President’s Blog: 14th March 2022
It has been quite a couple of weeks! It seemed as though someone blew a whistle on 1st March and many of us were on the starting blocks! March began with Shrove Tuesday and I resumed, what has become, our District Pancake Day, at our home. The attendance was good considering the still uncertain pandemic situation and we raised a considerable amount for MWiB and my AGLIT+ project. The fragrance of the pancakes has stayed with us for a quite a while!
On the Friday, Michael and I travelled down to London for Daffodil Day at Westminster Methodist Central Hall, the following day. Daffodil Day is a Spring Festival for Christian Encouragement and Renewal and the theme this year was ‘He bids us build each other up’ and this is just what we need to do; to give people confidence again after the traumas of the last two years. Rev Sonia Hicks (President of Conference), Barbara Easton (Vice President of Conference), The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Rev Nigel Cowgill (Chair of the London District) and myself were interviewed by Pam Rhodes as to how we were building one another up and the work we are doing. We were entertained by soloists and the Boxted Methodist Silver Band.
Whilst we were there, Daud Ifran (President of 3Generate) and his father, Rev Ifran John, ‘Men on a Mission Walk’ arrived. They were completing their walk from Cardiff to Wesley’s Chapel, their aim was ‘to promote, encourage and inspire ethnically diverse Christians throughout the UK to pray upon their calling as disciples of Christ and put their faith in action, with a leap of commitment to stand up as leaders of tomorrow.’ It was a delight to be there to welcome and congratulate them at the end of their journey and we were able to have a photo opportunity with the ‘four crosses’ of Methodism.
Tuesday, International Women’s Day, saw the online launch of ‘Let Wisdom Speak’, a Lent Study Guide produced in partnership with All We Can and MWiB. This is a Devotional booklet full of wisdom from women around the around the world. It was wonderful to be able to see and hear from women in Africa and Britain who had contributed. I was especially pleased to see Hazel Manda, Executive Director of AGLIT+ from Malawi – You can order a copy or download it from: allwecan.org.uk/wisdom
Saturday saw the launch of our Interfaith Environmental Project with Touchstone: ‘Whose Bag is it Anyway…?’ This took the form of an online conference, ‘Interfaith Perspectives on the Environment’, when five women of different faiths spoke about what their holy books say about caring for the environment. It was fascinating to see the similarities between the faiths and learn how we can work together and share ideas to combat climate change to make the world a better place for the future generations. Our thanks go to the Swiss World Day of Prayer Committee who have given us a grant for this work. It was also lovely to welcome Beatrice Battaglia, from the Swiss Committee, who was able to join us. We hope to put the talks on our YouTube channel in the near future.
I received a message yesterday from our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, to ask us to pray for peace in the Ukraine at 3.00pm each day, for one minute. This message has been sent round the world so we will all join together at the same time each day – you can see the full text on our Facebook page. The message says ‘Prayer is stronger than our strongest enemy’. Please join with me and fellow Christians round the world to pray for peace.