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Who is missing?

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As we look around our churches the question “Who is missing?” is both pertinent and challenging.

This is not about who is away on holiday, or those who may be temporarily unwell and therefore cannot come to worship, but rather it is a much larger and all-encompassing question.

Connexionally, you may be aware that the Methodist Church seeks to be an inclusive church with a welcome for all and to be a place where everyone may feel at home, valued for who they are and the richness of human diversity celebrated. The Methodist Church has produced excellent resources to help us with this.

It is in this context that the question “Who is missing?” should be faced and addressed. In essence, it asking us to look at our churches in the settings in which they are placed and ask, Who is not here?

  • How representative of our communities are we?
  • Are there things that we do or don’t do (large or small, intentionally or unintentionally) that prevent people from coming along or feeling part of us?
  • Are there things that we automatically do that do not make sense to others, or which people might find unhelpful or off-putting?
  • How much do we assume that people both know and understand?

This a question about mission, ministry, welcome, acceptance, hospitality and service. The new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training (EDI) is designed to help us look at ourselves and see how we can, as churches and Circuits, be more welcoming and inclusive. It can help us to reflect the diversity of our communities and be a place where everyone is known and valued for who they are.

To help with this, there will be three opportunities across the Circuit to engage with this training – the first of these will be held at Wantage Methodist Church on Wednesday 8th November at 7:30pm. There will be additional training at Abingdon and Wallingford in due course, details to be confirmed. Whilst this training is mandatory for Ministers, Local Preachers, Worship Leaders, Circuit Stewards and Church Stewards, it is hoped that as many people as possible from our churches will want to come along. It is our hope that by engaging with this, it will help us to live out our commitment to being a church which is inclusive and justice-seeking, for we are committed to life-long learning about the richness of human diversity and to learning from one another.

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All Saints Methodist Church
Appleford Drive
OX14 2AQ

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