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World Methodist Council Sends Warning Regarding Connectional Process Team's "Globalization" Plan

World Methodist officers meet in Jerusalem

Dec. 18, 1998 By United Methodist News Service

World Methodist Council officers took time from their Dec. 4-9 meeting in Jerusalem to visit with Christian leaders in the Holy Land.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah; Bishop Kamal Bathish, Latin Patriarch of the Old City; and Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, met with the officers in the Chapter House of the Cathedral of St. George.

The three leaders spoke of their hope for peace and detailed their concerns about the decreasing community of Christian believers in the land of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection, according to the Rev. Joe Hale, the council's general secretary.

Led by Frances Alguire, World Methodist Council chairperson, officers drafted a "substantial report" on the council's structure for its executive committee meeting in September, 1999 in Hong Kong, Hale said. The report addresses the council's overall purpose; its structure, nature and frequency of meetings; the role of the officers; the possibility of regional meetings; and the need for adequate staffing.

Officers decided to send a request to the Connectional Process Team of the United Methodist Church, asking it to "carefully consider the impact of language and deliberations concerning discussions about globalization."

The statement also expresses the hope that the team's work will "lead to even stronger ties with all those denominations which join together for witness, service and dialogue through the World Methodist Council." The Connectional Process Team will report to the 2000 United Methodist General Conference on its recommendation for the future structure of the denomination.

In other business, the World Methodist Council officers:

  • Discussed plans for the 18th World Methodist Conference, set for July 24-31, 2001, in Brighton, England.
  • Unanimously adopted a statement expressing solidarity with Palestinian Christians who face "pain and scars of injustice, hatred and oppression" in the land of their heritage and birth.
  • Responded to appeals from Methodists in Indonesia and the National Chinese Caucus of the United Methodist Church and called upon the United Nations to investigate rising violence against Christians and Chinese in Indonesia.
  • Heard a presentation by Claudio Bette of the Comunita de Sant 'Egidio on "An Appeal for a Moratorium on the Death Penalty by the Year 2000."
  • Visited the only Methodist institution in the Holy Land - the Shepherd's Field Methodist Daycare in Beit Sahour.

United Methodist News Service
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