Monday, 25 October 2010

I want to be part of a Church.

Several people have asked for the words I wrote for the end of the Vice-Presidents address to the Methodist Conference in Portsmouth. I wrote it after praying in the conservatory one morning; perhaps you might wish to reflect on what you would have written?

I want to be part of a church that is fully immersed in the story of God

A church that celebrates and works in partnership with the Worldwide Methodist Family.

A church that explores and nurtures the faith of young and old.

A church that celebrates its rich story of contact with 750,000 people, 250,000 members, 10,000 local preachers, 2,000 ministers, several hundred lay employees and 5,700 properties.

I want to be part of a church that is prayer-filled.

A church that is resourced and sustained by the Bible.

A church that can offer hope even in a credit crunch.

A church that can live well with difference and diversity.

I want to be part of a church that welcomes the wealthy, those who have power and influence.

A church that knows how to party and celebrate life.

A church that acknowledges death and speaks boldly of resurrection.

A church that doesn't pretend to have all the answers but encourages all the questions.

I want to be part of a church that throws parties for prostitutes.

A church that welcomes those who seek asylum.

A church that longs and yearns for justice.

A church that listens to those no-one else wants to listen to.

I want to be part of a church that believes in transformation not preservation.

A church where all who are lost can be found.

A church where people can discover friendship.

A church where every person takes responsibility in sharing the good news.

I want to be part of a church whose hope is placed securely and confidently in the transforming love of God.

A church that engages faith in its communities.

A church that makes and nurtures disciples of Jesus.

A church where the story of God’s love is at the centre.

I want to be part of a church that offers outrageous grace, reckless generosity,

transforming love and engaging faith.

This is God’s story Transforming Love: Engaging Faith.

My prayer is that by the power of the Spirit of God at work amongst us, it will increasingly be our story.

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