18 June 2015
Methodist President and Vice-President welcome Papal Encyclical
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have welcomed the latest Papal encyclical, which focuses on the issue of climate change. The Revd Kenneth Howcroft and Gill Dascombe have issued the following statement in response:
"Yesterday we represented the Methodist Church at the Climate Change lobby of Parliament. We were supported by the agency All We Can (Methodist Relief and Development). Some 9,000 people of all faiths and none took part. Among the events, we each took part in one of the two ecumenical Christian services held at St Margaret's Church, and at the Emmanuel Centre, which had packed congregations. People of all ages were there. It was particularly good to see pupils from the Methodist School at Kent College, Canterbury taking part. They helped carry and hold a huge model of a broken heart. A theme of the day was "Speak up - for the Love Of…".
"For the love of people, for the love of the planet, and (we believe) for the love of God we need to change our behaviour as individuals and as societies. Finding solutions will not be easy. But we cannot refuse to try. If we experience God's love, and start to love God in return, we shall have to start loving the other things that God loves. That includes the whole of the universe. As St Paul put it, the whole of creation is groaning at the moment waiting for human beings to get back into a right relationship with God and become God's fellow workers in creation and re-creation.
"We Methodists are committed to this. It is a vital outworking of our worship, our discipleship and our mission. But we not alone in this. We are pleased to have signed the Lambeth Declaration of Faith Leaders about this. We welcome the Pope's Encyclical about these matters published today. We urge everyone to think, pray and act.