Methodist Council

I wasnt sure what to expect when I turned up, however I was pleasently surprised by the diversity of people who were there!

The most entertaining thing about the weekend was the fact that the fire alarm went of twice during the night, with the result that at 1.30 in the morning, the entirety of Methodist Council was stood in the small chapel, with Martyn Atkins reading out each persons name for them to reply 'here!'. Also, it was noted, that most of the men arrived fully dressed . . . shirts, suit jackets and trousers, proably socks and the essential tie too!

Business is done in the same way that conference is; with the addition of small conversation groups.

"In a ground-breaking new initiative, the Council approved the appointment of three Companions to work with particular international partner churches. The Companions are the first to be appointed in a pilot scheme that will seek to strengthen the Church in its relationships with partner churches around the world.

The Council also pledged support for the Stamp Out Poverty campaign. Stamp Out Poverty is a network of organisations including Christian Aid and Oxfam which campaigns for additional sources of finance to help bring the world’s poorest people out of poverty.

Children’s charity Action for Children featured on the agenda, with Council members approving a strategy for closer working between Action for Children and the Methodist Church on international issues.

As a practical expression of the Church’s commitment to ecumenical working, the Council also pledged to invite a representative from the United Reformed Church’s Mission Council to attend future meetings as a participative observer. A representative from the Methodist Council will also attend Mission Council meetings and the two bodies will explore the possibility of a joint meeting to be held in 2010.
Other topics discussed at the Council included the Church’s engagement with the media, the need to support local churches in fostering discipleship and the Church’s pension schemes for ministers and lay employees."

Read more here.

God in 140 characters

“What does the word “God” mean to you?" (My thanks to the Rev. Bosco Peters)

  • God is the only one who loves me with no strings attached for all of my worthlessness
  • what does the word God mean to me? He is my “Everything”
  • Father, Saviour, love, purpose, love, power, love, mercy, love, regeneration, love, adventure, love, authority, love, compassion
  • God is the source and ground of all that is; in all and beyond all;truth;love;without beginning or end
  • God is the creator of all that is, and the sure and loving guide of its development
  • God is love; God is; God is being.
  • To me God means conscience - thinking before you act and feeling guilty if you get it wrong.
  • God is the Present Moment. All in All. God is Good. God is.
  • God is a deity in theistic and deistic religions, representing the sole deity in monotheism or a principal deity in polytheism…
  • One, Transcendent, unknowable, yet closer to me than my own life
  • Grace, Omnipresence, Divine
  • “in him whom we live and move and have our being.”
  • The Centre of my being and the Being at every Centre
  • 1 word……. GOD = LOVE

Gainsbrough

When I was invited to attend the Lincolin & Grimsby district Youth weekend, I'll admit that I was a little nervous because I havent been involved with a youth group for a while.

It was a really entertaining weekend in all; we visited the rectory in Epsom where John Wesley grew up, went on a brilliant ghost walk & burnt a minature version of the orginal rectory (To celebrate the burning of the orgional rectory where John was rescued from the flames - 'a brand plucked from the burning').

We spent some time in the nearby youth facility & created mocktails among other things.

The Sunday morning worship was brilliant with a youth band and Martyn Atkins preaching.

My fears were eased towards the end when I was accepted by the group and a declared a 'double giant sized star bar' - Im assure its a compliment!

My thanks to the organisers & youth groups who attended.

Holiness and Risk








Holiness and Risk was a conference last weekend that around 200 people attended. People like Chairs of district, Superintendents, District Evangelism Enablers and various different people from all over the connexion turned up, not sure what to expect.

The concept of the event was to inspire and challenge those people who are 'agents of change', to actually make change happen! There were keynote speakers, workshops and small groups, which enabled us to talk through our big visionary ideas and learn from each other.
As to be expected, some people found this more useful than others, but my experience was definitely a positive one.

I was very lucky in that my small group was fairly diverse. We had myself (One of 5under 25s and the only female in my group, I was definitely a minority!) a minister/District evangelism enabler from Bolton, a male deacon, the mission secretary for the German united Methodist church, a minister from Newcastle and a superintendent who was very animated and had loads of big ideas.

I found that the weekend helped me air my vision and ideas around the Youth Participation Strategy and test them out a little bit, as well as allowing me meet and chat to people who wanted to know more about the work I'm doing.

I found it quite frustrating that there was very little spoken about Youth Participation in the Methodist church and how that will bring change; When I think about the future of the Methodist church, I see something bright and new and beautiful where true participation is taking place. A place where all can participate equally through all layers of the church.

The conference as a whole was set up to allow everybody to participate equally, however that's only if you enjoy listening to people speaking and then talking about it. I was disappointed that there was no opportunity to be creative in thinking about the vision and future of the Methodist church, because I think that it could have brought a different slant to the conference. It also meant that many people there were exhausted from thinking all day.

Looking round to see so many ordained persons present at the conference was both a good and bad thing; Considering that Methodism is a lay-movement there were very few un-ordained people there. I think that there are many people sat in our congregations who are bursting with great ideas, but never really get the chance to air them. A few more of those key people would have changed the air that weekend.

See some of the pictures at; http://www.methodist.org.uk/static/holinessandrisk/holinessandriskpicasaalbum.htm

Street Pastoring in Newcastle


































While in Newcastle, the President (picture above, centre in black), Vice president (2nd picture from bottom on left) and I went out on the streets in help those people who needed help. On the night, it was fairly quiet so we didn't do a whole lot of work (Although, I helped a girl fix her tutu . . . !) but it was still an incredible experience, to see what its like to be a servant to everyone, no matter what.
Being able to walk the streets (In my 'street pastor's beanie!) and be a servant to those that needed help, to chat and offer support to the homeless and be a living witness of the love of God to those that have it, was a privilege for me.
The scheme has made a huge local impact, from supportive relationships with the police and security bouncers to enabling young people to ask questions about God and receive support from the pastors.
If you live in or around Newcastle and want to get involved with the project, get in contact with them because they are looking for volunteers!