Churches Gather in London for the World Methodist Council Meeting

Approximately 300 people from the World Methodist Council member Churches will be gathering in Wesley's Chapel, London this week for the World Methodist Council Meeting. Those gathering are based in over 100 countries, representing over 75 million Methodist, Wesleyan and related Uniting and United Church members.

The World Methodist Council is a worldwide association of 77 member churches that enables and facilitates its members in sharing and learning together. This year the Council will be returning to the place they convened 132 years ago for the first World Methodist Council meeting, which took place in 1881. The agenda of the Council meeting will help to shape the focus points and action plans for the Council in the years ahead. The meeting themes will include "The Family Gathers", "The Family Discerns" and "Organizing for the Journey."

Bishop Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, said: "Our goal for this meeting is to not only reconvene our worldwide family, but to also discern and attempt to understand what God is calling us to do. It has been my experience that through the process of coming together for what John Wesley called 'Holy conferencing' - Christians coming together for the sake of truth and peace seeking - that we can find a way forward together. We are sisters and brothers in a shared faith, and these events help to remind those of us on or affiliated with the Council that the world doesn't end with our local church, or even our own denomination. Instead we come together to remind ourselves that individually we are corks in a vast sea, but together we are a vast ship navigating the sea."

The Council meeting will offer an opportunity for churches to discuss various topics including: social justice, ecumenical relationships, family life, education and evangelism. Bishop Abrahams said: "The world is changing fast and the church needs to change with it. We hear it from the beatings of the drums of war in Syria and the pounding of hearts with hope and possibility in Africa. We see it in South Korea where the Methodist Church is thriving and growing, and in the United States where a generational shift is creating a rousing debate on issues in the Church from finance to human sexuality."

The World Methodist Council Meeting will take place from September 10 - 13. Selected portions of the Council Meeting will be available on YouTube.  The Council will also be sharing up to date news from the meeting via social media.

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