Vice-President's Wesley Day message one of celebration and renewal

On Wesley day, Monday 24 May, the Vice-President of Conference,Judy Jarvis, will preach on the theme of the challenge to thechurch at a time of change.

Her sermon, based on the account of the Ascension of Jesus inActs 1.1-11, will look forward to the coming of the Spirit on theday of Pentecost to renew and revitalise the church.

Judy Jarvis said: "Wesley day is an important day in the yearfor all Methodists. Celebrating the date of John Wesley's 1738conversion experience enables us to look back and re-engagewith where we have come from, and to draw inspiration from thecourage and values of our Methodist founders.

She added: But these are critical days for the Methodist Church,and for the Church of God at large. As a reportentitled 'Priorities for the Methodist Church' will saythis year at Conference, we must recover confidence in God'spresence and action in the world and in the Church. So this Wesleyday we will both celebrate the past, and pray forrenewal."

After the 12:30 Eucharist service at Wesley s Chapel,worshippers will proceed across City Road to Bunhill FieldsCemetery to lay a wreath on Susannah Wesley s grave. JenniferPotter, Associate Minister at Wesley s chapel, commented on thistradition: It is a recognition of the great influence she had onher son s, John and Charles. As long as she was alive they referredtheir doubts, sorrows and joys to her.

From Bunhill Fields the procession will go to the Flame, amonument marking the very spot where John Wesley s heart wasstrangely warmed . After that, there will be a wreath-layingceremony at Wesley Statue in the North Piazza of St. Paul sCathedral. Evensong in the Cathedral will follow, where Presidentof Conference, the Revd Dr Neil Richardson, will offer greetingsand read a lesson.