Brothers and sisters in Christ,
For some time I’ve had a growing uneasiness as I consider people's various responses to the changes facing Methodism and the direction of travel we have embarked on. Not, I hasten to add, because of my own personal opinions on the rights or wrongs of any recent decisions made by conference or proposed by the leadership. I genuinely believe this uneasiness is being used by God to provoke me to exhort us all to pray fervently for one another.
My concern comes from the polarisation of views and opinions that have been so readily given, and at times the tone in which that has happened. When division is apparent in the Church, a new, more prayerful path should be sought. In no way do I suggest that the path we are on is wrong – what I do suggest is that despite differing views we join together in praying that God will continually lead us. Heated debate and letters show the depth of feeling, hurt and even fear that many are feeling when considering the future of the Methodist Church. Regardless of our own opinions, can we not set aside time to pray with one another?
So then let us pray, and in particular I exhort you to pray in groups. As Ash Wednesday quickly approaches, let us take and create every opportunity to gather with those around us to pray on that day. Asking God to help us dig deep into the DNA of our Methodist roots and rediscover our mission and passion. Praying also that we will be shown a godly path…a path free from dispute but not discussion, a path free from incriminations and flavoured with love and respect for our sisters and brothers (Colossians 4: 2-6).
So on Ash Wednesday I will be inviting others from my locality to join with me in prayer. Would you please consider doing the same?