Jun 09, 2021 | By Jim Patterson | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News)

This week, and every week, thousands of United Methodist men will reflect online and out loud on how well they are living out their faith.

This ongoing communication with their peers will continue long after Gilbert C. Hanke retires as chief executive of United Methodist Men.

An early adopter of Zoom, Hanke established the Wesley Class Meeting as a weekly online gathering for faithful men before the coronavirus pandemic resulted in use of the virtual meeting platform to skyrocket. The concept came from the book “The Class Meeting: Reclaiming a Forgotten (and Essential) Small Group Experience” by the Rev. Kevin M. Watson.

Thousands of United Methodist men now take part in these weekly sessions, which Hanke considers a key accomplishment.

“We were doing virtual meetings before we had to do virtual meetings,” said Hanke during an interview in his modest office on Nashville’s Music Row. “It’s one of the most transformational things that we’ve done since I’ve been here.” Read More