Methodist Women in Britain
World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women Conference 2016 in Houston, Texas
by District Representative Sue Nickson
It's Wednesday already!
The conference is packed with 700 delegates from all nine areas of the Federation. We have received presentations from all nine areas and some with drama and music.
Today we have had reports from our representatives at the United Nations who are actively involved with ECOSOC and CSW and the Department for Public Informatio.
Besides the serious business agendas, the worship is very lively with super music and songs. Each morning worship session is hosted by one of the areas. You can imagine the great sitting from the African and Caribbean delegates!n. We are just one of over 4,189 non government organizations who are involved. Our representatives sit on the Commission on the Status of Women, whose role is to promote women's rights in the political, economic, civil, social and educational fields.
Last night, Wednesday, I attended the opening service for the World Church Conference. The theme is One God. The hall was packed with ministers, bishops and many other people from all over the world. It was a very colourful sight.
There was wonderful singing led by a variety of choirs from many countries. Greetings were received from many bishops and pastors from the United Methodist churches. The main message came from a dialogue between Jennifer Wiseman PhD, an astrophysicist and Prof Dr David Wilkinson from the University of Durham.
They showed some wonderful pictures of the universe taken with the latest space telescopes. I have never seen the galaxies in colour before. It was amazing! I'm sitting in the main conference hall on Thursday morning, where the African contingency are leading us in wonderful praise songs. If you could hear them! The roof will lift off soon.
Our programme today includes reports from the archivist, Tree of Life editor, and the webmaster. We are also participating in a memorial service led by our own Alison Judd. Later, we will be sharing in a variety of workshops, and Bible study.
It's action packed every day!
Oops we are about to start. More from me later.
It's been a long day! I showered at 5.45am to allow time for my morning Bible reading and prayers before breakfast and attending the singing at 8.00am! This was led by the Nigerian ladies in full volume, followed by RevJenny Pathmarajah playing the piano for a selection of worship songs.
This mixture of cultures and musical traditions has been a wonderful experience and has greatly enhanced our worship together.
Then reports from our archivist, editor and webmaster gave us insight into the tremendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes and across continents ensuring continuity and collaboration between the areas of the Federation. Long may it continue!
Alison Judd from Great Britain and our rep on the Federation, led us in a very moving and contemplative service to remember those women who have passed away since the last world assembly five years ago.
The workshop I attended today was a creative way of liturgy with a huge array of examples to whet our appetites for getting to grip with PowerPoint again! The use of photos relevant to text was superb and the leader, Marion Million from Australia, generously shared her experiences with us. She has written a small practical handbook for us to bring home and use, plus a CD with more resources on. I found this session particularly helpful as I shall be required to engage in more leading of worship in my role as President of MWiB in the Nottingham and Derby district.
Tonight we are out to celebrate a friend's birthday so I will sign off now and rest before we hit the town!
Last evening, Thursday, we came back from celebrating Jennifer Jones's birthday, to the drama of elections for a new President of the World Federation. Under the rules there has to be a clear majority. It took four rounds until Alison Judd was pronounced to be our new President. It was nerve wracking enough for us outside the chamber, so it must have been electric inside! The vice president is Matilda Johnson from West Africa, the secretary is Mataiva Robertson from South Pacific, the treasurer is Leu Pupulu from South Pacific.
Well, it is finished! I've just signed out and have eaten breakfast. We had final worship for our Federation last evening, followed by a wonderful closing worship of the World Methodist Conference.
All countries of the world Church were in attendance, so was the holy spirit. God moves in mysterious ways his wondered to perform.
I'm flying to Philadelphia now to meet with my godparents. See you all next week.
The recent Mission Evening at Bingham Community Church was well attended, with around 100 there from around the Grantham & Vale of Belvoir Circuit, plus others from the Nottingham & Derby District.
They heard Rev Dr Val Ogden give a colourful and lively look at her life in FijiI as a Methodist Mission Partner sent out there by the Methodist Church to work at an Educartion College. There she trains men and women from the many Fijian Islands in theology, helping them to extend and explore their knowledge and faith in God.
This interesting and entertaining time with her was organised by the Circuit Methodist Women in Britain Group, some of whom took part in the service. A retiring collection of £365 was raised for the World Church Fund.