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Methodist Missionary Society (Ireland) changes name to Irish Methodist World Mission Partnership

 

 

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The Methodist World Family – the Rev David Nixon administers communion in South Africa.

In the September issue of the Methodist Newsletter, the President, the Rev Dr Laurence Graham, explains the reasons for changing the 200-year-old name of the Methodist Missionary Society.  He says:

 

‘In the early years of the Methodist Missionary Society we sent missionaries to various places to pioneer new outreach work and establish new churches. Through such initiatives, churches have grown all around the world. In tandem, though, the Church here in the western world has experienced substantial numerical decline. As a result, many of the areas that were once described as the ‘mission field’ are now, in fact, where the global strength of the Church is to be found. So, we have at least as much to receive and to learn from our partners around the world as we have to give them.

As our new mission statement puts it: “World Mission Partnership… enables Methodist people in Ireland and friends to join with partners around the world to proclaim Christ’s love and his offer of salvation and to promote Church growth. We do this by partnering through giving and receiving, learning and teaching, praying and being prayed for and serving and being served”.”

President Laurence Graham stresses the importance of ‘Connexion’

 

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In his first President’s Letter to the Methodist Newsletter, Dr Graham reflects on ‘Connexion’, the idea that, as a Church, we are all connected to each other.  The spelling dates from the 18th century when its principle was laid out by John Wesley and can be stated as follows:

… it enshrines a vital truth about the nature of the Church. It witnesses to a mutuality and interdependence which derive from the participation of all Christians through Christ in the very life of God Himself (Called to love and praise – Paragraph 4.6.1. Methodist Church in Britain).

In our daily lives, there is frequently a tension between working together cooperatively and doing our own thing.  Dr Graham stresses the former as being the better way forward.  He concludes his letter as follows:

‘Connexionalism is missional. I know people here in Ireland who have joined the Methodist Church specifically because we are a Connexion with structures and organisational safeguards. Structure is not our mission but good structure will facilitate our mission. Let us celebrate the gift of connexionalism and show the world that mutual interdependence can and does work!’

 

Methodist President praises ‘reconciling conversation’ while ‘saddened’ by reported attacks on fire and rescue services

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The President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Rev Dr Laurence Graham, commenting on the events of last night at an East Belfast bonfire and the Orange Parade from the Ardoyne this morning has said:  ‘It’s almost like a “tale of two cities”. This morning the parade of Orange Lodges passing the Ardoyne Shops, a parade which in the recent past provoked angry and physical protests passed in a respectful and dignified manner.

‘This was in marked contrast to a  bonfire in East Belfast which not only burned the election posters of parties they did not agree with but went beyond this by burning a coffin bearing the image of the late Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness.  Such actions were in marked contrast to a comment from Mr McGuinness’s son: “We were not brought up to hate.”

‘I was also saddened by the report that for the first time in five years, members of the fire and rescue service were attacked while attending bonfires in Belfast and Larne. These crews have a difficult and at times a dangerous job to do without being subject to the mindless actions of others.

‘I join with many others in praying for more of the kind of reconciling conversation which led to the peaceful passing of the parade in Ardoyne.’

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Conference issue of the Methodist Newsletter now published

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Copies of the July/August issue of the Methodist Newsletter are now available for collection.

Methodist President to participate in National Day of Commemoration

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On Sunday 9th July the Rev Dr Laurence Graham, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, will participate along with senior representatives of the Christian Church and other faith groups at a service at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin.

The Service is part of the National Day of Commemoration. It is held to commemorate people who died in past wars or United Nations peace-keeping missions.

The date of the Commemoration is the Sunday nearest 11 July – the anniversary of the date of the signing of the Truce in 1921 signifying the ending of the Irish War of Independence.

Dr Graham’s ministry is based at the Methodist Church’s Dublin Central Mission.

Methodist Church in Ireland – On Mission

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This summer, The Methodist Church in Ireland is on Mission. All around the country, people are on the move, serving children through Holiday Bible Clubs and summer activities.

Please pray for the clubs, the children attending and their parents, the leaders and the churches’ follow-up.

If you are free and in the area of any of the kids clubs, feel free to send your children or grandchildren along. They will be assured of a warm welcome. #shareshareshare