“I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25:35, CEB)
“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.” (Maori proverb)
Translation: “What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.”
People from Methodist churches and organizations representing all the corners of the earth gathered in
Manila September 4-7, 2023 for the Second Consultation on Migration to learn more about migration
and to explore together how the people called Methodists can best work in solidarity on migration
The theme of the consultation was “On The Move” and built on the First Consultation on Migration in
London, England in 2019, which had focused on diaspora Methodist congregations in contexts of
previously existing congregations. That Consultation produced a statement: God Is On The Move: A Call
to Be the Church in a New Way – World Methodist Council.
The Manila Consultation heard the testimonies and challenges of migrants and looked at root causes of
migration and how best to support migrants, learning that the so-called migration crisis is primarily a
crisis of welcoming. Theologically grounded in scriptural calls to love the foreigner and welcome one
another as strangers (Leviticus 19:34 and Matthew 25:35), as well as John Wesley’s example of
intentional presence with the poor, sick, and imprisoned, the 2023 World Methodist Council
Consultation on Migration:
Confesses the sins of past and present complicity of churches of the Methodist tradition in causing,
or contributing to, the forced displacement of people and strives to move on to perfection in living
into de-colonizing ways of respecting and standing in solidarity with the migrants of this world.
Declares, with hope, that migration is timeless, that it always happens, and it does so by bringing
different benefits to our congregations and communities, such as interculturality and diversity in
different forms of expressions, transforming them into more conscious and more similar to the image
Acknowledges the right of all people everywhere to migrate freely, and that people forced to migrate
experience suffering or loss prior to migrating, during the journey, or after arrival at their destination
and that the church is called to alleviate that suffering.
Recognizes that the challenges facing migrants are dramatically rising in correlation with increased
human rights violations, religious and political conflicts, poverty, climate change, xenophobia,
nationalism, racism and various racial and ethno-regional phobias, labor rights violations, and
implementation of harmful immigration policies. Therefore, the Consultation sees the potential of
Methodist churches to respond to these root causes of migration, as well as to assist those who have
been forced to migrate, using the capacity of the Methodist connection, the traditions of holy
conferencing and holistic discernment, and the imperative to express personal piety through social
Urges Methodists everywhere to stand in solidarity with migrants, listening well and providing
requested assistance, treating migrants with the dignity of fellow travelers on a journey by protecting
migrants’ agency and freedom to make small and large life choices without encumbrance or
conditions. The church makes the most faithful witness to migrants when its actions speak as
outward signs of God’s love.
Asks Methodist churches to reimagine our Scriptural calling in which we are all welcomed as
strangers in a way that centers on a holistic inclusion into the locality, rather than merely inviting
newcomers into our churches, our way of worshiping, or our way of being in the world. Creative
collaboration with migrant-led organizations and other community resources with existing capacity to
support migrants will be key. The church only does this work well through the power of the Holy
Spirit and the participation of migrants.
Calls for the church to be a prophetic voice for and with migrants. Goals of protection and welcome
must include all migrants. Advocacy for related migration policy change should originate from a
trusting relationship with the persons affected by the policy or practice.
Encourages gender-responsive approaches to the needs of migrants that account for differentiated
vulnerabilities in certain migration situations based on age, gender, sexuality and diversity. Churches
should stand with migrants in solidarity in opposition to gender-based violence and against
immigration policies that detain children or separate families.
Pleads with all churches to assume their responsibility regarding climate crisis, uncontrolled
utilitarian approach to creation through war, movement of armament, and exploitation of natural
resources. This means paying particular attention to enforced displacement from climate-threatened
nations in the Pacific and low-lying nations elsewhere. Churches from the global north are called to
do all within their power to rapidly reduce carbon emissions, to demand immediate action by their
governments, to insist that governments develop climate-related categories of asylum, and to revive
their calling as co-caretakers of creation.
Admits the need to continue to learn with humble hearts, open minds, and a willingness to take
action, more about our Methodist colonizing heritage and its past and present contributions to the
root causes of migration.
Advises members of the World Methodist Council considering planting diaspora congregations to do
so in conversation with host conferences in the same country. Methodist congregations in host
countries are encouraged to be welcoming in their approach to new congregations. Both
denominations should engage in open conversations in order to ensure the viability and sustainability
of both entities. A first step towards decolonizing mission would be engagement in mutuality in
Commits, as individuals, to maintain intentional prayer, scriptural reflection, and conversation
regarding migration through regular online monthly devotionals between now and the next World
Methodist Conference, “On The Move,” to be held August 13-18, 2024 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Submitted by Geneva Secretary, Bishop Rosemarie Wenner
The WMC General Secretary Bishop Ivan Abrahams calls on Methodists and all people everywhere to lift Libya up in prayer, following the very devastating flooding and dam breaks there. We urge prayers not only for injured and those mourning the loss of their loved ones but also a way forward for this hurting country and its people.
The powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake near Marrakech late Friday night caused significant
devastation. The death toll has now surpassed two thousand, with thousands more injured.
Bishop Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, offered heartfelt
condolences to the bereaved families and solidarity with the people of Morocco. “I am
deeply saddened, and my heart goes out to all affected by this catastrophic event.”
Abrahams thanked those on the frontline of humanitarian response and called on the
Methodist people to pray for all killed, injured, and affected by the disaster. We pledge to
support those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ.
It is with some considerable sadness that we acknowledge the death of Bishop Sundo Kim (1930-2022), a former Senior Pastor of Kwanglim Methodist Church, Chairperson of World Methodist Council, President Bishop of the Korean Methodist Church and an inspiring leader of our generation to many; a man who combined scholarship with humility, intelligence with grace and Biblical insight with pastoral heart.
Bishop Kim passed away on 25th November 2022 at 12.03am due to old age. Over the next few days and weeks, many of his achievements and accolades, will be told and retold, as we give thanks for his indelible contribution to Korean Methodism and the wider Methodist family across the globe. His funeral service is planned for Monday 28th at 9.30am (Korean time) at Kwanglim Methodist Church. It would be a good commemoration if you send us a video message for the funeral service next Monday. Please shoot the video horizontally if it’s possible. Thank you
With very best wishes,
Rev. Soonjung Kwun
Pastoral Mission Support Office
It is with great sadness that Wesley House announces the death of the Revd. Dr Brian E Beck, alumnus, former Tutor and Principal of the College.
Brian was educated at the City of London School, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and Wesley House, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge he met and married Margaret Ludlow and together they had three children.
After his theological education at Wesley House Brian was appointed Assistant Tutor at Handsworth College (1957-1959); he was ordained at the Methodist Conference of 1960 while serving as a circuit minister in Suffolk (1959-1962). He served on the staff of Saint Paul’s United Theological College, Limuru, Kenya (1962-1968) during which time the Methodist Church in Kenya became autonomous from the British Methodist Conference. Brian was instrumental in drawing up the constitution and standing orders of the new church, many of which still stand, and he is fondly remembered in Kenya today. Only a couple of weeks ago Brian and Margaret were recalling travelling to Kenya by boat through the Suez Canal, and then their journey home which involved packing their belongings and their children into a small Renault which they then drove from Nairobi to Cape Town!
On his return to Britain Brian was appointed Tutor at Wesley House where he taught New Testament in the college and in the Faculty of Divinity of the University of Cambridge. He published two books on the New Testament: Reading the New Testament Today (1977 & 1992), and Christian Character in the Gospel of Luke (1989). In 1980 Brian became Principal of Wesley House before becoming the Secretary of the Methodist Conference in Britain in 1984 until his retirement in 1998.
From 1969 to 2007 Brian shared in the leadership of the international Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies and during this time he deepened his own interest in Wesleyan theology, which, in retirement, he taught to Wesley House students. Many of his essays on Wesleyan and Methodist theology were collected into a volume published by Routledge in 2017 entitled, Methodist Heritage and Identity. He also published,Exploring Methodism’s Heritage, the Story of the Oxford Institute (2004) and contributed to Ashgate’s Research Companion to World Methodism (2013).
In 1993 Brian served as the President of the British Methodist Conference, chairing the difficult debate on human sexuality with great wisdom and patience, that resulted in the six resolutions that for more than 20 years held the church together across deep differences. In his letter to the Methodist people immediately afterwards, he wrote, “The Conference had been invited to adopt resolutions which took divergent views of the issues…. in the event, the Conference did not adopt any of those resolutions. Instead it adopted a pastoral rather than a legal approach and decided to affirm both the traditional moral teaching of the Christian church, and the participation and ministry of lesbians and gay men in the church, while leaving decisions about particular cases to be taken by the appropriate committees against this background.”
In 1998, in the year he retired, Brian was awarded the Lambeth DD – a doctorate awarded to eminent and much-published scholars in the field of theology. He and Margaret retired to Cambridge where Brian continued to serve the connexion in a wide range of capacities, and lead worship in the circuit and in the college until January of this year when he preached his last service at Haslingfield, seventy years after he received his first note to preach. He was actively involved in college life, teaching Methodism, and on occasion, New Testament Greek. He looked after the college’s archive and rare books until this summer, only surrendering his keys after the college’s centenary celebrations in July as his health began to decline.
Brian’s spirituality was rooted in the hymns of Charles Wesley. Of Charles’ work, published as Hymns on the Lord’s Supper in 1745, Brian wrote in 2007 in the Epworth Review, “gratitude is due, not just for the book and its contents but, in the communion of saints, for the one who wrote it… who in the offering of his own poetic gifts exemplified his own words:
Take my soul and body’s powers,
Take my memory, mind, and will,
All my goods, and all my hours,
All I know and all I feel,
All I think, and speak, and do;
Take my heart but make it new”.
Brian also exemplified these words, offering his considerable powers of memory, mind and will, dry humour, kindness and wisdom to the church in the many offices he held, as a scholar, as a liturgist, as a preacher and as a teacher.
His choice of funeral hymn, (by Charles Wesley, of course), assures us, as his presence with us has for so long, that all is well:
I rest beneath the Almighty’s shade,
My griefs expire, my troubles cease;
Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed
Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.
He died peacefully at home in Cambridge on 18 November in the 90th year of his age and the 66th year of his ministry.