The Priorities for the Methodist Church

Vocation

The vocation of the Methodist Church is reviewed periodically by Conference and is currently summarised in the Priorities for the Methodist Church:

In partnership with others wherever possible, the Methodist Church will concentrate its prayers, resources, imagination and commitments on this priority:

  • To proclaim and affirm its conviction of God's love in Christ, for us and for all the world;   and renew confidence in God's presence and action in the world and in the Church

As ways towards realising this priority, the Methodist Church will give particular attention to the following:

  • Underpinning everything we do with God-centred worship and prayer
  • Supporting community development and action for justice, especially among the most deprived and poor - in Britain and worldwide
  • Developing confidence in evangelism and in the capacity to speak of God and faith in ways that make sense to all involved
  • Encouraging fresh ways of being Church
  • Nurturing a culture in the Church which is people-centred and flexible

The Methodist Church's ecumenical commitment is within the opening words of the Priorities and the intention is that all that follows will be attempted in partnership, in whatever part of the Church the work is being carried out. In districts the Priorities are the responsibility of the district chair, assisted by district officers.

Methodists understand vocation as shared but as the district chair has the responsibility 'to lead all the people of the district in the work of preaching and worship, evangelism, pastoral care, teaching and administration' (SO 424(1)) and 'in conjunction with the members of Synod in the representative sessions, shall be responsible … for observation within the district of Methodist order and discipline' (SO 424(2)), their role is pivotal for promoting unity and exercising leadership. This general responsibility for collaborative ministry includes the specific call to relating ecumenically.

Methodist Conference 2009 approved an ecumenical vision statement for the Methodist Church.  In the statement, the Church commits itself to worshiping, learning and working with other Christians wherever and whenever possible.

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