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2006 World Methodist assembly will focus on reconciliation

 


2006 World Methodist assembly will focus on reconciliation

Oct. 1, 2004

By Kathy L. Gilbert*

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (UMNS)-The "life and death issue" of reconciliation will be the theme for the World Methodist Council’s next assembly, set for 2006 in South Korea, according to the event’s program chairperson.

The 19th World Methodist Council will meet July 20-24, 2006, in Seoul under the theme, "God In Christ Reconciling."

Gillian Kingston, a layperson from the Methodist Church of Ireland, is the first woman to serve as program chairperson for a World Methodist Council event. The 2006 meeting is expected to draw more than 5,000 delegates from around the world to the Kum Nan Methodist Church for the council’s quinquennial gathering.

Taken from 2 Corinthians 5:16-20, "the theme is a relevant message for people worldwide," she told the council’s executive committee at a Sept. 15-18 meeting in Port Elizabeth. Reconciliation is a ministry, a theological issue and a "life and death issue" for all people, she said.

"Reconciliation Among Nations," "Reconciliation in Society," "Reconciliation in the Church," and "Reconciliation for the Individual" will be sub themes for each day of the meeting, she explained.

Kingston is working to have as many cultures as possible represented among speakers for the event but said "we cannot hear every voice every time."

George Freeman, top staff executive of the council, asked that people across the Methodist-Wesleyan connection pray for the conference.

"Pray that we will honor God and help us all in our ministry of reconciliation," he said. "We are praying this conference will bring together this family in a common witness and that the people called Methodist might bring about better lives through reconciliation."

The council, representing 76 denominations with roots in the Methodist movement, meets every five years. The last gathering was held in Brighton, England, in July 2001.

*Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer in Nashville, Tenn.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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