With the Annual Conference of the Methodist Church about a month away, the church is preparing a major report to be presented at the conference.
Many parts of the report address the standpoint of the Methodist Church to social issues. The Faith and Order committee examines the question of the relationship between the Church and state.
The relationship is especially concerning because of the signing of the Anglican-Methodist Covenant seven months ago. The covenant partner, the Church of England is in direct relation with the state through the Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The report therefore emphasized that the Methodist Church should now reflect upon the subject in a Methodist perspective.
Previously, there had been a poll about ending the Monarch link between the Church of England and the State. It showed that the majority of MPs are in favor of it. The possible reason to the initiative is that a clear divide between the values of the church and the government is observed in some issues within the church.
The report also says, “Further discussion must now proceed with other ecumenical partners. Our wider ecumenical relationships could have a considerable bearing upon how this conversation is taken forward, beyond any conclusion that is drawn now."
On the other hand, the Methodist Church is continuing to press the Government to work closely with the UN in Iraq in advance of a handover to an Iraqi provisional administration at the end of June.
Looking upon the disasters and long-term poverty around the global, a global alliance brings together thirteen Christian relief and development agencies from 75 countries including New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, Norway, USA, and around the world to create a joint force to combat the problem. A combined income of more than $135 million is recorded. Its members hope to have a greater impact in tackling poverty by sharing resources and avoiding duplication.
The Methodist Conference is the governing body of the Methodist Church, which meets in June each year in different parts of the country. The Conference is held in three parts; the Diaconal, Ministerial and Representative Sessions. This year, the Conference will be held from 26 June to 1 July 2004 at Loughborough University.