Church must celebrate and learn from diversity, says report

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The Methodist Fellowship Groups, congregations of Methodistsunited by a shared ethnicity or language, announced their intentionto grow in deeper relationships, mutual partnerships and genuineintegration in a report to the Methodist Conference.

The report, presented by the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, GeneralSecretary of the Methodist Conference, highlighted the importanceof being one family with one mission.

About the report, Martyn said, "We are committed to findcontinuing and healthy ways to harvest the richness brought intoour Church by international communities of Methodists. Indeed,every part of the life of the Church is made better because of ourlife together, and there is much that we can learn from eachother. 

Following on from the report, the Conference has agreed to setup a connexional advisory and support group to share good practiceand encourage integration with local churches.

The Revd Dr Claire Potter, deputy convener of the working groupsaid of the recommendations, "Fellowship groups are a growing areaof the Methodist Church in Britain. It is important that we notonly understand and welcome the variety and diversity of FellowshipGroups, but that we deepen our current relationships, developmutual partnerships and genuinely integrate with each other. Let uscelebrate diversity by learning, accepting and growing together,without enforcing assimilation."

The Revd William Davis, Fellowship Coordinator of the LondonDistrict and chaplain to the Ghanaian Fellowship Group, added:"British Methodism for many immigrants can be quite a foreignexperience and Fellowship Groups can help provide stability andfamiliarity in an otherwise strange land. There are many things wecan learn from each others' experiences of Methodism and we hopethat this new support group will help us all to develop and grow inour faith further."