Hyde and Denton Methodist Circuit

Information eXchange 23
September 2015

Fuller information can be obtained by clicking on the relevant links.

All information herein is intended for use in churches in whatever form the user thinks fit. If printed, an acknowledgement of source should be included. Further Email ‘subscribers’ can be added by contacting me at gosling.jb@btinternet.com .

John B Gosling

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God is not nice. God is not an uncle. God is an earthquake Hasidic saying

New President of Conference

The newly elected President of the Methodist Conference has urged the Church to ‘take God seriously’ and put evangelism back on the agenda. In his inaugural address the Revd Steve Wild challenged each Methodist church in Britain to aim to bring just one person to faith in the coming year, saying: “Let’s take God seriously. “We cannot sit back in complacency. We have a massive Kingdom of God task. I'm wanting this year to challenge each church to bring one person to faith - to make one new member this next year, let’s make bringing people to faith the main point, we don't do it alone. The unconditional love of Jesus is our motivation.”

New Vice President

The newly appointed Vice-President of the Methodist Conference has called for the Church to find its distinctive voice in her inaugural address. Dr Jill Barber questioned ‘Where is the Methodist voice?’ Jill suggested that through a renewed focus on the four ‘P’s of Prophesy, Prayer, Passion and Protest Methodism can find its voice, speak out to make a difference and speak more effectively whilst embracing its distinctiveness and diversity. “Have we lost that passion for living out the gospel through social and political action? Is there a danger that we have privatised our faith, so that it makes us feel better as individuals, but we fail to relate it to wider community and global issues? I want to call on Methodists to get involved in local and national politics. To become a voice for change, challenging the politics of self-interest and upholding the politics of the common good.”

President and vice president 2016 – 2017

The Methodist Conference has elected the Revd Dr Roger Walton to be President of the Conference in 2016/17, and Ms Rachel Lampard to be Vice-President. For ten years Roger was the Director of the Open Learning Centre, and for eleven years the Director of the Wesley Study Centre in Durham. He is currently the Chair of the West Yorkshire Methodist District

Rachel is the leader of the Joint public Issues Team which has for many years been at the forefront of campaigns about UK poverty nuclear weapons and climate change. She is an active member of Winchester Road Methodist church in Walthamstow.

The role of President of the Methodist Conference is reserved for Presbyters, and that of Vice-President for lay people or deacons.

In what we share, let us see the common prayer of humanity. In what we differ, let us wonder at the freedom of humankind. Jewish prayer

From Methodist E-News, May 2015

New local preachers and worship leaders training course.

September 2015 sees the launch of Worship: Leading and Preaching the new local preacher’s and worship leader’s Course. The course is delivered online and will be freely available to all Methodists for further study. The course has been written by people from across the Connexion with a wide experience of leading worship. The training pathway and assessment is radically different to Faith & Worship.

You can find out more about Worship: Leading and Preaching at http://methodist-news.org.uk/BVI-3EMLP-3A7QH5-1LXJAZ-1/c.aspx

If you think God might be calling you to preach or lead worship go to http://methodist-news.org.uk/BVI-3EMLP-3A7QH5-1LXJB0-1/c.aspx

Support the vulnerable.
Leaders from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have signed an open letter to the re-appointed Prime Minister, David Cameron, encouraging him to hold ‘truth, justice, peace and wellbeing’ at the heart of the government. With a focus on ’loving our neighbour’, the letter reminds the Prime Minister that a wholesome society should be concerned for the weakest and most vulnerable, both locally and globally.

The letter highlights several of the key concerns that the Churches believe should be high on the agenda of the new government, calling for a full review of the impact of the benefits sanctions system, a postponement of further spending on Trident and a serious re-assessment of the need for nuclear weapons, assertive international action to uphold human rights and deliver humanitarian assistance in Syria and action to make freedom of religion a human rights priority in all aspects of foreign policy.

You can read the letter here

From Methodist E-News June 2015

Review of Past cases of abuse in the Methodist Church.

The Methodist Church in Britain has published the report of an independent review of past safeguarding cases related to the Church from 1950 to 2014. You can read the full report here. Speaking on behalf of the Church, the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins has issued a full and unreserved apology to survivors and victims of abuse in response to the report:

The aim of conducting the review and writing the report has been to learn the lessons of the past so that safeguarding work within the Methodist Church is of the highest possible standard and the Church is safe for all. In each identified case, the Church’s response was reviewed on whether it had been safe, pastorally appropriate and compliant with current legislation and policy. Where possible and appropriate cases have been referred to the police or other remedial action has been taken.

The review, which has taken three years, was led by former Deputy Chief Executive of Barnardo’s Jane Stacey, who has had a long career in senior management of organisations in the child welfare field. She said, “There are many lessons to be learnt, but the most challenging are those that require a significant culture change throughout the Church, and particularly for ministers and Church leaders. The Church will need further courage to implement the review’s recommendations, which are far-reaching and call for major changes in both practice and culture. The Methodist Church has already taken measures to improve safeguarding across the Connexion and implementing the learning from this review will be the next step to ensuring that the Church can be a safe place for all.”

"Mutual cooperation, not mutual destruction," say Churches

Following an unprecedented 107 nations having signed a pledge to "stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in light of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences and associated risks", the Methodist Church along with three other major UK Churches have welcomed the news, but called on the UK Government to unblock discussion of new multilateral disarmament initiatives.

Talking of marriage and relationships The Methodist Church is holding a conversation about whether or not the Church should revisit our definition of marriage. This could include considering matters such as same-sex marriage but also broader aspects of human relationships in the modern world.

In 2014 the Methodist Conference set up a task group to guide and support these conversations, which publishes and regularly updates resources on the Methodist website here

From All We Can (MRDF) June 2015

The long road to recovery
Nepal was already one of the least developed countries in the world before the two devastating earthquakes struck in April and May. With the generous and quick response from All We Can supporters our local partners were able to reach out to communities almost immediately. Food, shelter and other basic provisions have been distributed to isolated communities and our partner Kopila Nepal have begun trauma counselling in some of the affected regions. The road to recovery in Nepal is going to be a long one with many challenges ahead but All We Can is committed to working alongside existing local partners and specialis emergency response partners for as long as is needed.

Find out more about our response in Nepal

Climate change is a real and serious threat to our world, it jeopardises livelihoods and displaces entire communities. In our monthly prayer update we highlight the key areas that we would suggest you to pray for.

Join with us in prayer

From World Church Relationships Bulletin (‘Overseas Mission’ as it used to be called - mostly)

Full Bulletin can be down loaded here

Migration woes.

I’m not very good at long car journeys. When our students leave the seminary, many are posted to the Bamenda area, up in the highlands in the north west of Anglophone Cameroon. Bamenda is a beautiful place, but the journey there is tedious.

As I was complaining, one of my fellow passengers said, “Rev, this is nothing. I once travelled to Morocco by bus.” “What happened?” I asked. His answer really hit me hard. He spent two weeks roasting in a bus that reached temperatures as it crossed the largest desert in the world. He stopped eating in order to conserve money. People who did not have enough money were reduced to the most degrading acts in order to continue the journey. “Rev,” he said, “I saw and heard things I cannot repeat. When I eventually reached Morocco and they took me to the boats leaving for Europe, I had a change of heart.” I can’t swim. When I heard about the people who drowned, I just wanted to come back home. It was too terrible.”

What is it that these people are really seeking? Is it education, healthcare or wealth? I don’t presume to know what drives them. All I know is that I have taken all this stuff for granted. I’ve grown up in a nation that gives its citizens practically everything they need to make something of themselves – so much so that many Cameroonians would be willing to sacrifice everything to get to it.

“No longer abandoned”

The Methodist Church in El Salvador has produced a video which highlights some of the work the Church is doing with support from the Methodist Church in Britain and the World Mission Fund. “I am thankful to the Methodist Church of Great Britain for giving us financial assistance to sustain and maintain the Church,” says Pastor Ana Gloria-López, from La Gloria Methodist Church. This church community started in 2007 and was abandoned and isolated from the Church and the government for many years. The Church promised the community that they would no longer be abandoned and without a church, and that they would always be a part of the Church and that it would always be open to them. Mission Partners Paul Collins and Maura Cook have been serving in Ahuachapán since 2012. Maura teaches English to young children. She says there are lots of job opportunities available to those who can speak English well, and therefore it is very important for El Salvadorian children to learn English.

The Methodist Church in Britain also supports the Church in El Salvador through NMA postholder Dr Leti Aguirre, resident doctor of their Methodist Medical clinic. The clinicused to receive 25-30 patients a day; this has now increased to over 40.

For more information, please contact Sandra Lopez

Church and politics.

Steve Pearce, partnership coordinator for Asia and the Pacific, recently visited the Methodist Church in Fiji.

“Both the nation of Fiji and the Methodist Church there had a new start in 2014,” writes Steve.

“A general election ended eight years of difficult relationships between the Methodist Church in Fiji and a military government led by Frank Bainimarama – the only time in Pacific history a church has been attacked so seriously by its government. The Methodist governance process – including the Conference and Divisional meetings – was shut down as well as the main fundraising events (including the biggest choir festival in the world). Members responded by paying 100% of their church levy and the Methodist Church in Britain began paying an annual grant to the Methodist Church Fiji aimed at registering church land and increasing its income generation potential.”

The Standing Committee members still have a court case pending against them, but leaders have held meetings with government leaders, including Frank Bainimarama, who is now Prime Minister, and with leaders of the opposition. There is a general feeling that relationships have largely been restored and that the Methodist Conference will take place this year in its normal form.

Some day, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.
Teilhard de Chardin (1881 - 1995)

 

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