Thursday, November 24, 2005

Methodist council - Day One

Well I realised I never posted up the Methodist Council blog entries I had written and so here we have the entires. The first is day one and the second is day two. Just to forwarn you all though, Methodist council meets again very soon. So please check back on the 8th December for an update and then on the 13th for a report on the previous days meeting. So then a time travel device sweeps us back over a month to the 17th October and Methodist Council day one. I manage to make it to the venue, a lovely Roman Catholic centre, with a good half an hour to go. After finding my room and thena cup of coffee it was off to the first moment of council, a welcome and induction (or should that read indoctrination ;) ) into the ways and woes of methodist council. The session was rather good with everyone saying what the represented, a whilstle stop tour of who does what and then an any questions session. My only thought from it was that the makeup of the council, by lay people (so non-ordained) betrayed the problems of having it issue to be returned to later..... Anywho after that it was into the session of Methodist Council. Before i prattle into that I would mearly note that if anyone wishes to read the official comment on what went on then the minutes are avaliable here we started off with an examination of the Team Focus programme and wher eit was at and going. Team Focus is the revisioning work of teh methodist Church to ensure that the central support staff (connexional team) are only doing what central can do best, rather than taking a workload away from circuit and districts when they could do it better, this is not due to a theological change in direction for the methodist church though. Instead it is a reflection of the financial situion it faces it'self in. The discussion that was had on this item (5) was very interesting with a fine talk from Mr David Deeks to lead it all off. That said I do wish I had a buzzwords bingo sheet infront of me as the ammount of phrases such as "our lense to view it" etc was shocking and I am sure I would have won a prize very quickly! The only real disagreement occured when discussion was had around the secondment of one member of central staff. This person was the connexional link for Local Preachers. Now the discussion over this was intersting as, ulitmatly, it is up to the individuals to apply for the secondment rather than having it enforced. Also I found it a strong statement of the need for laity (ie non ordained people) and the role they play in the methodist church to have their central link on a re-examining project. After that we went on to a discussion on the review of Methodist Council. This was in light of


  1. sort your post out john, i think you've messed up a hyperlink somewhere.

    With regard to other faiths using methodist property, some initial thoughts from me.

    Firstly it is important to consider the reaction of other faiths using what is deemed to be a christian building for their religious services. Not just people within the church, but those outside. I'd like to think that it would encourage people to engage in further dialogue between faiths. In reality I imagine that the media will have a field day misrepresenting the intentions. And who do people listen for their 'facts' these days?

    Secondly, I'm not sure how some faiths will deal with the overt christian art/architecture, particularly Islam, where giving image to God or Mohammed is seen as idolatry.

    thirdly, is there any faiths that would not be welcome? Paganism, spiritualism?

    What would be good is if a religious faith group wishes to use a methodist building are able to approach the local worshippers and meet for discussion, perhaps after a local group has used the interfaith document that was produced for conference a few years ago. This discourse can either lead to a shared use of the building or not, depending on a decision by loacl church council. In this instance to me what is important in this process is not whether groups are able to use the same building, but that they've had discussion and perhaps got to know each others faiths a little better, and as individual people a little better.

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