It is nearly a year since many of us were at the 13th World Assembly in Houston, Texas. We were invited to consider ourselves ‘Chosen people; Called to Proclaim.’ I wonder how you have been getting on with ‘proclaiming’ since then.
I am fortunate to be an accredited local preacher which gives me the opportunity, about once a month, to lead worship and preach in one of the churches in my Southampton Circuit, in the south of England. Occasionally, I go to preach further afield in the UK and beyond. I usually follow the lectionary readings and enjoy studying the appointed passages in order to share the message. But I know I am ‘called to proclaim’ in places other than the pulpit!
In the middle of writing this letter I received an invitation to appear as a guest on our local radio BBC Radio Solent on Sunday 6th August at the 7.30am slot. The presenter, Revd Tim Daykin, would like me to speak about my role as World President of the World Federation and my upcoming visit to Zimbabwe. What an opportunity to proclaim our message! If you are reading this before 6th August, please pray that I shall be inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak effectively about God’s mission through our World Federation.
As we learned in Houston, we proclaim our faith through our relationships and our engagement in social action as well as in our worship.
I treasure the relationships I am forming with my sisters in the nine Areas. Our Executive meeting in Chicago last March was a useful time of sharing concerns and visions. My visits to Gothenburg, Sweden and then Oslo, Norway, were equally special. I look forward to sharing with the people of Methodist Church in Zimbabwe this month, as I attend their Autonomy celebrations and meet with women from three different Methodist groups in that country as well as women from Kenya. We shall praise God as we meet together.
There are many of you who are getting involved in social action as a way of proclaiming the love of God for all people. You are tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): gender justice issues including workplace inequality, education and FGM, poverty, hunger and homelessness, climate change and care for the environment … the list seems endless.
In October, I shall attend a meeting (in Rome) of the Steering Committee of the World Methodist Council. Their current focus is on the three themes of Migration, Poverty/Inequality and Racism/Discrimination.
On World Federation day 26th October, and on the following Saturday at a British Unit event, I shall be able to share the progress being made through the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, attended in March by our two representatives, Dr Brenda Smith and our World Vice-President Matilda Johnson.
I hope and pray that you too are able to celebrate our Federation and proclaim widely what the Lord is doing in our midst. Do remember you can advertise your events on your Area Page of the Federation website.