Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
There is great excitement as we watch the registrations increase for the 21st World Methodist Conference that will gather under the theme; “ONE” in Houston Texas from August 31- September 3. We have come a long way and achieved many milestones since the launch of the first Ecumenical Conference held at Wesley’s Chapel, London in1881. What counts is not the markers of the past but how we ultimately rise to the challenges of the day.
This year marks 60 years since the World Federation of Methodists and Uniting Church Women joined the Council. The World Methodist Museum at Lake Junaluska will be celebrating it’s 60th Anniversary with special events.
I recently met with the leadership of the World Fellowship of Methodist and Uniting Church Men or “WesleyMen” as they have come to be known. At the forefront of their mission and ministry is the commitment to end hunger around the globe. Find out what they are doing and how you can help in their recently released promotional video clip or at FastPrayGive.org.
I am pleased to report that the third meeting of the bi-lateral dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Baptist World Alliance took place last month (February 3-10) at Elstal Theological Seminary (near Berlin), Germany.
The World Methodist Council is the only World Christian Communion to have a Division of World Methodist Evangelism (WME). For the past 45 years, WME has called on ’Methodist people everywhere to recognise God’s calling through the Holy Spirit to strengthen and sustain the thrust of world mission and evangelism.’ One of the ministries of WME is the Order of the FLAME, an acronym for Faithful Leaders as Mission Evangelists. Over the past two decades, the Order has brought together young leaders within the Methodist family to strengthen spiritual formation and to equip for evangelism through word, deed and sign. Another fruit of the work of WME is the World Methodist Evangelism Institute (WMEI) housed at Emory University. Over the past 35 years, WMEI has offered to train clergy and laypersons across the globe. You are heartily invited to participate in upcoming seminars in Vladivostok, Russia, April 2-12 and St Thomas, Virgin Islands, July 5-14.
At the end of this month, let us commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the death of the pioneering bishop of American Methodism, Francis Asbury (1745-1816). During his 45 years of ministry, he preached over 16,000 sermons and travelled over 250,000 as an evangelist. He died on March 31, 1816, in Spotsylvania and was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetry in Baltimore, Maryland. Let us share in the Bicentennial celebrations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church established in 1816 by Bishop Richard Allen to affirm the God-given rights and dignity of African American Methodists – http://2016generalconference.org.
Methodists have come to understand that we have a common origin, spiritual inheritance and history. Significant figures in our history like John Wesley, Francis Asbury, Richard Allen, Isabella Bomefree, Charles Mott, Mercy Ama Oduyoye, Nelson Mandela and Joy Balazo belong to all Methodist.
Please uphold all displaced people in your prayers and particularly the people in Fiji as they rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston.
Strength to you in your Lenten journey.