‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot … I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time.’ (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). The reading reminds us that life brings changes but God is with us at all times and we can trust Him.
This summer I attended Methodist Conference as a representative from our District. A lot of time was well spent on the report from the Marriage and Relationships Task Group. This included the provisional resolution to give permission for same sex marriage to take place in the Methodist Church – a big change for the Methodist people. We were prayerfully led by our President and Vice President of Conference, Rev Dr Barbara Glasson and Prof Clive Marsh. It was a gracious and open debate. We heard personal stories and views from both sides of the discussion. The outcome was that this provisional resolution was voted on and passed by Conference. A consultation will now take place across the Districts, voted on at District Spring Synods and return to the 2020 Conference based on the responses. The Stoke South Circuit Leadership Team are very aware of the mixed views on this issue so we will ensure that a prayerful, gracious and open discussion is enabled. We will notify the churches of the dates of discussion and encourage you to take part in this conversation.
The Marriage and Relationship Task Group Report can be found at: www.methodist.org.uk/media/12357/conf-2019-10-marriage-and-relationships-task-group-2019-170719.pdf
At this time we also continue our conversations with the Stoke North Circuit regarding working more closely together and the possibility of a future merger. Thank you to all those who attended the joint meeting at Werrington Methodist Church. It was a good and fruitful conversation which has led to the Circuit Leadership Teams requesting that we come together in prayer. We will inform you of the dates of prayer shortly.
Remember life brings changes but God is with us at all times so trust in him.
God bless from Rev Linda.