Friday, January 13, 2006

Final Methodist Council Report for Dec Meeting..

So, the final slot for Methodist Council (December) report. This means that it is very little time till the next one – indeed the paperwork comes out in three weeks! 11/ Southlands College – This was a minor technical issue that slightly adjusted the people named as governors of this Methodist College. As ever, even though it was a very important issue, the vote was verbal. 12/ Cliff College – Jonathan Kerry presented a very interesting paper that outlined possible moves for the future as the Methodist Theological College and the loan the Connexion gave it. As part of securing it’s financial future it was also examining the fields that it owns and if any were to be sold off where would be the best to sell to enable future development of the site by the college without encroaching on the sold land. This reminded me of a fact that had been in the Guardian that very week illustrating a loss of 100,000 spaces for playing purposes between 1994 and 2004. I know this figure has dropped since Blair came in (in 1997) but even so he has not halted the selling of playing fields and then moans about a lack of fit and young and healthy children/young people and the fact they have nothing to do. Join up thinking there mate – go on … just this once! 13/ General Secretaries Report – David Deeks presented a very interesting report which was more of an ideological report than a “what I have done” one. I had a few questions around it but overall found it a very good and positive report. It presented challenges to the Methodist Church as a whole about how it faces the challenges we are being forced to engage in. But there are three parts that I had issue with. I will post up the other two later as it was more a symantic one but the third was a fundamental disagreement as this was… - The statement where he states that he thinks that God is providing the Methodist Church with the correct number of ministers for what it needs to fulfil. Whilst I do not doubt the honesty of his answer I am not persuaded by it myself. I more see that we have the ministers that the current membership of the church creates. Therefore we have a group of middle aged minsters that are then leading the church into a middle aged (and over) membership over and above the youth and young adult profile that we are looking for. 14/ Buildings – This is an ongoing piece of work that the council had it’s attention drawn to by an audit of the needs of districts in regards to council. This is a review and some brain beating about buildings and what we do with them and how we approach them. This is not “a plot” to get rid of buildings but a way to look at what bricks and motor resources we have and if we are using them correctly. If we are then are the people inside realising that there is more to church than the building. If we are not then what could the best course of action be. There will be a presentation of the new Buildings DVD produced by Alan Pimlott and his buildings corp in February which is exciting!. 15/ Election of Council Reps to Edinburgh Conference – Unfortunately my mate Chris Iddon wasn’t selected by council and many commiserations, council lost a quality contributor there. 16/ En Bloc – This was a large bloc of items, many single or double sentences and new people being appointed to connexional level committees. This was passed by grunt and if you want to see what it is then please check the minutes! After all that that was council meeting over….phew! It was a fun day and I was fully engaging with the meeting and I hope that you feel I am going some way to represent young people on this committee. If you have any questions/queries/comments then please do get in touch – young or old! Take Care Y’All john

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Gerogie Porgie

Well the CBB issue has come to teh for with a funky website set up "Get Back to Work George" which estimates the cost that George Galloway is costing the public by being in the house. That said his political comments are being removed from the show therefore making him seem more random than he usualy is! Anywho the test of the website will be if he misses an important debate this week in the house of commons about a rail-link through his constiuency. That said the only way he'll be there for that is if he is evicted...... Take Care Y'All John

Monday, January 09, 2006

Brightest and Best is the Porn in the Morning!

After deconstructing religion Ch4 set onto deconstructing the 11 "celebrities" incaserated in the Celebrity Big Brother House. Now they definatly stretched the meaning of celebrity with the carcophony in there. That said there is, for a political hack like me, a person of note - Mr George Galloway MP for Bethnal Bow and Green. This was a particulay fine day for him exposure wise with some top quality moaning about the "state of youth" going on and then the most outrageou claim of all. He claimed that the 1billion+ muslims around the world had all heard who he was so he was definatly the biggest celebrity in there. I wasn't fully convinced. One thing that left me puzzling was where he gets the cigars he was always toking on from - who knows maybe he smuggled them in, in his tash or something. On the flip side goerges comedic moment of the evening was getting much umbridge about being called a murderer for eating meat and then saying that phrases such as murderer were very easy to bandy about....makes me wonder if he has read his own speeches at times! That said teh elder clique of which he is part is very interesting to watch in CBB. Lest interesting, and the inspiration of the title, was the continous discussion around sex. IT went though most of the "young uns" discussing who they had , how and why. This was backed up by and incredibly seedy chap who is an american basket ball star who could rape a women or at least seduce her with his charm (or her intake of alcohol) and he certainly tried it on that evening. Truly repulsive viewing. That said it makes me wonder if Ch4 would really allow a drunken rape to take place.....or wether ethics might at last kick into the programme and they intervene. Anywho todays quote of the show has to go to Chantelle and Dennis who had the following conversation. Scene : The bedroom Cast: Only Chantelle and Dennis are in the room Dennis: Before you leave we'll have sex Chantelle: What? You and Me? Dennis: Yes and anyone looking for a signature for online forums then the women who slept with Sven said "Have you ever pissed in someones tea" So then is this really still a physcological experiment as Ch4 continue to claim? Take care Y'All John

Methodist council Dec 05 - Part 2!

Well you thought you had escaped, no no the joy of Methodist Council reports continues! Well re-read the first post then you knew we were mearly at the preliminaries and the fun was about to begin! 5 / Chair of Council - Well one issue that I haven't delt with so far was what came up next, the chair of Methodist Council. At the moment it is chaired between the President and Vice President (more than ably assisted by Ken Howcroft) but the review of council asked for that to change. Instead the idea was a constant chair for a period of three years chosen from presidents and vice-presidents who wished to stand for the job. All clear so far? It was decided that the way to elect the person was by secret ballot, huzzah!, but that members of the council would be "sufficiently familure" with the candidates to avoid needing things such as statements or manifestos to be submitted. So we, the 'umble member, would be given a peice of paper with a list of names and exected to vote from that. I wern't happy about that so raised my objections about how "old boys club" it felt. This took on a life of it's own and ended up as an "official" resolution but was lost (by around 30 to 22 votes). But this was only because some members of council didn't wish for the election of a chair to be put off any longer whilst statements were got from the current people. Therefore in future statements will always have to be taken (hooray!) but for this one none were and , surprise surprise, the most recent president got the job. This is no commment either in favour or against the winner only with no statements it will be done on memory and the most recent was therefore more likely to win! 6/ The Methodist Council is, technicaly, the employer of the entire connexional team and this can provide some logistical issues therefore a paper was passed sending proposals to Confernece as to how (in reality) this can be administered and who can take decisions on behalf of council. 7/ Make Poverty History - A cracking powerpoint display was shown outlining all that had gone on , in the name of the methodist church, for the Make Poverty History campaign. This covered a variety of events and people and was backed up by a report mirroring the pictures. Unfortuantly I had to stand up and pass comment that there was only a singal mention of Youth Conference throughtout the report. This was a gross understatement of the commitment of Youth conference to the issue. Since around 2002 the trade justice coalition (who organised MPH) have been supported by the Youth conference through the MAYC WOrld Action worker. This campaigning has seen national days and the Methodist Youth Executive attend all the demos and lobby Hilary Benn and meet Gordon Brown. Throughout all of this the exec were used by methodist church to act as stewards, helpers, banner wavers etc and we loved it. It was great fun! But the recognition was needed so when people look back and try to see what was done to see so little about the youth conference and exec was distressing really. 8/ Further Education - This was a paper joint produced with the Church of England Education Devision . Originaly this had been placed within en-bloc buisness. This is where it is taken on the nod with little or no comment, but I requested it pulled out for full debate for a variety of reasons. These were raised by both myself and others but mainly centred around the idea that a connexionaly considered paper has to include education for all the regions and the membership of council has more than the england on it! This provoked much thought and we are told that more localised , but national, issues will be checked for prior to papers being brought to council. There is more to come, not much but more , and I shall save that for tommorow! Take Care Y'all John

Oh to be a Bishop!

I am in the middle of writing my response to the Methodist Conference paper from 2005 challenging us to consider "What Sort of Bishops?" should be applicable within the British Methodist Church. Anyway, to give you a flavour of the outlook I am taking then I could think of no better persons' words to plagurise then Mr John Wesley who wrote....... "How can you, how dare you suffer yourself to be called Bishop? I shudder, I start, at the very thought! Men may call me a kave or a fool, a rascal or a scoundral, and I am content; but they shall never by my consent call me Bishop! For my sake, for God's sake, for Christ' sake put a full end to this!" Now whilst this may, in reality, be not a disuasion from use of the word bishop and more for want of staying within the Anglican Communion (as the Methodists had not departed from it in this country at this point, and he was writing to Methodists in the US (Ashby and Coke), even so such vitriolic anger towards such a title is notable. Take Care Y'All John