Tag Archives: methodism

What Should Our Monument Look Like?

128 years ago Methodists were so well known, as was its leader John Wesley, that they built a monument and it offered water to feed animals just as the gospel waters the soul.

In summer of 2018 the trough offers sand rather than life giving water, people may remember methodism and even the Wesley brothers, but to the children its trough becomes a giant sand bucket. The landscape has changed, the monument is a memory of someone, or just ignored as life goes on around it.

May our impact as church not be seen only by the numerous plaques and monuments, but through our effort in discipling each generation that numbers more than the grains of sand in this awesome pop up beach.

I visited this site nearly 10 years ago and it was all paved, I was delighted to see it the way it is today, my concern was the metaphor of a monument to methodism that hasn’t effected its environment. Rather the environment evolved around it rather like an image of a small house between two luxury blocks of flats because the owner wouldn’t sell.  May as methodists we not make the same mistakes.

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We’re Better Than This

Summer is nearly over and as we head into September and face the challenges to come lets remember who we can be, a people reaching above the dialogue of fear to one of love and grace.

In light of the upsurge in discrimination and hate crime, the Methodist Church has called last week for its people to ‘challenge racism and discrimination.’ The Church went on to list a series of actions for people to engage with:

For a political debate which neither demonises any nor leaves the vulnerable (the foreigner, the immigrant and refugee) in danger of victimization.

On political leaders to work together for the good of the whole community putting the needs of the nation before party politics.

On all those in positions of power and authority to hear the voices of those who have been marginalised and alienated and to respond to them in ways which offer real hope for the future.

Whether you identify as Methodist or not is not the point here, the church across the board would agree with these sentiments including people of faith and of none.6a47f2a318a76564d268a9f5b1e83e03-2

How far outside of our comfort zone will we go for others, whilst honouring and maintaining the call God has placed on our lives to love our neighbour?

How might we respond as a group to the actions of the statement? eg one action might be to engage with the local media.

 

 

Originally posted on Dchurch 

Kneeling Before My Friend

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A pastor takes a moment from the business of the cathedral worship service to step into a side chapel, its windows overlooking the city in a wide angled panoramic. His heart is heavy and his eyes are brimming with emotion.

He feels the need to kneel before the centre piece of an altar and a cross. Checking that no one is around or could see him through the doorless entrance, he kneels, allowing the emotion to show in a measured way, the dam wall of pride and stubbornness holding back the deep waters of his swirling emotions.

“Save my children,” he stutters through gritted teeth, “I want them to know you lord.” And as he bowed his head in prayer and closes his eyes, he adds “save your church.” The silence and tears give way to a renewed commitment spoken to his Lord and King, “I commit myself to its survival, its future and I entrust my children to you. Amen.”

In those few moments in that side chapel, I wasn’t asking for salvation for my kids as much as I was asking the Lord, that my children might know Jesus as I do. As friend, shepherd, confidant. So that when they find themselves lost in the darkness that life can bring, they might know what being found by God feels like.

I long also for the healing of a broken church, filled with many different people’s, with diverse and entrenched views not dissimilar to my own. So kneeling before the altar, I recommitted myself to its future, its success, rather than listening to the naysayers, I choose instead a realistic hopefulness one rooted in faith in Jesus. I choose to hang my hat on the calling Christ has placed upon my shoulders, that of being a presbyter.

I don’t know what the future holds, whether British Methodism will rise much like the story of the fiery Phoenix of old, nor whether my children will know Jesus as shepherd and even Saviour in the same way I do. But I commit my way to trust the Lord knows what he is doing.

Broader speaking as pastors, lay people, whoever or whatever our role is in our beloved churches, of which neither the Pope, President, Moderator, Arch-bishop is head of but are able caretakers. For Christ is our head and he speaks through our leadership and our laity, through our community as a body of disciples and the community who don’t know the Christ who we follow. I wonder what are they saying to you?

Brothers and sisters let us lay our worries at Jesus’ feet, our fears and anxieties for what might become of us as a body of believers in the UK Methodist Church. Let’s live not as the persecuted or afflicted, not as cultural oddities, but as proud to be called Christian. May the term Christian, come to not be synonymous with racism, bigotry, abuse of others. But synonymous instead with a Jesus Christ who loves died and rose for everyone, gay, straight, men, women, kids, whoever.

I am Christian, a Methodist, a pastor, my identity is not denominationally bound, but Methodism is the home I feel most spiritually connected to. For its lack of religiosity, for its passion for the poor and marginalised and offering all people hope in Christ, for its failings and successes, finally for its future whatever that looks like.

Proverbs 3:5-6 With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow. (NRSV Translation)

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