27 May 2004

Methodists to learn from Latin American Spirituality

The Methodist Church's commitment to a world church will be reinforced next week in a Conference celebrating Latin American spirituality.

Between 4-6 June 'Latin America - Chaos, Cross, Celebration' will be the subject of the World Mission Conference, arranged by Methodists for World Mission and ecumenical partners.

The annual Conference presents an encounter between churches at home and abroad, in order to find out at first hand how others worship, express their faith and view the world.

President of Methodists for World Mission, Rosemary Wass, said: "Spirituality in Europe has become a commodity. We sample the different brands and we have our favourite suppliers. In Latin America spirituality is not an exotic extra to be indulged in when there is adequate money and time, but has emerged to make the Christian faith relevant to the people and issues of Latin America."

She continued: "This Conference will give us the opportunity to try and begin to hear and experience the gospel from another culture and through another language. We will not be the same people when we leave as when we arrive if we allow this to impact our lives. The opportunity to share with those of another culture enlarges our understanding of what God is calling us to do and be today."

Revd Thomas Quenet, Area Secretary for the Americas at The Methodist Church, added: "The Conference will explore how the Holy Spirit is having a dramatic impact on the life of the Church in Latin America. Spiritual renewal is taking place alongside the struggle for justice and peace. It is like the early days of Methodism. The Bible is coming alive for ordinary people. This Conference will be an opportunity to learn about how we might change - if we dare."


  Methodists for World Mission is an organisation which aims to 'celebrate diversity and promote mutual partnership' between Christian people of widely differing cultures from all parts of the world.

  Conferences are annual with regional conferences held in the North West and South West each November and all are welcome. The Conference this year will be held 4 - 6 June at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick.

  Dr. Peter Fox is designated to be President of Methodists for World Mission from June 2004. Peter has a long and dedicated association with the World Church. He was Medical Superintendent at Ngao Hospital, Kenya from 1964-71 and has shared his expertise by serving on several committees ever since. He is a local preacher and was the MWM Conference Organiser in 1990.

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