the American Book is best suited to general Protestant appropriation, and arguably closer to Wesley’s Sunday Services than it is the English 1662 version. Keeping such in mind, we use our 1928 BCP in a plain & universal manner, connecting all sorts & conditions of men to it.
”Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Phil. 2:2-3 (KJV)
We’re also happy to schedule long-distance visits with inquiring, or otherwise desirous, people. South Bay householders are ideal since we belong to the same ‘abode’, but if you live anywhere in northern California, or the Far West (we are currently visiting Nevada & Arizona states), we’d be happy to arrange (an unofficial & informal) private meeting– encouraging others with possible Protestant lay-mission (Anglican or not). Free books and tracts are available, including our newsletter. We are interested in creating bonds of unity with anyone, especially those curious about the 1928 BCP (without Missal) and/or Class Meetings (with historical General Rule).
Mr. Bartlett can be contacted by email: email@example.com
as well as through social media links (at this site & here). For more information call 408-564-2435. Please join us!
“Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly union and concord” p. 37, 1928 BCP
Class & Love Feast Meetings. Photo taken from Glad Tidings article (Advent 2019, p. 5)
As an official UE Religious Community, we provide a societal connexion to the UECNA — a continuing Anglican church– where no regular ministry or diocese exists. The following are important excerpts from our bylaws approved by UE ecclesiastical authority in October 2019 at district Convocation. Portions of the bylaws are below, explaining subsections such as ‘officers’, ‘general rule’, ‘weekday worship’, and ‘Sunday services’. Our complete version of bylaws may be downloaded at the link found at the bottom of this page. Among unmentioned roles in our Society (not Helpers nor leaders) are hearer, exhorter, house-keeper, steward, probationist, and assistant leader. Upon reception into the Society, you will receive a Ticket to be renewed quarterly. Please contact us for more information: 408 564 2435
Believe, Love, Obey
Quest. What Officers mainly belong to this Society?
Answ. These are the Assistants, Helpers, and Leaders who answer the Episcopal Visitor. The labor of the Society, including its officers, shall restrict itself to the UE Missionary Diocese of the West.
Quest. Shall our ministers subscribe?
Answ. Though our religious concerns are practical, far from departing from the doctrine of the Church of England– or the grammatical meaning of the 39-Articles– our ministers shall conform to the American Articles adopted by our General Convention in 1801. Otherwise, we modestly recommend for every person who would be a lay-member of this society the perusal of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Articles.
The General Rule:
Below are the terms of membership of our Society, keeping with the original General Rule published in 1743:
“There is one only condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies, a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins. But where this is really fixed in the soul, it will be shown but its fruits. It is therefore expected of all who continue therein, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation”,
1. First, by doing no harm (Isa. i.16, Rom. xii.9), by avoiding evil in every kind; especially, that which is most generally practiced.
Such is taking the name of God in vain (See 3rd Commandment., Mat xi.37)
The profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing ordinary work thereon or by buying or selling (See 4th Com., Isa lviii. 13-14, Num. xv.32-35; also tract, Word to Sabbath-Breaker)
Drunkenness, buying or selling spirituous liquors, or drinking them, without necessity (See Rom. xiii.13, Mat xxiv.36- , 1Thes. v.6-8)
Fighting, quarreling, brawling; brother going to law with brother; returning evil for evil, or railing for railing (See 6th Com., 1Cor vi.7, 1Cor v.11, Rom. xii.17)
: the using many words in buying or selling (Col. iii.9, Rev. xxi.8 & xxii.15, John viii.44, Eph. iv.25)
The buying or selling uncustomed goods (Mat 22.21, Rom xiii.1)
The giving or taking things on usury: i.e., unlawful interest (Exod. xxii.25, Lev. xxv.35-37, Jer.xv.10, Ezek. xviii.5-9, Jam. v.1-3)
Uncharitable or unprofitable conversation, particularly speaking evil of magistrates or of ministers (Col. iv.6, Acts. xxiii.25)
Doing to others as we would not they should do unto us (Mat. vii.12, Lk. vi.21)
Doing what we know is not for the glory of God (1 Cor. x.31 & vi. 19-20)
The putting on of gold and costly apparel:
The taking such diversions as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus:
The singing those songs, or reading those books, which do not tend to the knowledge or Love of God (Js v.13, Eph. 12.3, Col.iii.16-17):
Softness and needless self-indulgence (Mat. x.38, Mark viii.34, Lk. ix.23).
Laying up treasures upon earth (Mat. vi.19-21, 1Tim. vi.9-10)
Borrowing without probability of paying: or taking up goods without probability of paying them (Mark x.18-19, 1Cor. vi.8, Is. xxi.2 & xxxiii.1)
2. It is expected of all who continue in these societies, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation. Secondly, by doing good, by being in every kind, merciful after their power, as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and as far as is possible to all men (Isa. i.17, Mat. iii.8, Acts xxvi. 19-20, Rom.xii.9)
To their bodies, of the ability which God giveth, by giving food to the hungry, by clothing the naked, by visiting or helping them that are sick, or in prison (Ecc. ix.10, Gal. v.10, Mat. xxv.31-46)
To their souls, by instructing, reproving or exhorting all we have any intercourse with: trampling under foot that enthusiastic doctrine of devils, that ‘we are not to do good, unless our heart be free to it (2Thes. v.14, Lev. xix.17, Deut. vi.7, Heb. iii.12-13)
By doing good especially to them that are of the household of faith, or groaning so to be; employing them preferably to others, buying one of another; helping each other in business, and so much the more, because the world will love its own, and them only (Gal. vi.10, 1Jn iii.14)
By all possible diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not blamed (Mat. v.16, Rom. xii.11 & 17, 1Tim. v.8, 1 Pe. 11.2, 1Cor. xv.58, 2Cor vi.3).
By running with patience the race that is set before them denying themselves, and taking up their cross daily; submitting to bear the reproach of Christ, to be as the filth and off-scouring of the world, and looking that men should say all manner of evil of them falsely for the Lord’s sake (Mat. xvi 24, Mark viii.34, Mat. v. 10-11, Mat. x.25, Mat. xix.28-29)
3. It is expected of all who desire to continue in these societies, that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation
Thirdly, By attending upon all the ordinances of God* (Luke 1.16, Isa. lv.6). Such are
The public worship of God (Psa. xliii.4 and lxxxiv.10, Luke 11.37, Judges xx.26)
The ministry of the word, either read or expounded (Acts xx.2, 2Tim. iv.2, Rom. x.17)
The supper of the Lord (Acts ii.46, 1Cor xi.24)
Family (Joshua xxiv.15, Acts x.2)
and private prayer (Psa. cxix.164, Dan. vi.13, Acts ix.10, Mat. xiv.23 and vi.6)
Searching the scriptures (Deut. vi.7, Psa. 1.2, Rev. 1.3, John v.39, Luke x.26, Acts xvii.11)
Fasting or abstinence (Joel 11.12, Mat. vi.17, Mark ix.29, 1Cor. viii.5 and ix.27)
Singing Hymns and Psalms and spiritual Songs (Mat. xxxi.30, James v.13, Col. iii.17)
”These are the General Rules of our Societies; all which we are taught of God to observe, even in his written word, the only rule, and the sufficient rule both of our faith and practice. And all these we know his Spirit writes on every truly awakened heart. If there be among us who observe them not, who habitually break any of them, let it be made known unto them who watch that soul, as they that must give an account. We will admonish him of the error of his ways: We will bear with him for a season. But then if he repent not, he hath no more place among us. We have delivered our soul.”
“Section XXI: Weekday Worship
1. The use of the daily office or forms for family prayer in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer is commended. The select Lessons and Psalms should be read during the course of the week, even the 1922 or 1945 lectionary. 2. The litany should be read by Helpers and Assistants each Wednesday and Friday.3. Members shall Fast every Friday.”
1. Regarding Anglican liturgy, Wesley said,
“I believe there is no liturgy in the world, either in ancient or modern language, which breathes more of a solid, scriptural, rational piety, than the Common Prayer of the Church of England. And though the main of it was compiled considerably more than two hundred years ago, yet is the language of it not only pure, but strong and elegant, in the highest degree.”
2. The Book of Common Prayer, according to the Use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, accepted by the General Convention of 1928, also known as ‘the standard book’ in the UECNA, is hereby declared to be the Prayer Book of this Society.
3. Any other books other than the 1928 BCP shall be used in “addition to” and not “instead of” the 1928 BCP. An example might
be collects borrowed from the 1892 American
4 The Society shall hold no service during church hours (forenoon) unless there be no United Episcopal Church, or evangelical church in unity with the UECNA, within an hour’s drive.
5. There shall be no administration of sacrament unless there be an ordained minister available.
6. Whenever Divine Service is performed on the Lord’s Day, the officiating person shall read either the Service of the Protestant Episcopal Church, approved by the General Convention in 1928– also known as the standard book– OR the Lessons appointed by the calendar, concluding with the Daily Collect, or with other collects, and Grace. But we recommend the full service.
7. An abridged Service Book (e.g., without the Order for Holy Communion or Ordinal) may eventually be provided, drawn from the historical American BCP.
8. Let us continue to pray for the Supreme Rulers in these United States.
“Section XXIII: Of Forming Chapels or Preaching-Houses
2. We are “a network, or Society, of families and homes attending and promoting the private duties of Christian worship– neither intruding upon church hours nor the administration of gospel sacraments. In this respect, we draw upon the example of historic English, societal Protestantism. These private duties include the regular reading of holy scripture, daily family & closet prayers, catechizing of children, hymn & psalter-singing, mutual watching, & keeping Godly conversation as described by our General Rule. The society shall provide prudential advice, instruction, and occasional literature for advancing such duties among the people– e.g., householders, Sabbath-School teachers, and others. Where divine Providence prompts, brethren may draw together forming chapel(s), or preaching-houses, for the United Episcopal Church or other denomination(s) [the plural indicating even federated chapels], without harm or scandal to the unity of the society or our profession of brotherly love. Regardless, all chapels will charitably and reasonably permit Helpers, and other officers of this Society, to access such properties for the continuance of societal fellowship and worship while wanted”
Quest. 1 Is there any exception to the rule, ‘Let the men and women sit apart?’
Answ. There is no exception. Let them sit apart in all our Houses.
“Quest. 2 What is the Design of the Methodist Society?”
“A. It is thus expressed by Mr. Wesley:—A body of people, who, “being of no sect or party, are friends to all parties; and endeavour to forward all in heart religion, in the knowledge and love of God and man.”
6. Christian Unity is summed by Mr. Wesley’s sermon on ‘The Catholic Spirit’ (Sermon 39). Wesley said we are of “no particular sect nor party; we are friends to all”.
The above sections are extracts from our bylaws approved by Bp. Robinson, Oct. 2019. Complete bylaws may be downloaded here.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”. Heb. 12:14
District of the West Convocation 10/2019. Mr Bartlett kneeling to RightCall for an Anglican Minister * Our Class Leader * Our Preaching Points Please join us! We are part of a network of families and Protestant homes, aka. Church of God (p. 546, 1928 BCP), in northern California (Fremont, Auburn, & Sonora). We keep keep class meetings and use the American prayer book, being a connexion in the United Episcopal Church (UECNA) for lone persons in the West. The Society has ranks for class leaders, exhorters, preachers, and Helpers if aspiring. New members begin with a societal Ticket, an edition of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, and handbook for our General Rule.
We are also searching an episcopally-ordained Anglican minister to provide local leadership. We are in the process of calling a minister to fill some of the above roles, right in learning and godly conversation ( p. 536, 1928 BCP). Contact us if ye be a deacon or priest, even an enrolled seminarian, interested in mission work in northern California as well as further afield. For information call 408-564-2435.
Opening for an Anglican Minister. We are looking for a bivocational minister to lead the extension of the United Episcopal Church in northern California, adorned with true Doctrine and innocency of life (p.. 237, 1928 BCP). Most of the work is in the south Bay Area and nearby, going to the highways and byways of the Far West. Please contact the Presiding Bishop for actual qualifications.
Our Class Leader. The Rev. Mr. Casey Fargo has been our class leader since 2017. He also occasionally preaches at Fremont’s UE chapel-in-formation. Mr. Fargo was ordained to the diaconate in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in 2013 and enjoys promoting biblical discipleship. He’s currently forming prayer meetings for the OPC in Angels Camp and Sonora CA. The Fargo family have been ministering to the sick and elderly for over ten years, mostly in San Francisco.
Our House-Keeper. Mr. Charles Bartlett was confirmed in the UECNA in 2010. He’s been a Reader for the UE in the South Bay since 2014, keeping a bare public worship at a local Quaker Meeting House. He continues to lend his home as a preaching point. Three of Mr. Bartlett’s six children were baptized by United Episcopal priests (and one by the Rev Mr Fargo) during local visitations over the years. He enjoys meeting other Christians in the Far West and loves old Oregon & California history.
“O God, who dost ever hallow and protect thy Church; Raise up therein, through thy Spirit, good and faithful stewards of the mysteries of Christ, that by their ministry and example thy people may abide in thy favor and be guided in the way of truth… Amen” (1928 BCP, p. 562)