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.