New President of the Methodist Conference calls for confidence in telling the story of God to a fractured world
In an address on Saturday to the Conference outlining the theme for her Presidential year, ‘So what’s the story…?’, the Revd Dr Barbara Glasson used stories from her own life and ministry to reveal how we can find a “fragile strength” and from being present in difficult places we can, “surprise ourselves once again with the way of Jesus”.
She said: “We are called to tell stories, to listen to stories and to wrestle with stories, to search for truth not fake news, to challenge the malicious stories we tell about each other and to go on believing that as people of creation, exodus, crucifixion, wilderness wandering and even in exile we can still claim the hope of resurrection and the gracious promise of life in all its fullness.”
Dr Glasson’s ministry has been with the Bread Church in Liverpool, Touchstone, a Methodist interfaith project in Bradford, and with people who have experienced abuse following the Past Cases Review. She arrived at the Conference, being held this year in Birmingham, on foot having walked 133 miles from Huddersfield, stopping frequently en route to share and listen to the stories of communities along the way.
On a trip to China in 2017, Dr Glasson heard of the story of nineteenth century Cornish missionary, Samuel Pollard, brought up to date in a country with the fastest growing Christian population on earth. On another journey to Myanmar she encountered Shanti Kana, or safe space, a project run by All We Can for women, so that they can feel safe and cool and rest, away from the cramped, claustrophobic and often violent shacks of the nearby refugee camp.
The people of these stories she said, “live the Jesus story and so can we, we who are Methodist and Methodish, we who are marinaded in faith or just dipping a tentative toe, Conference buffs and Conference rookies, big wigs and small fry, gay or straight or trans or undefined, broken, diffident or downright scared, all of us, each of us is called to this simple, costly way, living out our stories within the eternal, challenging, costly, glorious stories of God - because nothing in all creation can separate us from it.”
In her address Dr Glasson called for more than just telling of stories but to push for change and to listen: “We will need to be people of reconciliation and peace in an increasingly angry and divided Britain. We will need to commit ourselves to not only making the church inclusive, but allowing those who we might think ‘on the edge’ to challenge and transform us. We need to listen in three dimensions to what is told and what lies in the dark spaces between the words.”
To watch a video and read the full text of Dr Glasson delivering her address click here.
What a wonderful Service of Welcome for Rev'd. Andrew Emison and his family last night.
We were delighted to be joined in a packed Church by:- the Mayor of Frodsham, Cllr. Mallie Poulton; representatives from the other churches in Frodsham, Fr. James Kenny of St. Luke Roman Catholic Church, Fr. Michael Mills of St. Laurence Church of England Parish Church, Rev'd. Mansell Morgan of King's Church, and Mrs. Sue Spilman of Main Street Community Church; Mrs. Aelison Wilson of Frodsham Churches Together; and, Suzie Treeton of Chapel Fields MHA Nursing & Dementia Care Home, Frodsham.
We were also pleased to welcome Rev'd. Neil Stacey, Superintendent of the Chester & Delamere Forest Circuit of the Methodist Church, and Rev'd. Peter Barber, Chair of the Chester & Stoke-on-Trent District of the Methodist Church.
There are two further district-run workshops to examine the issue of whether the Methodist Church should reconsider its definition of marriage in the light of civil same-sex marriage. How do we use the Bible to help us in this matter?
The first, already publicised, is at North St, Crewe (CW1 4NJ) on Thursday 21 January at 7:00pm and an extra one has been arranged for Saturday 23 January at Wellspring Methodist Church Congleton (CW12 3AP) at 10:00am. Both will last 2 ¼ hours, and consist of input plus small group conversations and feedback. Refreshments are provided.
These workshops are open to anyone in the Methodist Church but booking is required. Please book with The District Office for the evening of 21 January at Crewe: email@example.com or 01270 627774.
Please book with Dane & Trent Circuit office for the morning of 23 January at Congleton: firstname.lastname@example.org 01260 270899.
For further info. contact David Pickles: email@example.com 07799 902565
Churches Together in Cheshire's service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be held at Chester Cathedral on Sunday 24th January 2016 at 4.00pm, the preacher will be Rev'd. The Lord Leslie Griffiths. Leslie Griffiths, a former President of the Methodist Conference and currently the Minister at Wesley's Chapel in London, is a well-known Methodist voice and those from the churches in and around Cheshire may appreciate this opportunity to hear him, as well as to join with others in celebrating our Christian unity.
Please find below the new strategy for our Church, which we are launching today. This is an exciting document which sets out the new vision and mission statement for our Church, and how we hope to deliver it over the next five years. Please take time to carefully read it and let Mr. John Holmes, Mr. Alan Carter or any of the Leadership Team know if you have any queries or want more information. Please use the sign up sheet in the Church Hall, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to:-
The Leadership Team
We are delighted to hear that Heather Rowland, our friend from Kelsall, will be received as a fully accredited local preacher at a special service at Kelsall Methodist Church on Friday October 16th at 7.30pm. The preacher will be Rev'd. Ashley Cooper, formerly a minister in our Circuit. All are welcome. Please hold Heather in your prayers.
The Methodist Church of Britain aims to review all 'safeguarding cases' since 1950. For the purposes of the review, a 'safeguarding concern' is defined as any concern that a child or adult may be at risk, be suffering or have suffered abuse, or that someone represents a risk of abuse to others.
Anyone who would appreciate support through this difficult process should contact either their District Safeguarding Coordinators or Hilary Walker and Brendan Stephens on 0207 486 5502 or e-mail email@example.com
Please look here for all the information you may require (or contact Revd Denise Harding if you do not have internet access):
In particular, please feel free to complete the response form and send it in either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR.
Please send responses before the end of February if possible.
For further questions please contact Patricia Tagumigwa, Past Cases Review assistant, via Methodist Church helpdesk 020 7486 5502 or e-mail email@example.com
Chester and Delamere Forest Circuit require an Administrator, based at Frodsham Church but occasionally working from home. This will be a permanent appointment to assist the Minister in the daily running of the churches in her care.
The hours of work are 7 hours per week worked on a flexible basis.
Salary will be £9.25 per hour
The date of commencement will be week commencing 30th September 2013 (or earlier if the successful applicant is available).
The closing date for applications is 30th August, 2013.
For an application pack and a full job description, please contact Peter Sandercock (01352 711761 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
On Saturday 2nd February, a small group headed down to Swan Bank Methodist Mission in Burslem for a Children & Youth Conference entitled ‘Unite’. The day consisted of three sessions, with a variety of options to choose from ranging from ‘bongo madness’ to a workshop on the ethical use of social media and a sport workshop to a session on leading worship. This was followed by a fabulous meal shared together. The evening saw performances by two Christian bands and a short talk by the Rev’d. Ashley Cooper, the senior pastor (who was formerly at Helsby Methodist Church).
All in all there were over 160 young people in attendance and it was enriching to see so many gathered together to share, learn and grow in faith. Below are the comments made by those from our Church who attended.
I enjoyed this trip loads. The drumming lesson was fantastic, and I greatly enjoyed the games in the sports hall. I also liked the social lesson, where we watched lots of funny clips. Also, the food there was great and very filling! I especially enjoyed the singing and being part of it.
This trip was amazing! I loved playing the fun games and activities. We made some cool foam fish and had a lovely dinner.
I loved the activities that went on at Swan Bank. Emma and me were doing sports and made foam fish in the craft room.
I really liked this trip. All three activities I did were really fun and interesting. I did bongo drumming, sports and a social media lesson. I also really enjoyed the bands at the end.
I enjoyed the workshops, especially the sports one because it was fun. The bands were really good and Ash was really funny and he used to live in Helsby!
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