Churches Gather in London for the World Methodist Council Meeting

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

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

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

The Council meeting will offer an opportunity for churches todiscuss various topics including: social justice, ecumenicalrelationships, family life, education and evangelism. BishopAbrahams said: "The world is changing fast and the church needs tochange with it. We hear it from the beatings of the drums of war inSyria and the pounding of hearts with hope and possibility inAfrica. We see it in South Korea where the Methodist Church isthriving and growing, and in the United States where a generationalshift is creating a rousing debate on issues in the Church fromfinance to human sexuality."

The World Methodist Council Meeting will take place from September10 - 13. Selected portions of the Council Meeting will be availableon YouTube.  The Council will also be sharing up to date newsfrom the meeting via social media.