Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Connexional Leaders Forum

For the last 2 days David and I have been at the Connexional Leaders Forum which has been meeting at High Leigh Conference Centre in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. Despite the awful weather in many parts of the country almost all members of the Forum managed to get to the meeting.

CLF brings together the 6 people who are designate, current or ex President and Vice-President, the Youth President, the General Secretary and Strategic Leaders in the Connexional Team, the Warden of the Diaconal Order, the Chairs of the SRC, Stationing Committee and Methodist Council and the District Chairs. It meets 3 times a year and whilst it is not a decision making body, it does provide the opportunity for leaders in the Methodist Church in Britain to gather together for mutual sharing discussion and support.

Today CLF met with our District Development Enablers who work across the Connexion. DDEs have been closely involved in the initiative known as “Mapping a Way Forward: Regrouping for Mission”, an initiative that is encouraging churches, circuits and districts to look again at their mission and trying to address those factors that get in the way of it being truly effective. For some this means revising circuit boundaries, for others it means working across them in partnership, but if that is all that happens then we will have wasted a God-given opportunity to revitalise our discipleship and mission.

The session this morning provided an opportunity to hear of the many different approaches being taken in Districts around the Connexion and learn the lessons of the experience over the last 2 years. It was stressed how important it was to understand the local context of a community, church or circuit and this was why a single Connexional approach or blue-print was not being advocated.

Equally this should be a continual process of discerning how we as individuals and as the Church should respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

These are exciting times for the Methodist Church in Britain, but they can also feel risky or unsettling for many. Today was about learning from one another and supporting one another as we move forward in mission.

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