Happy Birthday Methodist Church! It's been 80 years since the Weslyean, Primative and United Connexion's came together and it's a sad reflection on the state of the church that no-one has seen fit to mark it. But why does this matter?
The first reason a lack of celebration matters is the fact this highlights what can only be described as a lack of confidence in ourselves to have a story worth telling. Looking at my bookshelves I find a mirriad of political and social stories covering 1932 - around 198something and then a flurry of books around the turn of the millenium revisiting some key questions facing the church. It is clear that we have spent time looking at our place in the world, but not really promoting the people
This year could never be considered a tickertape year for the Methodist Church. The ongoing challenges of declining membership and undertaking a significant culture shift within the church to meet the society of today has lead to some very hard decisions. It just saddens me that, for an institution so often mocked for being stuck in the past, we don't have the fundraising or movement building nous to celebrate that past and 80 years of changing lives around the connexion. It can only lead me to a simple question: Is our movement's story that uninspiring?