Report from MWiB Cumbria District Day 11 October 2016
Methodist women from across Cumbria met in Penrith on October 11th to commission a new co-ordinating leadership team. Encouraged by 2 Methodist women from Argentina who visited last November, a move to a more flexible pattern of meetings and leadership was the outcome of a committee ‘away day’ of prayer and reflection earlier this year. So, instead of a President and officers, a co-ordinating team will share responsibilities, bringing together gifts of administration, planning, and spiritual leadership. Special events, workshops, quiet days and business matters will all have a part, as well as the annual residential conference. ‘Satellite groups’ to organise specific events will enable women to offer their skills or specialist knowledge on a short-term basis, and encourage wider involvement in the life of Cumbria’s Methodist women’s activities.
The new arrangements were explained in presentations during the morning session, which concluded with small groups at which women were invited to contribute ideas for the future programme. In the afternoon, Rev Richard Teal, Chair of District, commissioned the Co-ordinating team in a moving service of dedication, led by members of the team. A video with Silvia Mutio and Maria Esther Andersen giving greetings from the Methodist women of Argentina, with the assurance of their prayers at the same time as the service, was much appreciated.
Rev Richard Teal gave a message of encouragement, reflecting that the different parts of the ‘Body of Christ’ are not randomly thrown together, but are brought together by the Spirit of God. He made a comparison with space travellers and Mission Control. He affirmed that everything needed to make the changes envisaged is available, and the Holy Spirit will shape and ‘glue together’ the different parts into something which can be life-saving and life-giving. All are called; all must work as the ‘servant’ of all and all must work together in the spirit of unity.
The day, which concluded with tea, was one of optimism, excitement and commitment.