The quiet and hallowed halls of Wesley’s Chapel in London are preparing to be filled with the sounds of fellowship, the cacophony of multiple languages being spoken and for business that is different from the building’s normal existence in the heart of London.
The World Methodist Council is meeting.
Comprised of delegates from the Methodist, Wesleyan, Nazarene, United and Uniting traditions from all around the globe, the World Methodist Council is holding their 2013 meeting in historic Wesley’s Chapel as a way to reconnect the Council to its roots and as a place to “reset our Methodist compass” according to the Council’s General Secretary, Ivan Abrahams. The meeting is scheduled to take place from September 10-13.
The last time that the World Methodist Council met was in 2011 in Durban, South Africa at the World Methodist Conference. Meeting under the theme “Jesus Christ for the Healing of the Nations”, the Council addressed both the issues facing the Church as well as geopolitical, environmental and social issues.
The 2013 meeting is smaller in size, but much larger in scope. The organization hopes that this meeting will help bring about a new focus and role of prominence for the Council.
The Family Reunited
In the planning for the meeting, the Council has set about in changing the way the meeting takes place, with a greater emphasis on building consensus and communication and less on the business side of the organization. Each day of the meeting (and sometimes section of the day) is grouped under an unofficial theme to highlight what the day’s purpose is. The meeting themes include “The Family Gathers”, “The Family Discerns” and “Organizing for the Journey”.
Under the banner of each theme, the work of the Council commences. Some of the notable events include:
- A presentation of new Member Churches to the World Methodist Council. These churches, from Rwanda, Sweden and The Democratic Republic of the Congo, will be the 78th, 79th and 80th churches to join the organization.
- Every five years the World Methodist Council organizes and holds the World Methodist Conference. In 2016 the Conference will be held in Houston, Texas in the United States of America. The theme of the Conference as well as the logo will be unveiled.
- The World Methodist Peace Award will be presented to Marion and Anita Way, a husband and wife team of missionaries who have devoted their lives to helping others in Angola and Brazil.
Other agenda items include meetings of the organization’s standing committees, financial reports and reports from organizations affiliated with the Council.
Times to celebrate
But celebrations are also in order. From the opening prayers to the sending forth, the World Methodist Council’s meeting hopes to make others aware that their faith touches all corners of the globe in a chance to, as General Secretary Abrahams says “hear the heartbeat and pulse of God’s people, open hearts to be touched by the stories of others and outstretched hands to embrace the world the God so loves.”