“On The Move” – Second World Methodist Council Consultation on Migration September 4-7, 2023, in Manila, Philippines

On September 4-7, 2023, a group of about 25 people representing various member churches of the
World Methodist Council (WMC) and all the world regions gathered in Manila, Philippines. Hosted
by the Global Ministries Regional Office and The United Methodist Church in the Philippines and
meeting in Shalom Hotel in Malate, Manila, owned by the United Church of Christ in the
Philippines, also a member church of the WMC, the participants engaged in migration matters in
preparation for the World Methodist Conference August 13-18, 2024, in Gothenburg, Sweden under
the theme “On The Move.” WMC Rev Dr Jong Chun “JC” Park stated in his welcome speech: “The
World Methodist Conference will gather next year with the theme ‘On the Move: Migration,
Pilgrimage and Guiding Lights.’ Many people from the global South have been already crossing the
abyssal line dividing metropolitan and colonial societies. They are on the move. Therefore, God is
on the move with the people of God. Yes, the Church has to be on the move, too. This is the Kairos
moment for a call to be the Church in a new way.”

Discussions at the Consultation were grounded in prayer, bible studies and theological reflections.
In an interactive learning environment, participants listened to migrants and shared experiences of
ministries with migrants and refugees in various parts of the world. Meeting in Asia, reports of
advocacy and accompaniment of Filipino migrant workers, information on a Christian presence in
the Middle East, on the tripartite network Churches Witnessing with Migrants and the situation of
North Korean Refugees were received. An interactive map was created to capture challenges and
opportunities for cooperation. Reports dealt with root causes like climate change, economic
injustice, and armed conflicts.

WMC General Secretary Bishop Ivan M. Abraham summarizes his experiences: “The second
consultation on Migration once again reaffirmed the people called Methodists were “on the move”
in their response to migration wherever it occurs as a result of food insecurity, drought, violence or
climate change. It was inspiring to hear what is happening in the ‘global parish’ – stories of struggle
as well as some victories. The most heart rendering was listening to Methodists from the small
island states who are not able to mitigate the effects of climate change and are forced to migrate.
What emerged from the consultation following the global pandemic is that everything in the world
is interrelated; ‘if one nation sneezes we are all bound to catch a cold’. For this reason, ‘we must act
and we must act now’”.

In a statement (https://worldmethodistcouncil.org/2023/09/18/a-statement-of-the-second-
) the Consultation urges the World
Methodist Council and its member churches to dismantle past and present complicity in causing
forced migration, to reimagine the Scriptural calling in which all welcomed as strangers, to live in
solidarity with migrants and refugees and to actively engage in prayer and discernment in
preparation for the 2024 World Methodist Conference.

The Consultation also sends a resolution to the World Methodist Council, to keep global migration
as a primary focus of learning, reflection, and action during the coming quinquennium.

Nussloch, Germany, September 18,2023

Rosemarie Wenner, World Methodist Council – Geneva Secretary

Online Consultation on the Converging Food and Debt Crises on Wednesday,12 April, 2023 from 14h00 to 16h30 CET

Together with the All Africa Conference of Churches, Council for World Mission, FIAN
International, Lutheran World Federation, Organisation of African Instituted Churches, World
Communion of Reformed Churches, and World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council
is organizing a Online Consultation on the converging food and debt crisis. Climate-related
disasters, a world reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, combined with rising
international food prices – aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine – mean increasing
malnutrition and starvation, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. For churches called to
promote life-giving agriculture and a New International Financial and Economic Architecture
(NIFEA) for an Economy of Life, responding to the converging crises causing much suffering
amongst the poorest is nothing less than a moral imperative. The Online Consultation offers a
possibility to learn how to respond to the needs of those starving and how to implement systemic changes.
The online consultation will be held in English, with simultaneous interpretation into French and Spanish.

Here is the Zoom link to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpc-qtqTsjGtUG9vq8ohW11L2xkm-sojBi

US Supreme Court Creates a Public Health Crisis

The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church condemns the United States Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, reversing the 50-year precedent set in Roe v. Wade. This decision puts millions of women’s lives in danger and threatens the civil rights of all people. We will not let the retrogressive politics of one extremist political party strip away the rights for which our fore parents died. We remain in solidarity with the black, brown, and poor people who this decision will disproportionately impact. We ask each member to recommit to vote in every upcoming election to ensure that human beings are treated with equal dignity and respect and given equal access to resources.

While this dangerous opinion is not surprising, it still causes us to tremble. We pause to acknowledge the feelings of sorrow, betrayal, and fear that have gripped women who no longer have access to adequate health care. We’re still reeling from the ongoing mass murders committed by people with unfettered access to assault weapons guaranteed by the same court that purports to be “pro-life”. Nevertheless, we are committed to sit, stand, march, vote and pray with the millions of people now rightfully concerned about whether and when their fundamental freedoms will be the next to fall.

There is no time to waste. We must resolve to be present as priests and as public servants. We must work to encourage 100 percent voter turnout and to vote for persons and policies that address the needs of all Americans. We must stand together against all forms of racism, xenophobia, and white supremacist misrepresentation of biblical faith. 

We must never settle for less than what was promised in our nation’s Constitution: that we are ALL are enjoy the blessings of liberty. We will not shrink back from our faith. God’s justice and righteousness will prevail!

Prayerfully Submitted,

Bishop Ronnie E Brailsford, Sr.,  President of the Council of Bishops 
Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Senior Bishop
Bishop Paul J. M. Kawimbe, President of the General Board
Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield, Chair of the Social Action Commission
Bishop Francine A. Brookins, Chair of the Public Statement Committee
Mrs. Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Director/Consultant of Social Action

Rev. Dr. Jeffery B. Cooper
General Secretary/CIO
African Methodist Episcopal Church