FEBRUARY 2020

Home » Super's Thoughts » FEBRUARY 2020
M and R Study Guide

Relating well...

Scrolling through my Twitter feed recently (if you are unfamiliar with this idea, please ask a young person), I came across this excerpt from Quaker Faith & Practice:

"One of the unexpected things I have learnt in my life as a Quaker is that religion is basically about relationships between people. This was an unexpected discovery, because I had been brought up to believe that religion was essentially about our relationship with God...

... I do not think I am alone in my certainty that it's in my relationships with people that the deepest religious truths are most vividly disclosed..."
George Gorman 1982

As we begin to prepare for the Circuit consultations on the report to Conference called "God In Love Unites Us" (read the full report here) it seemed a timely passage on which to reflect. All members across the Circuit will have received (or will shortly be receiving) an invitation to come and confer together on some very significant changes to the public image and practice of the Methodist Church.

These changes are about whether the time is right to change the Methodist Church's view and teaching about how to relate well to each other as human beings — with a particular emphasis on a commitment to live in relationships which are built on self-giving love, commitment, fidelity, loyalty, honesty, mutual respect, equality and the desire for the mutual flourishing of the people involved. Secondly, to recognise the reality of cohabitation, but to point to the presence of God's love within such relationships, and to encourage people to respond to it in the renewing and deepening (by whatever means) of their commitment.

The third part of the conferring concerns whether the time is right to amend the Methodist Church's understanding of marriage to include and celebrate marriage between two people of the same sex as well as between two people of mixed sex. Were this significant change to be agreed, there would then need to be changes to the current practice regarding marriage such that the Methodist Church would be asked to consent in principle to the marriage of same sex couples on Methodist premises throughout the Connexion and by Methodist ministers, probationers or members in so far as the law of the relevant jurisdiction permits or requires and subject to compliance with such further requirements, if any, as that law imposes. Individual Church Councils would then decide whether they wished to change their local practice.

Given that none of us can fully know the mind of God, the need to relate well with our sisters and brothers whatever they may feel about these proposals is of paramount importance. I believe that the words with which I began offer us both challenge and encouragement as we confer together, for however deep our personal relationship is with God, it is in how we treat our fellow human beings, especially when we disagree, that our ability to display the fruits of the Spirit is most clearly shown.

Peace,
Rachel.

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

FFH_Swimming
Webteam: Thu 14 May 3:00pm

A prayerful challenge for this era of lock-downCreate a fish prayer object.Or, create a shoal! Use your talents and whatever creative resources you have available in your home to make your fish!WHY A FISH PRAYER OBJECT?The fish has long been a symbol of Christian identity, hope and salvation. At times like these, perhaps it is good to hold on to our Christian identity, hope and...

Easter 2019
Webteam: Sun 12 Apr 12:10am

In these strange days of social distancing, lockdowns and isolation, it has been a very different experience of Holy Week for the Christian Church this year. Yet today is the day when those of us who belong to the family of God in the Christian tradition are called to announce to a waiting world that, "He is not dead: He is risen!"Being honest, I find that a really difficult...

CoronavirusRed
Martin Borgars: Tue 24 Mar 3:00pm

At 10:00 a.m. this morning (March 24th 2020), the following statement was issued by the Methodist Church of Great Britain. The Methodist Church has announced the closure of all its church buildings for the foreseeable future. The only exception will be for churches that are offering essential social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these must be carried out...

© 2015 - 2020 Kennet and Test Valley

To proclaim and reflect the love of God