I write this letter to you a few days after the celebration of Easter. We remember Christ’s resurrection as a moment where death itself was defeated, and the promise of the ultimate victory. Easter is also a time for new life and fresh beginnings. It’s a time to dream again about a new world full of hope in which all people work to promote justice, peace and salvation for the whole of God’s creation.
Last month I wrote to you of the retirement of Roma Wyatt, this month I report with regret that Amanda Riera-Gomez, the director of the World Methodist Museum in Lake Junaluska has resigned. I honor both women and their contributions to the Council, but I also accept this as a challenge to renew, reinvigorate and refresh the work in our home office in the United States, for we cannot ask individuals to be open to the “new” unless those of us in our own “global backyard” first commit ourselves to the same values. It is only when this happens that we become a credible instrument of God’s transformation in a changing world.
Over the course of my first year on the job I have spelt out my dream and vision for the Council but this can only be achieved if we work together. I am very aware that my task is not to merely keep the “super tanker” that is the World Methodist Council afloat but to transform it and change the course towards a bigger and bolder vision. Therefore, my sisters and brothers, it means that it is time for all hands on deck.
It cannot be business as usual rather I hope you hear the call for “business unusual”. Let me put it very bluntly; I trust that you are on board as we prepare for our Council meeting in London and to be part of something larger and more enduring.
In September we will gather to celebrate the 275th Anniversary of Wesley’s Aldersgate experience as well as the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the Wesleyan (later Methodist) Missionary Society. In many ways this is a “homecoming” especially as we will meet in Wesley’s Chapel where the World Methodist Council was formed in 1881. It is there that we will continue the transformation of the World Methodist Council, where we will solidify our bonds as one family, united in the Methodist and Wesleyan tradition and where business unusual can invigorate our spirits and quench our thirsts with the cool, clear waters of renewal.
I invite everyone on the Council to attend our meeting in London, and for the beginnings of business unusual.
Grace and Peace to you from God our Creator, Jesus Christ our Savior and the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life!
Ivan M. Abrahams