I couldn’t resist posting this photo, taken following Sunday’s worship. One of the really enjoyable aspects of Conference is the opportunity to meet many Methodist friends from home and overseas. Alison Judd and myself are pictured here with three of our Fijian friends who sang to us so beautifully. As many of you will already know, Alison is the World President of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women, a role which will take her to many parts of the world over the next five years. We will be praying for you Alison, as you travel, sharing in fellowship and faith, linking together women of many nationalities, fulfilling the vision held by Helen Kim more than 70 years ago.
On Monday we were back to ‘the business’ of Conference, efficiently working our way through reports and discerning the way forward for the Church. In the evening however we were again treated to an opportunity to share with our friends from overseas in the World Church Relations fringe event. The title of the event ‘Let the walls come tumbling down’ was chosen quite a while ago but proved to be very apt in today’s political climate. Worship was led by Korean friends currently travelling through Europe and further afield. Their message calling for Christians to be peacemakers in our troubled world is especially relevant in the context of the tensions between North and South Korea. Many other stories were shared from around the world, but I was especially moved by those told by a Methodist minister from Mexico where churches are.working with migrants on the Mexico / California border.
‘Loving God, Creator and Redeemer you created us as one human family. Forgive our foolishness, our need to build walls which divide us, our selfishness which causes suffering and hardship to others. Create within us hearts and minds that long to love and serve our neighbours, that seek justice and peace in the name of Christ’ Amen