Signpost for Ministry
This is the landing page for those in active ministry in the Methodist Church. We recommend all presbyters and deacons either make this their home page or check back regularly to see how the Connexional Team might help you, as we work together to fulfil Our Calling.
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Call for Advent candle to remain unlit for peace
To remember all those who have died in the Israel/Palestine conflict, Methodist churches across the country are being called upon to leave their second Advent candle unlit this year.
The call not to light the candle, which represents peace, on the second Sunday in Advent (10 December) and on subsequent Sundays, follows the news that celebrations to mark Christmas in the Holy Land will be subdued this year.
The Revd David Hardman, Methodist Liaison Officer, Jerusalem, is currently fulfilling his role from the UK and remains in touch with those living in the Middle East. David explained, “Our Christian colleagues in Bethlehem tell us that this Advent and Christmas the lights that normally adorn the birth place of Jesus will remain unlit in memory of those who have been killed in the current conflict. We are inviting Methodist churches in Britain to leave the second candle of Advent unlit to serve as a reminder that we stand in solidarity with all who are suffering in the Holy Land.”
The President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Gill Newton, commented, “The events of over 2000 years ago and of now, remind us that sadly, nothing much has changed. We are still caught up in conflict and challenge, fear and uncertainty. This Advent, to stand with Palestinian Christians, we invite Methodist Churches to leave the Advent candle on the Second Sunday unlit and for it to remain unlit throughout advent.”
“God is still present even in the most difficult places, and in the midst of violent conflict so many people are wishing for and seeking peace!”
Churches who participate are invited to take a photo of their Advent Ring on Christmas Day with the second candle unlit to be shared with local church communities in the Holy Land.
On Christmas Day churches are invited to take a photo of their Advent Ring with the second candle unlit and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The staff at the Methodist Liaison Office will forward pictures to local church communities in the Holy Land.
It is suggested that churches that choose not to keep their second advent candle unlit can still read the Advent liturgies with a suggested short addition underlining why this ‘peace’ candle will remain unlit.
Second Sunday in Advent
As we prepare ourselves to welcome the birth of the Prince of Peace, we hear that the festive lights that normally shine bright in Bethlehem will not be lit this year in memory of those killed in the recent violence. To stand alongside our sisters and brothers in Christ, and all who mourn this Christmas, we will leave our second Advent candle unlit during Advent and Christmas.
Remaining Advent services
We remind ourselves that this year one candle remains unlit, as the Christmas lights in Bethlehem remain unlit, in memory of those killed in the current conflict in the Holy Land.
NPNP update - November 2023
Out of the Ordinary campaign now live
The Out of the Ordinary Christmas campaign launched last Thursday, with our film already reaching more than 20,000 views across our social media channels.
We're also really excited to announce that our new arrangement of the Christmas carol, O little town of Bethlehem, used as the film's sound track, will be released as a single on Friday 1 December. You'll be able to stream the single, titled Born in us, on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and all other music streaming services. Finally, we'll be releasing a music/lyric video filmed in the studio for use in church services and events, as well as on social media. This will be downloadable from our Vimeo Channel.
Personal security briefings for locally elected representatives & faith leaders
New Line Managers’ Handbook
We are delighted to announce the publication of a new Line Managers’ Handbook to support line managers across the Connexion. Information about line management training and the new handbook can be found on our Line Managers webpage.
Dona Donations – Black Friday Deal! £100 off Digital Collection Plates
To help encourage churches make the most of income generated during the busy Christmas period and beyond, Dona Donations are offering their biggest discount ever - £100 off contactless donation terminals on orders placed by 1 December 2023.
More information about the offer can be found in their brochure here.
25+ years travelled in Ministry
There are just two places left now on the reflection and conversation space for ministers 25+ years travelled.
If you have an interest in attending then please do book on and join another 40 of your fellow ministers in reflecting on their ministry journey.
You can find out more about the event here.
In addition we have 1 unexpectedly available space on the Supervision of Supervision course 27-29 February owing to a last minute cancellation. If you regularly supervise other supervisors or trainee supervisors and can fill this space please contact Emily Ho on email@example.com and she will help you to join us.
Property Matters - November 2023
Click here for the latest newsletter.
International Men’s Day – Sunday 19 November
International Men’s Day is marked on Sunday 19 November. The purpose of this day is to celebrate the positive values men bring and to raise awareness of men’s well-being, especially in relation to the international male suicide rate. The theme for 2023 is “ZERO MALE SUICIDE”.
You can find out more at https://ukmensday.org.uk/ or at https://internationalmensday.com/. Please note there is a powerful video about the impact of suicide on this latter webpage which some may find quite upsetting & challenging to watch.
Here are some useful contacts that can provide the appropriate support and information.
As a reminder, ministers and their partners do have access to the Churches Ministerial Counselling Services for support on www.cmincs.net
Positively Rural:-Spirituality of older people - 10 January at 7:30pm
We will be considering the spirituality of older people in a rural context with input from the organisation 'Anna Chaplaincy'.
Book your place here.
Positively Rural is an online community hosted by the Methodist Learning Network, but open to anyone of any denomination involved in rural ministry, including volunteers, lay workers and clergy.
Convenor for the Stationing Advisory Committee
We are looking for a convenor for the Stationing Advisory Committee - someone with good pastoral and administrative skills to help ministers with discerning God’s call. Click here for the role description and for a conversation please contact Stephen Roe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rural Mission & Ministry Course
Are you new to rural leadership? Or looking for a refresher?
Want to gain inspiration & meet others in similar contexts facing similar issues?
Then the Rural Mission & Ministry Course is for you!
Booking link is here.
All Methodist leaders receive a 50% discount.
For further details please contact Sarah Hulme, Rural Mission & Ministry Officer email@example.com
Volunteer Opportunities: Members of the Nominations Committee (x3)
For further information and an application pack please visit: Oversight and Trusteeship – Volunteer Opportunities (methodist.org.uk)
Closing date is at noon on 16 November 2023.
New Members sought for the Justice, Dignity and Solidarity (JDS) Committee
The advert to recruit additional members for the JDS Committee is now live and can be viewed via the following link:
Please also share with your colleagues and encourage those who have relevant lived experience, or who are passionate about the issues of EDI to apply.
Vacation Term for Biblical Study
We’ve been asked to publicise the Vacation Term for Biblical Study in Cambridge next summer. It’s an excellent opportunity for those, lay and ordained, who are looking to access quality scholarship at reasonable prices. It might be ideal for a sabbatical or other learning opportunity. Bursaries are available and the details of those are available on the website. It is possible to attend as a non-resident.
The Living Wage
The Living Wage Foundation has published the living wage rates for 2023/24 Living Wage Foundation. The rates are £13.15 per hour in London and £12.00 per hour in all other UK regions. Different rates are published in some of the non-UK jurisdictions. All employing bodies in the Church must implement the new rates by no later than 1 April 2024. However, last year in the light of the cost of living crisis, the Methodist Council urged all bodies to implement the new rate by 1 December.
Click here for an update on the progress of NPNP across the Connexion, news of training courses, online prayer meeting and a blog.
Plus more information on this page Begin a New Place for New People (methodist.org.uk)
Methodist Prayer Handbook
How do you currently use the Prayer Handbook? How you would like to use the Prayer Handbook in future? Please take 10 minutes to complete this short survey of six questions. Submission deadline is Thursday 30 November, 2023.
Methodist Worship Book
Publishing Services would like to know if you would appreciate having liturgies from the Methodist Worship Book (MWB) as slim-line booklets. Please could you take 10 minutes to complete this short survey of four questions. Submission deadline is Thursday 30 November 2023.
DOV1 Advisory Group members
There are opportunities for lay and ordained people to serve the Connexion on the Discerning Ordained Vocation 1 Advisory Group. The group operates as a pool of prepared people from which panels of three people are identified to do the work each year. Panels meet all those who are discerning ordained vocation to listen to their call to ordained ministry and discuss this with them. The panels then discern their recommendation for the applicant’s next steps which is shared by letter with the applicant, their Superintendent and Chair of District. Care is taken to ensure that there is balance on these panels so that applicants feel they are being fully understood.
It is helpful if those serving on these panels are people who have prior experience either:
- of discerning vocation in others formally or informally at local or Connexional level,
- or of theological training of others.
If you are interested please complete and return this form fully and return it by 13 November to the email address stated.
If you apply please note that you will need to be available for the interviews on 7 and 8 June 2024 and at some online preparation meetings.
This is an opportunity to be part of discernment journeys and those who have been involved in the past have found it to be humbling, fulfilling and a real privilege.
Methodist Liaison Office Prayer Meeting
Join us as we pray for justice and peace in the Holy Land. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for joining details.
Social Justice and Schools
Schools are an integral part of communities and often find themselves at the frontline of support for children, young people and families at the margins of society. As funding decreases and resources become increasingly limited, those schools in areas of deprivation find themselves disproportionately affected. John Wesley was particularly adamant that we should serve those who need and want us most. As a justice-seeking church, what does it mean to engage with schools that need and want us most? We’ll be joined by Claire Procter, a headteacher, who will share with us some of the ways schools and churches can partner in serving those at the margins.
Find out more and book here.
Schools Webinar | 14 November 2023
Methodist Liaison Office Weekly Update and Prayer Meeting
Join Methodists from around the world to pray together for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land. Every Wednesday from 6pm (UK time) for 40 minutes. Each week there will be updates and theological reflections from local voices and MLO staff members followed by the opportunity to pray together. To join please email email@example.com and you will be sent joining instructions.
Methodist Liaison Officer, Jerusalem
Due to the escalation of violence Revd David Hardman travelled back from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (IOPT) and is currently fulfilling his role from the UK. He is still in touch with local people who are living in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza and organisations who continue to work for Human Rights in the region. David is available to speak, lead sessions and preach in Districts, Circuits and local Churches. Please contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in arranging opportunities for Methodist people to have a chance to think and pray more deeply about the situation in IOPT.
Methodist Remembrance resources 2023
Methodist Remembrance 2023 video and PDF resources have been produced with the help and support of the Methodist Armed Forces Chaplains and the Comms Team and are available at the link here. These resources are designed to assist worship leaders to mark Remembrance well through services and events at this time of year.
Exploration Days 2024
We are holding a few events for those wishing to explore a call to Ordained Ministry:
Exploring Ordained Ministry | March 2024 - Click here to book
Inhabiting Diaconal Ministry | March 2024 - Click here to book
Exploring Ordained Ministry | June 2024 - Click here to book
Please pass these details on to those who might like to attend.
We need your prayers!
The 2024/2025 Methodist Prayer Handbook title and theme is: Praise and Protest.
Please contribute your prayers of no more than 120 words each, based on this theme:
Praise and Protest
In her song of praise, the ‘Magnificat’ (Luke 1:46-55), Mary thanks God for the child Jesus, who will announce God’s kingdom which “brings down the powerful from their thrones and lifts up the lowly.”
To engage in God’s mission and be part of that transformation, we believe the Methodist Church is called to become an increasingly evangelistic, inclusive and justice-seeking Church.
Following the prophet Isaiah’s call, echoing through the ages to us and reflected in Mary’s prayer, the 2024/2025 Prayer Handbook will focus on how the Church can “learn to do right; seek justice and defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17a, NIV).
We invite you to offer prayers using Isaiah’s three key actions for becoming the justice-seeking Church we are called to be, in response to God’s love in Christ:
We invite prayers that we might be attentive to God’s ways, and discern how we go about learning to live justly in our local communities and churches.
Please offer prayers that seek God and God’s ways, and invite us to love God and to love our neighbours. Prayers could relate to looking actively for what God is showing us as the Body of Christ corporately, or more personally, to become people who recognise injustice and take action.
Finally, we welcome prayers for the Church to become more aware of the voices of the people we are called to defend – those who are marginalised and silenced. We welcome prayers that support others in their protest and prayers for how we get involved.
Your contributions to ‘Praise and Protest’ are required by 8 January 2024.
Check Methodist Prayer Handbook for submission details.
MEC Appeal Prayer Vigil Proof
President and Vice-President update on the situation in the Middle East
As deaths and injuries of civilians continue to rise in the Israel-Hamas conflict, we are heartbroken to see the devastation this is having on so many people living in the region. We believe in a God who weeps, and, alongside the Holy Spirit our Comforter, our hearts are breaking with all those whose loved ones have had their lives brutally cut short, for the terror felt by Israeli families, and the unimaginable wait that many face for news of the people being held hostage. We watch in horror as Gazan civilians flee for their lives, unable to leave Gaza and trapped in the midst of a violent and unpredictable conflict.
The situation may feel overwhelming; so much information, so much misinformation and so much misery. Where is our hope? Watching and reading news reports can leave us confused and feeling helpless. What can we do? As members of the Methodist Church we have witnessed the plight of the Palestinian people’s oppression for many years and have sought to encourage those on all sides who are working for lasting peace with justice in the region.
Now we pray for all those people and groups we have met: Daoud Nasser from the Tent of Nations and the recipient of the World Methodist Peace Prize in 2018; Rabbi Nava Hefetz from Rabbis for Human Rights, the Wi’am Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Bethlehem; the staff of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel, and the countless people and families in Gaza and the West Bank who we, as a Church, have supported over the years. We uphold them, praying for their safety, asking for God’s protection and comfort. And we pray for those who have the power to effect change – that they will use this privilege wisely and well to put a swift end to this violence and aggression. We undertake to continue to pray that the beautiful peace of the Prince of Peace will manifest in our world, and we pledge ourselves once again to respond to the Gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out this discipleship in our worship and mission.
We call on the UK Government to do all it can to encourage dialogue between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and states in the wider region. We urge our Government to use its influence to end the siege of Gaza that is depriving its population of water and food, and to call on all parties to abide by international humanitarian law.
As well as praying, we ask you to consider doing the following:
- Supporting Christian Aid’s appeal and/or signing a petition calling on the UK Government to establish safe routes out of Gaza for people left homeless or caught up in the violence
- Find out more about the situation: Resources for studying theological issues relating to Israel-Palestine
- Write to your MP to ask them to act to protect civilians in Gaza and to support a lasting peace
- Be generous to those who you may not agree with, and try to find common ground. Pray for those people and, if appropriate, pray together. Be aware of those in your church or community who are particularly impacted by this situation, whether they have a connection with Israel or Palestine or because this is a painful and traumatic reminder of their own experiences of conflict. And please pray for those in leadership who are being called to offer support to the people who are impacted by the ongoing situation.
The Revd Gill Newton, President of the Methodist Conference
Deacon Kerry Scarlett, Vice President of the Methodist Conference
The worsening situation in Israel-Palestine
A new prayer as well as statements and briefings on the situation in Israel-Palestine can be found here methodist.org.uk/israel-palestine
Property Matters - October 2023
Trinity College Glasgow - Spring 2024
Trinity College Glasgow is delighted to announce the launch of their Spring 2024 short courses.
These courses are a mixture of online, in-person and hybrid formats (specified on each course poster, and the website page), and so will be suitable for a range of people. Please do circulate the promotional material, amongst your members and networks as you wish.
Comprehensive information for all of our courses is available at our website.
Situation in Israel-Palestine
Prayers, statements and briefings on the situation in Israel-Palestine are here:
This page will be updated as events unfold.
A Methodist Way of Life - monthly zoom
How do we support people to 'get on the train' and make their first steps into discipleship? How do we encourage experienced travellers to keep on moving on the discipleship journey? For the second in our new monthly series of Zoom sessions about A Methodist Way of Life, join Abi Jarvis and Andy Fishburne, Discipleship Officers in the Evangelism and Growth team, on 6 November at 10am or at 7pm
Note for Approved Supervisors
A reminder that our many and varied development modules for those approved to supervise under the Methodist policy are open for bookings. The listings can be found here.
In particular you may want to note a session for supervisees to enable them to get the most out of their supervision experience. If you know of anyone who may benefit then please do pass the information on.
In addition we have 1 unexpectedly available space on the Supervision of Supervision course 23-25 October owing to a last minute cancellation. If you regularly supervise other supervisors or trainee supervisors and can fill this space please contact Emily Ho on email@example.com and she will help you to join us.
Methodist Insurance: Vacancy - Non-Executive Director (remunerated)
Please click here for more information.
Matter Management - Update from TMCP
Overseas Volunteer Opportunities
The Global Relationships team have opportunities with partner churches for volunteers or ministers on sabbatical in location, or in some cases for volunteers working online in Britain. Currently we have partners in Latin America, the Caribbean and Pakistan looking for support in the areas of English teaching, IT and communications training, Evangelism, Business development and PA secretarial training for a modern office. If you are interested and would like more information please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Warm Welcome Launch event | Wednesday 4 October 2023, 7.30pm
You are invited to join the online launch of Warm Welcome 2023. Last year 26 districts and 205 circuits hosted at least one Warm Space. Research showed that people visiting these spaces of hospitality during the coldest and darkest months of the year particularly benefitted from the ways Warm Spaces combatted loneliness and isolation. This year, such warm spaces are still essential, given the cost of living crisis, high inflation, and less government help. We know many Methodist Churches ran spaces last year, if they did or they might be considering doing so this year, they are invited to find out more about Warm Welcome and how to get involved by registering for the online launch event here: (ecevents.uk).
If you would like to invite others, you can use this invitation. It really helps us to know the bigger picture of which churches are hosting such spaces so we can provide the best possible support.
We have just a few places left at our gathering for Ministers who are 25years+ in ministry. It takes place in January and we have written already to those we think might want to come along. If you do intend to come but have been waiting to book a place then now is the time. Bookings are being taken through Eventbrite and a link can be found on this flyer.
Let’s End Poverty Founding Assembly
Saturday 14 October: 11am – 1pm
Online or in Manchester, Liverpool, London, Nottingham, Cambridge, Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff and Glasgow
We know that poverty in the UK is an avoidable, solvable problem that can be fixed. That’s why we’re coming together to call for a future where poverty can’t keep anyone down.
The Methodist Church has been a founding partner in launching a new anti-poverty movement – Let’s End Poverty. We’re so excited to launching this work in a special event, hosted with partners across the UK, at our Founding Assembly.
You’re invited to join the Let’s End Poverty Founding Assembly on 14 October to build the movement towards ending poverty in the UK. Connect with others in a regional gathering or online to show that taking action to end poverty matters to our communities and we want our political leaders to make it their priority too.
Anyone and everyone is welcome – we want to include your gifts and skills as part of building this new movement. Whether you’re motivated to end poverty because of your own experience, because of your faith, work or volunteering, we need everyone to be part of making the change we want to see.
Find out more and book your space at this link.
Crafting Hope Together: new programme for ministers
The Susanna Wesley Foundation is offering an opportunity for ongoing ministerial reflection and discernment. If you are an ordained minister looking for a day away from your context to gather your thoughts, share joys and frustrations, and consider new ways of thinking with other ministers, you’re welcome to join their new initiative. Based in Tamworth and beginning Thursday November 23 with two more days to follow in 2024, the aim is to explore authenticity, discernment and relational dynamics together. Further details are available on the SWF website here.
Supervision for New Supervisors
There are just 3 places left on the Supervision training for new supervisors at the end of October. If it is your intention, after a chat with your chair, to become a supervisor in this connexional year please can we urge you to book on quickly now to secure a place. There are also just 8 places left on the January event.
You can book onto either 2 part event here.
A Methodist Way of Life suite of webpages
The Evangelism and Growth team are hosting two online sessions for anyone who would like to explore the new A Methodist Way of Life suite of webpages, activities and resources. For a tour of what’s available, some tips on getting started, and as much Q&A as you need, sign up for a daytime or evening webinar. These sessions are for anyone, lay or ordained, with formal or informal roles within a church, pioneer community, Methodist school, community project, or any other context where disciples are formed (that’s everywhere!).
We are once again running a Supervision Refresher day for Supervisors who are approved under the Methodist policy but have been out of action for a while – maybe due to ill health or unforeseen circumstances.
It will be held online on 06/02/2024 and you can book by contacting Jane Bingham on email@example.com
A reminder of that and Jane’s wider contact details are on this flyer.
Property Matters - September 2023
The European Methodist Lecture Programme
The European Methodist Lecture Programme will take place this Autumn, with a focus on Leadership. All are invited to register for any session that looks interesting and useful. Click here for more information.
Theology of Safeguarding Study Guide
NPNPs for Superintendents
Small churches: What’s our future story? Monday 9th October or Wednesday 1st November, 7.30pm on Zoom
Are you in the midst of discerning the future of your small churches? Contemplating a merger, but not sure where to start? Or perhaps you’re deep in the process of merging and it’s getting tough. In this 90-minute Zoom gathering, offered on two dates for your convenience, you will hear stories of small churches that have make big steps in discerning God's call and making changes for the sake of mission. You'll also have an opportunity to network with others and to receive input to help you in your own discernment where you are. All members of small churches are welcome, both lay and ordained. Register here for the evening of 9 October or here for 1 November.
The Revd Canon Leo Osborn
Exploring a Justice-seeking Church through the lectionary this autumn
Singing the Faith Plus is offering a six-week series of sermon and worship starter-guides on justice linked to the lectionary readings for the six Sundays 15 October to 19 November 2023. Produced by the Tamworth and Lichfield Circuit, for each Sunday there is a possible approach to a sermon/reflection, a quote from the Justice-seeking Church Conference report and suggested hymns.
Finance Newsletter – September 2023
Click here for the Finance Newsletter issued in September 2023.
Director of Ministry Development vacancy
Click here for the details.
Pensions and Housing webinar - November 2023
Just a quick reminder that the first pensions and housing webinar is due to take place on the morning of 30 November.
Its open to anyone considering retirement or wondering what the options are around housing and pensions even if the choice isn’t imminent
You can book on here.
A Methodist Way of Life - new resources
Whether you’ve been a Methodist for fifty years, you’re supporting a community of disciples, or you want to explore A Methodist Way of Life with spiritual seekers, our new suite of webpages and resources has something for you. Featuring: a fresh model for the discipleship journey; activities and interactive resources and stories to encourage individuals and communities to engage with the twelve commitments of A Methodist Way of Life; and starter guides for anyone with a leadership role. www.methodist.org.uk/discipleship
We are aware of the recent news involving buildings that were built or modified between the 1960’s to 1990’s using RAAC and the potential failure of this building material. This should probably not affect the majority of our buildings but if you have concerns, please review the guidance on RAAC that is listed on A-Z Property Guidance (methodist.org.uk).
25 Years + travelled in ministry
We are pleased to confirm that bookings for 25 Years + travelled are now open. There are just 26 places left so please do book on if you’d like to join us.
More information and the booking details can be found here.
National Retreat Week
National Retreat Week - renew:all (23-30 Sept 2023) is a new initiative for individuals, churches and groups to promote contemplation, prayer and retreat - rooted in various ancient and contemporary Christian traditions and supported by well-known Christian retreat leaders and authors. Click here for more information.
Wisdom from ministers who have served in response to catastrophes
One of the Voices of Identity groups that met this year has been ministers who have found themselves serving in the midst of a disaster or catastrophe. They have compiled this document, from their own experiences, for others who find themselves in a similar situation.
This will be added to the wellbeing pages on Signposts and will be part of the information sent out to you when you contact the Media team in the unfortunate situation that you need their support for something like this.
Many thanks to Ian Rutherford and Ramona Dinard especially for their work on this.
Leadership Year (please pass this on to those for whom you think it is relevant)
The Leadership Year is an exciting opportunity for 18-30 year olds across the Connexion, who want to invest time in developing their leadership abilities. It is aimed at those who may just be starting out in a leadership role, or who are wanting to be involved in leadership, which may be within, or outside, a church setting.
It includes 3 residential weekends, occasional evening online gatherings and the opportunity to meet with a coach. It is a chance for young leaders to be in community with other young adults, to reflect on what it means to be a Christian leader (in church, secular workplaces, and local community) and to develop characteristics needed for self-aware, visionary, resilient leadership. There are 12 fully funded places available. All details and link to the application form is here. Applications close on 22nd September.
Upcoming workshops from the College Of Preachers
Preaching the Themes of Lent
Tuesday 16 January, 10.30 | on-line via Zoom
Workshop leader: Michael Beck, Tutor in Preaching at Lindisfarne Regional Training Programme
This workshop will look at the range of readings used in the season of Lent and the themes that might emerge from these. There will be time to share experience and ideas as well as asking questions.
Ticket prices: general, £12; ministry student, £10
Experimenting with Form in Preaching
Saturday 27 January, 10.00 | Trinity College, Bristol, BS9 1JP
Workshop leader: Martin Little, Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Highbridge
Many of us have a default form or structure that is our 'go-to' for creating a sermon, particularly under the pressure of a Sunday deadline. But how often do we stop to consider alternatives? This workshop explores how we can vary the literary forms we use in preaching to provide fresh perspectives for our preaching and variety for our congregations.
Ticket prices: general, £35; ministry student, £30
Preaching on and Through Music
Saturday 10 February, 10.30 | on-line via Zoom
Workshop leader: Vicky Johnson, Canon Precentor, York Minster
This session will explore the use of music in preaching the gospel, whether to inform, enhance or enable our preaching and as a means of connecting congregations to the words of scripture in an experiential way.
Ticket prices: general, £12; ministry student, £10
Preaching at Funerals
Monday 12 February, 10.30 | on-line via Zoom
Workshop leader: Jennifer Brown, Director of Training, College of Preachers
This workshop will consider how our funeral preaching can honour the desire for a funeral to celebrate the life of the departed and provide comfort to the bereaved while still clearly proclaiming the resurrection hope of the gospel.
Ticket prices: general, £12; ministry student, £10
Out of the Shadows: Preaching the Women of the Bible
Saturday 17 February, 10.00 | Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, WF14 0BN
Workshop leader: Liz Shercliff, Tutor, Luther King Centre, Manchester
This workshop will look at some of the stories of women contained within the Bible, how we can preach about them, and why it matters that we do so.
Ticket prices: general, £50; ministry student, £45 (includes lunch)
Preaching the Events of Good Friday as Seen through the Women’s Eyes
Saturday 9 March, 10.30 | on-line via Zoom
Workshop leader: Liz Shercliff, Tutor, Luther King Centre, Manchester
This workshop will look at Good Friday through the eyes of the women and consider how the insights from this perspective can inform our preaching on and about this important day in the Church's year.
Ticket prices: general, £12; ministry student, £10
The Language of Resurrection: Finding the Right Words
Monday 11 March, 09.30 | Gladstone's Library, Hawarden, Wales, CH5 3DF
Workshop leader: Rod Garner, Anglican priest, writer, and theologian
This workshop is for preachers wishing to engage with the questions our secular age raises in relation to preaching the hope of the resurrection. Preparing for Holy Week and Easter provides the fitting, even urgent context, in which teaching and faithfulness to the word of God can be enriched by the fruits of theology and the creative imagination.
Ticket prices (includes lunch): general, £40; ministry student, £37.50 (includes lunch).
Connecting Old Testament & New Testament in Our Preaching
Saturday 20 April, 10.30 | on-line via Zoom
Workshop leader: Philip Jenson, former lecturer in Old Testament, Ridley Hall, Cambridge
This workshop explores two helpful ways in which preachers can connect the two Testaments and open up how God is at work both in the past and the present: a fresh appreciation of the imagery and archetypes of the Bible and a sophisticated approach to the Grand Narrative of Scripture. The workshop will emphasize interpretation rather than technique, but will include opportunities for dialogue, questions, and practical work on selected texts.
Ticket prices: general, £12; ministry student, £10
Further details and links to book tickets for all the above workshops are available on the College of Preachers’ website.
Join the Reconciliation and Mediation team
Methodist Homelessness and Housing Gathering
The Zoom Gathering will take place on Thursday 5 October 2023 between 11:30am and 1pm.
Please click on this Eventbrite link so that you can register to attend.
We will have updates on recent lobbying and on current developments in social housing and in homelessness outreach and prevention.
We will be reporting on discussions regarding increasing The Methodist Church's involvement in affordable housing schemes and have presentations from Housing Justice and from Agile Homes.
We will spend time sharing with each other as to how things are in our respective areas and pray together for our work on all these issues.
Annual Returns updates
We have made some significant changes to the Annual Returns update to help make it more efficient and relevant to the current needs of the wider Church. One of the most significant changes users will notice is the drastic reduction in the number of questions. The feedback from managing trustees over the years has been consistent: there were too many questions being asked on the portal. The questions now focus on Action for Hope and the mission of churches and circuits. These questions will be fed in to the work that the Connexional Team does and help assess the impact of these initiatives.
However, the questions that were previously on the return have not entirely gone away. They now form The Managing Trustee Annual Returns Checklist (Word) or (pdf version). This makes it easier for us to adapt the questions as the needs of the church change over time, but also make it easier for you to submit the information to your circuits and districts, but also store them for your own records.
The Managing Trustee Annual Returns Checklist (Word) or (pdf version) contains questions that used to appear within the annual returns checklist. However, although they been removed, they may still assist you in fulfilling your obligations as a managing trustee. Please note that this is not a complete list, merely guidance to ensure that you keep in mind certain areas of responsibility on an annual basis. It is suggested that reference should be made to specific District or Circuit requirements.
These documents can be found on the website under ‘Annual Returns’ on A-Z Property Guidance (methodist.org.uk) and Regular Inspections (methodist.org.uk) as well as Schedules and Forms (methodist.org.uk) and Managing Trustees (methodist.org.uk).
Help make 3Generate happen!
There is still time to be a part of 3Gen 2023 and join the great band of volunteers who help make the event happen! We are especially looking for volunteers in the following areas: youth support team, arts centre, stewards, the Rec (sports and exercise) and the volunteers lounge. As a volunteer you have all accommodation and meals provided, we cover your travel expenses and provide a great space to relax and enjoy lots of delicious snacks and refreshments as you recharge!
Here's Craig talking about how 3Gen makes a big difference to him and why he returns year after year: https://youtu.be/P6ccORDd8b0
Sign up to join the team here.
Methodists for Ukraine
Methodists for Ukraine is now closed to new applications to host. If you are interested in hosting Ukrainian refugees, we recommend Communities for Ukraine or RESET Homes for Ukraine who offer similar matching and support services. If you need support for an existing sponsorship, then please email Julian at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please circulate and update any websites if necessary.
Property Matters - August 2023
Click here for the Property Matters newsletter.
Click here to download CPD 2023 vol. 2.
Communities for Afghanistan Round Table
The Citizens UK network of community organisations is appealing for people to join them in their call for action for safe routes for Afghan asylum-seekers.
The network, which also wants to show that UK communities are ready to welcome Afghans through local sponsorship, are holding a round table discussion on Friday 18 August from 11am to 12pm. This will be an opportunity to hear from Afghan refugees and learn how we can support those who are already in the UK.
Reserve your place at this link.
Letting Photos Speak
Methodist ministers, Philip Richter and Andy Lindley, have just co-authored a new book, with professional photographer and former Anglican military chaplain, Steve Radley, called, Letting Photos Speak: visio divina and other approaches to contemplative photography. The book is for anyone who takes photos, on standard cameras or smartphones, and who wants to explore personal meaning and well-being through their pictures. Steve tells how he found photography particularly helpful in managing his memories of war. He reveals how his camera offered him post-traumatic growth and a new appreciation of life.
The authors were inspired to write the book by their shared interest in photography and spirituality and the ways in which photography can be used to access the benefits of mindfulness and contemplation. In a fast-paced society, it can be difficult to slow down and become aware of the present moment. They say they were keen to write a book which said, ‘hey, let’s use some of the inventions from the attention-grabbing economy to help us appreciate the beauty of the world that we so often miss when we are rushing from task to task’.
Letting Photos Speak is available from bookshops and the Darton Longman & Todd website (until the end of September you can get a 60% discount with the code ‘SUMMER!’).
Closing date EXTENDED! Applications for the role of Methodist Youth President will now close on 15 August
Must be aged 18-23 when the role starts in August 2024. Full time role, salary £23,000-26,000. Home-working or London office. This is a really exciting, varied and challenging role, representing and speaking on behalf of children and young people within the Methodist Church. All of the details are available on the website here – could this be the opportunity for you!
Mental Health and Wellbeing for ministers
The Wellbeing pages of Signposts has been updated; Mental Health and Wellbeing for ministers (methodist.org.uk)
New book published: Bigger and Wilder, Life, loss and learning to be a pilgrim by Jill Baker
Having experienced the ancient spiritual practice of pilgrimage as a lifeline following tragic bereavement, Jill Baker has discovered more about being a pilgrim—not only by making journeys but also by identifying and developing attitudes and perspectives which help her and others to travel well through this journey of life, with all its ups and downs, green pastures and desolate spaces.
In this book, she encourages us to step into the pilgrim spirit and discover more about the big, wild God who constantly calls us to follow. The book dips into the biblical roots of pilgrimage and takes a cursory voyage through the history of the practice, particularly asking the question about how pilgrimage fits into a Methodist theology and culture.
Jill Baker invites us to explore pilgrim words, such as restlessness, encounter, attentiveness, courage, liminality, to suggest ways in which seeing our lives as pilgrimage may help us to navigate through them, reflects on how the experience of and thinking about pilgrimage has affected her own ongoing journey with grief.
Buy it here.
Guidance on Ministers who are not circuit staff
Please note an update from the Ministries Committee on Ministers who are not circuit staff is now available here.
Encourage adults in your church to talk with young people!
Research has shown that children and young people really value conversations with adults and feeling connected with their wider church family. That’s why, at Conference this year, Methodists are encouraged to take a moment to talk to a young person in their faith community. For many adults talking to a teenager maybe a daunting prospect. If this applies to people in your church why not invite them to one of the upcoming Youthscape Essentials taster sessions to help build rapport with young people? Find out more about more and register here.
Invest some time in you and your youth ministry with Youthscape Essentials
“The Youthscape Essentials course is a helpful resource for those working with teenagers in our churches. No matter how long you have been working with young people there’s always something useful to pick up from taking part in this training.” Simon, Lancashire
If you’re wanting to grow your confidence and skills working with young people in churches and community projects then this programme is just what you’re looking for. Youthscape Essentials offers the opportunity to spend time in community with other workers and volunteers, exploring together insights into the lives of young people, relevant skills and character development. It’s a perfect course for anyone involved in or interested in developing ministry with young people (aged 11-18). The material has been developed and piloted in a Methodist Circuit in partnership with Youthscape. Find out more here.
The bookings for Responsible Grace - the initial supervision training - are open BUT bookings are slower than expected for this time of year, especially for the September event from 27 to 29 in Newcastle.
If you are intending to train as a supervisor in the coming connexional year (or know someone who is) then please can you ensure the booking is made as soon as possible for the preferred dates, but particularly if it is your intention to attend the September event can any booking be made by 20 August.
Bookings can be made directly via this page.
Do speak to your district chair about your intention to train if you haven’t already done so and we look forward to welcoming you in the new connexional year.
Latest NPNP Update
The latest news about New Places for New People, including:
- Order hard copies of Beginning a Church at the Margins for your District/Circuit (course starts October). Visit this page for more information How to begin a Church at the Margins. Please use this form to order hard copies, by 7 August https://forms.office.com/e/JV4fgY1A9U
- Crackin’ Good Church, 14 October, Manchester, book here www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/crackin-good-church-finding-the-treasure-in-church-at-the-margins-tickets-639335609017
... a gathering to promote new Christian Communities at the margins
... free event, with time for fellowship, free food (a hot meal) and refreshments
- Wholehearted, 12 to 14 January 2024, Yarnfield Park, nr Stone, Staffordshire
The Evangelism and Growth team would like to gather people who have a sense of the hopeful future that the Holy Spirit is leading us to, and have created 'Whole Hearted'. We will spend time seeking God, discerning vision, engaging in strategic planning and workshopping knotty problems. It would be great to have your voice and wisdom inspiring those in more established contexts. Places, incl. accommodation and food, are fully funded but a deposit is required when booking (returned in full after the weekend to all who attend). If you need help paying the deposit please contact Julian Bond. Book here www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/whole-hearted-tickets-594498249267
Conference Business Digest 2023
Click here for the Conference Business Digest.
Superintendents' Conference 2023 - Corin Pilling's keynote
At the Superintendents' Conference in Blackpool we recorded Corin Pilling's keynote. If you would like to watch it, please click here.
Property Matters - July 2023
3Gen group leaders
At the heart of the children and youth assembly, 3Generate will always be hearing from children and young people about the things that matter to them.
Here’s why one group leader thinks 3Gen is important:
“They just love being here, learning about the world, they love learning about faith and having that chance to have their voice heard.”
Watch to find out more: https://youtu.be/TC7_Dcs4OAc
Don’t forget leaders come for free to 3Generate! Ticket sales close on the 21st July, register now and pay in September with up to 2 places refunded. Full details of children and young people can be added in September.
If you would like some support to help make that happen please email: 3Generate@methodistchurch.org.uk
Book here: www.3Generate.org.uk
Our friends at Sarum College have shared the documents here below, outlining short course and postgraduate opportunities which many have found very useful for CDiM purposes. Please do share them widely, as appropriate.
Connexional New Year resources 2023/2024
You can prepare for the Connexional Year 2023/2024 now and order all the essential resources that you will need for your mission and ministry from Methodist Publishing
The District Circuit Order Form has been sent out to those on the recipient list. If you have not received your form or require this form please email email@example.com
Rural Ministry Course 2023
Rural Ministry Course dates for 2023
“Really helpful – practical, inspiring & encouraging!”- Oct 22 RMC participant.
17-18 October at King’s Park, Northampton.
For lay & ordained leaders new to a rural context, entering a rural appointment for the first time, or in need of a ‘rural refresher’.
Come and explore mission, evangelism & leadership with an ecumenical rural lens.
If further information would be useful, please contact Sarah Hulme, rural mission & ministry officer via firstname.lastname@example.org
Trinity College Glasgow - Autumn 2023
Trinity College Glasgow is offering a range of short courses for the Autumn. The details are in the documents below for any who may be interested. Please do share in your own contexts as appropriate:
Your faith, your online world - an opportunity to take part in research
Click here for more information.
Monday 17 July 18:15 - 2 spaces remain
Tuesday 18 July 17:00 - 3-4 spaces remain
Wednesday 19 July 17:00 - Spaces remain
How people candidate for ordained ministry is different now, to when you candidated
For information about the current candidating process, please watch this 10 minute recording of members of the Connexional Team talking through the process
Evaluation from exploring ordained ministry events tells us that your role in encouraging people is key. 50% of those who attended events this year, when asked “how did you hear about this event” said ‘my minister told me’.
Green – My minister told me
Orange – website
Red – other
Blue – social media
All the information about candidating is here, including key dates.
It is also worth noting that for anyone wanting to take some time to explore their sense of calling, a new programme called Explore has opened. To be part of the 2023-24 cohort of the Explore course, they need to register this summer (before 31 August).
Explore might, for some people lead to DOV1 and then on to DOV2 when they candidate, yet for most it is likely to lead to new expressions of lay vocations. Please do show this lovely film in worship and meetings to encourage everyone to explore what God is calling them to be and do.
A message from Hamish Leese, Action for Hope Implementation Officer
As I’m sure you are aware, the Methodist Church is on a journey towards net zero carbon by 2030. This is a really challenging target, which will require action all across the Connexion, but is key to our role in God’s mission.
It is important that we learn from the wonderful initiatives, resources and projects going on all across the Connexion, and I would love your help in finding out about what is going on in your area or that you are involved in. We are looking to share good practice; prayer and worship resources; and stories to encourage and equip the Church.
If you have anything you’d like to share I would love to hear from you – you can email me on email@example.com. Even if you’re not sure whether your story is worth sharing, please do be in touch, and let’s have a conversation!
Action for Hope Implementation Officer
Discerning Ordained Vocation 1
The experience of Discerning Ordained Vocation 1 this first year has shown that applicants and accompanists need a longer time together before the retreat in May, in order to develop their covenant together, to get to know each other and to cover all the necessary areas of reflection.
Therefore the deadline for applications to DOV1 has been brought forward from 30 April to 31 March.
Please ensure that anyone interested in applying for DOV1 knows that they may do so between 1 January and 31 March 2024.
Also – please note that in order to apply for the Explore programme of vocational discernment, applicants need to be members of a British Methodist church or a Methodist related local ecumenical partnership, but they do not have to have been a member for any specific length of time. When anyone candidates (applies for DOV2), they need to have been a member for at least 1 year by the September of the year in which they candidate. (So anyone applying for DOV2 in 2023-2024 must have become a member by September 2022 at the latest).
Information about Explore can be found here: Explore (methodist.org.uk)
Information about DOV1 can be found here: Discerning Ordained Ministry - Discovering (methodist.org.uk)
Information about DOV2 can be found here: Discerning Ordained Ministry - offering (methodist.org.uk)
Guidance notes on DOV1 and DOV2 can be found here: Guidance for candidating (2023-24) (methodist.org.uk)
Enabling skills for Ministry and Mission
Director of Ministry Development
I am writing to inform you that the Connexional Team is seeking to appoint a Director of Ministry Development to be an advocate and a catalyst for ministry development throughout the Church. The role is based within our Ministries team which provides training, development and support to those serving in lay and ordained ministry.
The successful applicant will develop, manage, implement and evaluate work relating to;
- Ministry development for the whole people of God
- Vocational discernment
- Supervision as part of ministry development
- Working with others to ensure the support for enabling Ministers to fulfil their potential and flourish (including production of the Ministers Handbook and material relating to the Ministerial Covenant).
This post is open to lay and ordained and works closely with the Ministries Committee.
Further information about the role is available on our website here: Director of Ministry Development (current-vacancies.com)
We would be grateful if you could share this information with anyone you know who might be suitable for this vital role that supports ministry development throughout our Church. The closing date for applications is 16th July.
Doug Swanney CMgr FCMI
The Connexional Secretary | The Connexional Team
Line management and lay trainings
Methodists for Ukraine project evaluation
The Mission Team is undergoing an evaluation of the Methodists for Ukraine project, which launched in October 2022. We want to capture the learning – good and bad – that can help inform the Church’s current and future mission projects, particularly those that emerge as an emergency response to a humanitarian situation. Any ministers who wish to contribute are invited to share any reflections they may have via this anonymised form, whether they were directly involved in any matches or not.
Welcoming lay preachers
At Conference today a question was raised regarding where to find the guidance with regards to welcoming lay preachers from other traditions.
The detail can be found on the Local Preachers’ Secretary section of the Methodist Church Website Local Preacher Secretaries (methodist.org.uk)
Specifically the guidance is linked here - www.methodist.org.uk/media/27711/welcoming-lay-preachers-from-other-traditions_guidance-on-so566a-dec-2022.pdf
New President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference elected for 2024/25
The Methodist Conference has elected the Revd Helen D. Cameron to serve as President and Mrs Carolyn Godfrey to serve as Vice-President, starting their year of office when the Representative Session of the Methodist Conference opens in Leeds in June 2024.
The Revd Helen D. Cameron is currently the Chair of the Northampton District, and Moderator of the Free Church Group. She has served as Assistant Secretary of the Conference and was the Director of Methodist Formation at the Queens Foundation. Helen enjoyed circuit appointments in the Birmingham South-West and the Elmdon circuits and is committed to the enabling, resourcing and flourishing of lay and ordained ministry. She has served in an Anglican: Methodist LEP, in industrial and rural mission, in areas of significant deprivation and in the joy of growing churches
Mrs Carolyn Godfrey is the District Safeguarding Officer covering both the Darlington and Newcastle Districts and a local preacher. She has a background in pastoral care and child protection within the education system helping to support children with additional needs and families facing complex issues. Carolyn has a Master of Education degree which focused on social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
The role of President of the Methodist Conference is reserved for presbyters and that of Vice-President for lay people or deacons.
The Ministries team are delighted that a new, 90 second film encouraging people to explore what God is called them to be and do is now available.
Please do use you it yourselves over the coming year as you encourage people of all ages, into the church leadership and ministry roles.
Please can we also ask you to pass this on through meetings, in worship, in your newsletters, on your websites and social media channels?
We are providing 3 things;
- The film
- Information for people who might want to join Explore
- A letter from the MVW team to you as Ministers
Please use / amend as makes sense.
As you know, Claire Potter, Paul Wood and I have had to work really intensely to get all of this ready since Conference last year, and now we only have 2 months before Explore (the course element) starts, therefore if you can promote all of this to your congregations, that would be amazing.
Equipping Gods Missional people
Newsflash: Reforms to Charities Act 2011
Charities Act 2022 – Permanent Endowments
Please note the button at the top of this page Ministerial Wellbeing has been updated. You can find the details here Mental Health and Wellbeing for ministers (methodist.org.uk)
Nominations open for the National Church Awards
The National Church Awards – the ‘BAFTAs for churches’ – is back and bigger than ever. Nominations have officially opened, with churches across the UK now able to enter for awards in architecture, volunteering, tourism and so much more.
Churches have an amazing story to tell – from their beautiful buildings to the dedicated volunteers who keep them open and serving local people – but they need help. With the future of many churches uncertain and under threat, there has never been a more important time to celebrate the UK’s churches and their importance to communities.
Nominations will close on July 23, 2023, with judging then taking place by church and heritage experts. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday 6 November at the fabulous Mercer’s Hall, London.
Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said:
“Churches are the beating hearts of communities. They contribute £55 billion of economic and social good each year, bringing communities together to help them to thrive. We are excited to host an awards ceremony that showcases their importance, as well as the many other wonderful ways they contribute to society.”
“This is a great opportunity for people across the UK to join with us in celebrating local churches and their buildings.”
Canon Easter, former Chaplain to the late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who hosted the awards last year, and will be returning as host this year said:
“It was a great privilege to host these awards last year. It was lovely to see churches from across the whole of the UK nominated and cheered on by their communities. But there are many more churches doing wonderful work, and I hope they will enter for an award this year.”
Churches can easily nominate themselves for an award by going to: www.nationalchurchestrust.org/awards23
Worship resources produced by NPNP practitioners
Guidance for Local Arrangements
Local Arrangements are becoming a frequent feature of many circuit plans. This might be seen as a problem, and many people aren’t quite sure what’s expected when “LA” appears on the plan. However, an LA might be an opportunity to encourage more people to get involved and to release new gifts in the worship life of the Church. We have produced some fresh guidance which can be downloaded from the LP Secretaries webpage here. Please feel free to distribute this to anyone in your circuit who is involved with Local Arrangements and to your Local Preachers and Worship Leaders.
There are more ideas for Local Arrangements on the STF+ pages here.
New documents from the Faith and Order Committee
Three new documents have recently been published by the Faith and Order Committee and are available on the website:
Theology and Practice of the Peace: Theological reflection and practical guidance on sharing the peace during worship
Guidance on welcome services: Some helpful pointers as you plan welcome services for new ministers
Guidance on marking the ending of appointments in a service of worship: When someone steps down from their role in the life of the church, it’s good to be able to say thank you and celebrate what they have contributed. This gives some helpful thoughts in planning that and an outline order of service.
An update on the Methodist Conference from the Secretary of the Conference
An update on the Methodist Conference from the Secretary of the Conference, the Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler:
In the context of an ongoing investigation and in the wake of press reports and subsequent publicity, the President of the Conference 2022-23, the Revd Graham Thompson, has decided not to attend the Conference. The ex-President, the Revd Sonia Hicks, will preside at the Presbyteral Session and the Opening of the Representative Session.
The Vice-President, Mr. Anthony Boateng, is currently suspended while an investigation into his conduct is taking place and will also be absent from the Conference. The ex-Vice-President, Mrs Barbara Easton, will deputise for him in the Representative Session.
3Generate: be a part of it!
We’re looking to grow the incredible volunteering team: 3Generate happens because almost 300 volunteers come together to serve in a host of different roles. From being a steward, registering groups, assisting in venues, supporting those with additional needs, being on the youth support team or a village host in the group tents area – there are a wide range of ways your gifts and skills can make a difference. There is a great new stream too for young adult volunteers over the age of 18.
Find out more about the difference volunteering can make and how you can benefit from the experience too by watching this brand new video: https://youtu.be/QMvp7iigU-8
Sign up to be part of the 2023 team via this quick and easy link just for ministers here.
We really hope you will prayerfully consider ways to join in and be a part of this amazing weekend for both children, young people and adults alike!
If you would like further information please contact us via 3Generate@methodistchurch.org.uk
Property Matters - June 2023
Leadership Year - 12 fully funded places available
Would you like to see the young Christians in your community developed into humble, discerning, authentic, courageous leaders? The Leadership Year is an exciting opportunity for 18-30 year olds across the Connexion, who want to invest time in developing their leadership abilities. It is aimed at those who may just be starting out in a leadership role, or who are wanting to be involved in leadership, which may be within a church setting, or outside the Church.
Centred around 3 residential weekends, with evening online gatherings and the opportunity to meet with a coach, it is a chance for your young leaders to be in community with other young adults, to reflect on what it means to be a Christian leader (in church, secular workplaces, and local community) and to develop characteristics needed for self-aware, visionary, resilient leadership. One former participant reflected that it had “Given me new ideas on how I can be a faithful leader and equipped me to work better with others, especially those who are different to me.” There are 12 fully funded places available. If you know someone who might be interested please encourage them to apply. All details and link to the application form is here.
Sunshine and Showers: Prayer's Beautiful Messiness
Coming soon: “Sunshine and Showers: Prayer’s Beautiful Messiness” is a great new resource to help groups explore prayer in a new way. The 6 sessions look at some of the commonly experienced paradoxes in prayer. Group conversations are supported by videos, animations and a resource booklet – all will soon be available from the Methodist Church website.
Introduction for potential group leaders: Thursday 20 July 11.30 - 12.30. Come and find out more – how might you use this new resource in your context?
Book in here or send this link to small group leaders in your circuit.
Methodist Diaconal Support and Advisory Committee
The Methodist Diaconal Support and Advisory Committee is looking to recruit two new members: a presbyter and a lay person to use their experiences and skills to support the ministry of the Methodist Diaconal Order and Methodist Deacons. Click here for more information.
A message from the Secretary of the Conference
Some of you will be aware that The Times has published an article about the President, the Revd Graham Thompson, and the Vice-President of the Conference, Anthony Boateng. As the article indicated, the concerns are different in each case and are being investigated; the Vice-President is currently suspended, but I would stress that suspension is a neutral act and is in place only to enable investigations to be completed. It would be inappropriate to comment any further on the details of these matters; we now need space and confidentiality to address the concerns as swiftly as possible.
Can I ask for your prayers for everyone in these difficult situations at this time - for those who feel hurt by actions or inactions on the part of the Church; for those who have raised concerns; for Anthony, Graham and those close to them; for all charged with administering our processes; for the Conference (and for Gill and Kerry, President- and Vice-President-designate) as we prepare to meet next week in these circumstances? And, as I am all too aware, frankly, that whatever I say will be inadequate for some and might even appear insensitive to others, can I ask mutual forbearance and, if you feel hurt, forgiveness and understanding, as we endeavour to speak with grace and care when it is right to speak and to be silent when no words will do?
If you have any questions or concerns about this, please refer them to me; if you are approached by a journalist or want guidance about anything you see on social media, please contact our Communications team.
The Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler
The Secretary of the Conference
Portfolio reader for candidates' portfolios
Do you know anyone who might be interested to become a portfolio reader for candidates’ portfolios. This role replaces the assessment previously carried out. The readers carry out a robust process and offer guidance to the candidate and the Connexional committee.
This is what is needed:
- People who have some experience of assessing written and creative work (video, audio, visual) in relation to expressing a call to ordained ministry and theological reflection.
- Willing to be part of a team who read portfolios individually but also check aspects with each other and produce reports that the whole group ‘own’.
- People who have time to do this work between the last week of November and Christmas (ie: it is not easy for people in active circuit ministry).
- Willing to attend a meeting online in very early January (2 Jan 2024) and a review/training meeting in person that is likely to be early March in 2024.
- More women, more people from global majority heritage, more lay people, more deacons.
The current team is not large enough to deal with the potential numbers of candidates which could be higher than in recent years. Also some of the team members are in their last year. The team are aware that they are not sufficiently diverse. We would also like some people to shadow the role before launching into it (though we anticipate that the need will be such that some new people might need to launch straight in, but they will do so with support as part of a team).
Guidance and training is provided.
Survey about ministry with 18-30 year olds
The CYF team are currently developing a plan for work with young adults. To help us with this we would like to capture your thoughts, whether you are involved in ministry with this age group or not. We would be grateful if you could take the time to fill in this short survey.
A Justice-Seeking Church - Webinar and Audio version
The report, A Justice-Seeking Church, will be coming to this year’s Methodist Conference. It offers a new framework for the principles, priorities and practices of justice for Methodists and Methodist churches.
If you would like to find out more or have questions or comments before the report comes to the Conference, there will be two webinars with Rachel Lampard who has led on the project.
The webinars are aimed primarily at representatives who will be attending the Conference but anyone is welcome to attend. They will begin with an overview of the report, but will include time for conversation around questions and comments arising from it.
To book a place on one of the webinars:
Tuesday 20 June 2023 8-9pm - https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrdu-hpzooE9wGbo5nGGTBHkEFRzmTLB17
Wednesday 21 June 2023 4-5pm - https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctduCrrTwuGdKltG4eBPe5hCrsTxcHCxPU
You can also listen to an audio version of the report in 8 chapters
Yorkshire West NPNP vacancies
Three vacancies in Yorkshire West, here is the page for their NPNP Yorkshire West - Keighley & Pontefract (methodist.org.uk)
- NPNP Pioneer, Pontefract 01 20230523 Advert (methodist.org.uk), closing date 30 June
- Pre-loved shop manager, Keighley (part-time) 01 20230606 SM Advert (methodist.org.uk), closing date 30 June
- Pre-loved Gathering Pioneer, Keighley (part-time) 01 20230606 GP Advert (methodist.org.uk), closing date 30 June
Theos Report Ashes to Ashes
Theos, in partnership with the Susanna Wesley Foundation, investigated current trends on, and attitudes towards, dying, death, and the afterlife in the UK, and explored the role of churches and faith communities. This research focusses on understanding attitudes surrounding a “good death”, trends and practices on memorialisation of the dead, and beliefs about the afterlife. Click here for more information.
Annual Update of Personal Details
This is a reminder that any changes to your contact details need to be received by 7 July 2023 to be included in the 2023 Minutes of the Conference and Directory. Click here to complete your details.
The Conference Office
Pensions and Housing webinar
The Community for Spiritual Formation forthcoming dates