06 April 2009

April meeting of the Methodist Council

The Methodist Council met on 3-4 April at All Saints Pastoral Centre in London Colney. This is the third and final meeting planned for the current Church year.

Climate Change was a key issue for the Council, which approved for presentation to the Methodist Conference a joint report from the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church. The report, entitled Hope in God's Future, calls on the three Churches to act urgently to reduce carbon emissions across all three Churches in line with the national goal of 80% by 2050. Members of the churches are encouraged to campaign locally and nationally for government policies that will achieve this commitment.

The Council also received an update on the Church's Youth Participation Strategy. The Strategy aims to develop and improve the way in which young people are involved in the life of the Church at all levels and was launched in September 2008. Council members heard that considerable process had been made in developing and implementing the Strategy, which has so far seen the appointment of a full-time Youth President and eight part-time District Youth Enablers, all between the ages of 17 and 23.

Youth President Sarah Malik, said; "Although the strategy is still in its infancy, we're really excited about the possibilities. This is not just about letting young people have a say on youthwork issues; it's about them being able to make decisions and exercise influence at every level of Church life."

The Council was also encouraged to consider the Church's relationship with other Christian denominations, committing to work and worship together. The Council agreed that the celebration of the differences between denominations and the desire to seek a common life are at the heart of such relationships.

Other topics discussed at the Council included the Anglican-Methodist Covenant, equalities and diversity policy and stories of how local churches are engaging with their communities in creative and innovative ways.

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