Contact
Streaming
Map
 
Enriching lives

Something Wonderful Happened

Home » News » Something Wonderful
AMC Methodist conference 2018
AMC body of Christ

On the Wednesday morning of this year's Methodist Conference I shared a communion service in which those who had served the church in various capacities, both lay and ordained, but who had now gone to glory, were remembered. In front of me sat a couple who I knew. Their son was on the list of remembered people, and as we reached that point in the service, they stood and wept uncontrollably. And then something wonderful happened — nothing to do with process or agenda, finance, stationing or growth plans — it was simply that those who were sat around the bereaved couple moved a step closer to them; held a hand; placed an arm around a shoulder; wept with them. And I realised that it was going on all over the hall — the Methodist Church quietly and profoundly held all those who were hurting.

In one sense it was nothing extraordinary; it is what happens again and again, week in, week out, but goes mostly unnoticed. People who are wounded are held by others through a hug, a prayer, shared tears, a telephone call, a well written card. No answers or explanations are given, only space offered where pain can be named. And it is important that the pain is named: grief, hurt, anger, doubt, loss, despair, anxiety. For as we name it we remember that it is known by God and held by God.

We have been thinking in recent weeks about our purpose and calling as a church, and I think, to put it simply, we are to be the presence of God to each other, to our communities and to the world. We are not a business that must be grown, nor institutions to manage; we are not a club that some belong to, nor a 'members only' establishment. No, we are the Body of Christ; God's presence in human form, and so we hold the hurting, love the loveless, give a voice to the voiceless and declare that all are welcome — without qualification. I know that business meetings and conferences are necessary but, in truth, we fulfil our purpose as a church when we love and are loved.

To read Helen's full pastoral letter in LINK magazine, click here.

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Thought For
Rev. Richard Atkinson: Sat 23 Jan 5:00am

Richard ends our week with the prophet Amos with thoughts on restoration and Amos 9:11-15.Israel's Restoration11 "In that day I will restore David's fallen shelter-- I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins-- and will rebuild it as it used to be, 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, " declares the LORD, who will...

Thought For
Geoff Short: Fri 22 Jan 5:00am

Geoff shares thoughts on this uncompromising piece from Amos 9:1-10.Israel to Be Destroyed1 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said: "Strike the tops of the pillars so that the thresholds shake. Bring them down on the heads of all the people; those who are left I will kill with the sword. Not one will get away, none will escape. 2 Though they dig down to the depths below, from...

Thought For
John Shaw: Thu 21 Jan 5:00am

John considers the story of the basket of ripe fruit in Amos 8:1-14.A Basket of Ripe Fruit1 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. 2 "What do you see, Amos?" he asked. "A basket of ripe fruit," I answered. Then the LORD said to me, "The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer. 3 "In that day," declares the...