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President's Address

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The President's Address to the Methodist Conference 2020:

For the full text, click here. Meanwhile, here is an extract:

"In 1980 I heard the then President of the Methodist Conference preach a sermon at the New Room in Bristol, the President that year was Rev Dr Kenneth Greet, whose writings and speeches had made a great impression on me as a young man. He commenced his sermon by making a confession. He said 'I am using three points tonight from one of Mr Wesley's sermons, but the content of the points will be different from his'. Well I thought if Dr Greet could do that then so can I. So, I also confess that I am using three points for this address by Walter Brueggemann but again the content will be different.

Brueggeman maps the Psalms against the human life cycle which moves through times of orientation. Those times of stability in our lives when we know who we are; we know what life is about and we know what we have to do.

Disorientation: Those times when the rug is pulled from under our feet and we feel wobbly, uncertain or insecure

And reorientation: Those times in our lives when we find the light at the end of the tunnel and emerge blinking on the other side, changed by what we have lived through and ready to face a new day.

I have chosen these points because these themes — orientation, disorientation, reorientation, which we find in the heart of the Psalms, speak so powerfully to us today in these concerning times."

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