Sunday, 17 October 2010

Joint meeting of the Methodist Council and URC Mission Council

In the first ever joint meeting of the United Reformed Church Mission Council and the Methodist Council, the Councils voted to work together to challenge the causes of poverty and inequality ingrained in British society.

Council members voted to confirm their commitment to the living wage, to stand alongside those poorest and most vulnerable, and to campaign for benefit and wage policies that allow people to live and work in dignity. This will involve working with other partners, including the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Church Action on Poverty.

In their discussions, the Councils re-committed themselves to working together with children and young people in Britain through the widest variety of means. They also agreed to form a group to take forward recent joint work between the Methodist Church and the URC on church buildings, focusing on the potential to share expertise and resources.

In our separate session as a Methodist Council we discussed a range of issues, including how the Church’s structures might best encourage and facilitate the Church’s mission in local and regional areas. We welcomed the news that the Fijian government has dropped most of the charges against leaders of the Methodist Church in Fiji. The members of the Fiji Methodist Church Standing Committee were charged with attending an unauthorized meeting held in April 2009, and all but four of them have had their charges dropped due to ‘insufficient evidence’

It was a joy to for Alison and I to share with Val Morrison and Kirsty Thorpe Co-Moderators of the United Reformed Church in leading our final act of worship together in a service of Holy Communion.

The Revd Dr Kirsty Thorpe, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, reflecting on the council, commented: “The joint sessions have shown that the two denominations share much, perhaps more than they ever imagined. On issues such as poverty and the commitment to the young people and children in our congregations we share a common mind. It has been a positive three days and as a result of our time together we have reaffirmed our shared commitment to Jesus and our desire to serve him.”

Alison reflected on the council and added, “This joint meeting signals a real appetite in both Churches for being the best we can be as Christian disciples,in all our discussions we have seen a deeper commitment to working together to make Christ’s love known in the world, to challenge poverty and injustice wherever we find it and to support and share with one another on our different journeys."

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