First Friday Letter The World Methodist Council
Greetings from the General Secretary Dear friends, Autumn is a wonderful time to spend at the World Methodist Council headquarters in Waynesville in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina. The town bustles with ‘leaf peeps’ who come from far and wide to enjoy the fall foliage, a hue of yellow, orange, red and brown leaves. It just so happens that I was present for the annual Apple Street Festival, where the downtown main street is closed (our office is on the main street). Besides the good music from local artists, the region’s food can be sampled and arts and crafts bought. This was also a time to prepare for our Council meeting and finalize the Conference program for Gothenburg. It was heartening to see that many people are excited and took advantage of the early bird registration. Don’t miss out on this global event. In this edition of the First Friday Letter you can find details about the WMC Conference, General Secretary advertisement, Peace Award Application and much more. For the past few weeks, we have been bombarded with endless images reminding us of the horrors of war. As I watch the unfolding events of death and destruction in the Middle East, I am reminded of the words of the celebrated Palestinian poet and author Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008): ‘If olive trees knew the hands that planted them, their oil would become tears.’ We continue to weep, lament, pray and commit ourselves to work for peace with all in the region and beyond. Retribution is not the path to peace. It only breeds more hatred and sows the seeds of our own destruction. We have a choice to either perpetuate or heal the pain of the past. Let us be brave and work for justice and peace. It is a biblical mandate. The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. Isaiah 32:17.
Shalom, Ivan Abrahams
World Methodist Council
First Friday Letter page 1
Youth and Young Adult Scholarship - APPLY NOW!
YYA Scholarship Youth and Young Adult Application for Financial Assistance To Attend the 22nd World Methodist Council Conference 13-18 August, 2024 | Gothenburg, Sweden The World Methodist Council (WMC) Conference, to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, will bring together a dynamic and diverse group of young people, between the ages of 18 and 35 years old, from all over the world 13-18 August 2024 (inclusive travel dates). At the Conference, the Program will provide financial assistance to young people from different backgrounds, churches and regions. As a diverse community, stewards bring their faith, experiences and visions to a Wesleyan experience of togetherness and friendship. Being part of this enriching experience will challenge you, foster your involvement and participation and it could change your life as you work along other people from around the world. The Youth and Young Adult Committee will be involved in an on-site formation and work with Methodists from all over the world, representing the 134 member countries and 80 denominations of Methodists and Uniting Churches. More than 2,000 people representing a diversity of gender, age, laity and clergy will participate in the Conference. Financing WMC will be responsible for lodging (approximately $1,000 US) paid directly to the hotel or lodging center. The participants travel expenses are to be paid by them and their church and organization as are some meals and incidental expenses. The purpose of this sum to be paid by the participant or his or her church is to strengthen the commitment of the participants and encourage ownership of the program and allow more youth and young adults to attend. Download WMC Application Form
World Methodist Council
First Friday Letter page 2
Applications for WMC General Secretary due 1 December
POSITION Institution Job Title Purpose
Revised Advert Date Advert Closing Date
World Methodist Council General Secretary He/she will act as a spokesperson for the WMC and represent the Council in appropriate international meetings, including multilateral international organization, regional and local member church meetings, and the WMC Conference that takes place every five years. The General Secretary will perform the execution of all tasks in close consultations with the Presidency and the Steering Committee. The Key objective of this position is to support the Presidency and the Steering Committee in providing strategic leadership for the WMC and oversight of the operation of the Council. November 2023 1 December, 2023 (Friday) Please forward your application, comprehensive CV, together with the respective supporting documentation to the WMC Search Committee Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org Applications may also be sent via postal services: PO Box 518, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina 28745, USA. Should further information or clarification be required, the respective candidates will be contacted. Receipt of Application will be acknowledged.
Master’s Degree or equivalent
EXPERIENCE • Proven business related experience/exposure; • Experience in a leadership position (proven record - at a higher level within the Methodist Church environment) • Requisite competency in leading a World Organization (similar environment/stature of the Methodist Council) Continued on next page World Methodist Council
First Friday Letter page 3
RESPONSIBILITIES ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS The essential functions of the General Secretary will be to encourage Methodist Unity in Witness, Facilitate Mission in the World and Foster Ecumenical and Inter-Religious activities. TASKS • Promoting the Vision and Mission of the World Methodist Council • Maintain focus for the World Methodist Council • Help facilitate the functions of the Council • Maintain close contact with the leaders of member churches • Co-ordinate representation of the World Methodist Council • Ensure effective staff leadership and engagement • Direct the development of an annual budget • Financial Support Assistance • Serve as spokesperson of the Council • Provide spiritual guidance and leadership to the Council • Travel and ad hoc activities (the incumbent will without impediments receive visas). Travel requirements will include domestic and/or international COMPETENCIES • A Lay or Ordained member with a lively faith, in ‘good standing’ or having the support of the applicant’s ‘home’ church, the church being a Member Church of the WMC. • Able to communicate effectively in English, which is the primary language in which the work of the Council is conducted. • Able to demonstrate effective leadership. • Able to demonstrate the ability to work constructively with others. The General Secretary will receive a stipend equivalent to ‘executive stipend’ in the appointee’s Conference and housing as expected in that Conference. The General Secretary is to establish a support office, including secretarial staff, at the place of residence or some other suitable locality.
World Methodist Council
First Friday Letter page 4
Nominate a 2024 Peace Award Recipient Nominate someone who exemplifies Courage, Creativity, and Consistency for the World Methodist Peace Award. Applications must be submitted by 28 February. The nominee should show courage in regard to physical danger or putting personal interest at risk. Creativity should include opening new initiatives and attracting others in working for the cause of peace. Consistency is judged by effort over a period of time and intensity, despite setbacks. Here is the link to read the full criteria: http://worldmethodistcouncil.org/whatwedo/world-methodist-peace-award/ The recipient receives a medallion, citation and US $1000 which is symbolic of the larger recognition achieved in working for peace, justice and reconciliation. The awardee is included in the World Methodist Council Peace award booklet and their photo is hung on the wall of the World Methodist Council Headquarters with other recipients of this prestigious award. Go to www.worldmethodistcouncil.org and click on the “About the WM Peace Award” tab on the left side of the homepage and complete the online application. Please send all nomination forms to Bishop Ivan Abrahams at email@example.com.
Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the Conference! The 22nd World Methodist Conference of the WMC will be held 13-18 August 2024 in Gothenburg Sweden. Be part of this historic event. This is an opportunity for all Wesleyan, Methodist and Uniting Churches to come together. The WMC is the only place for all of John Wesley’s family to join at one table in a common bond. Worship will feature world renowned speakers. Choose your program from the many academic sessions, seminars, meetings, receptions and tours as you complete the registration form. The exhibit hall will feature a variety of displays from around the world or you can choose to have a booth and pitch your own ideas. Register NOW to receive the best attendee rate and hotel room choices. Join this worldwide celebration of cultures, music, and learn from people who will share their knowledge, allowing you new experiences.
Participants Except Youth
Early Bird Super Saver Regular World Methodist Council
Youth 35 and Under
Until January 31, 2024 February 1 June 15, 2024
June 16, 2024 Conference
$135 First Friday Letter page 5
Pray for Peace Photo 218851756 | Israel War © Michael Piepgras | Dreamstime.com
Official Tours/Cruise of the 22nd World Methodist Conference Looking to make the most of your travel to Sweden for the 22nd World Methodist Conference? Look no further! There are five amazing trip options available to all Conference attendees with two Pre-Conference Tours, two Post-Conference Tours, and one Post-Conference Cruise! Click on the individual tour/cruise links below to view detailed itineraries, or click HERE to view the main
22nd WMC Pre- & Post-Conference Tours & Cruise website.
Post-Conference Tours/Cruise SilverSea Cruise & Tour | 18 August – 26 August 2024 Escorted by Bill Haire, Travelink Managing Partner 10-Day Sweden & Norway Tour | 18 August – 27 August 2024 8-Day Norway Tour | 19 August – 26 August 2024
Pre-Conference Tours 10-Day Sweden & Norway Tour | 03 August – 12 August 2024 8-Day Norway Tour | 05 August – 12 August 2024 The World Methodist Council has worked with Travelink to provide these exclusive travel offers for Conference registrants. They are similar to the travel offerings provided for previous World Methodist Conferences (i.e. Seoul, Brighton, Rio de Janeiro). World Methodist Council
First Friday Letter page 6
Deepest sympthy With grief and gratitude I would like to let you know that my brother Karl Richard Beisel went to glory Sunday, October 29 late evening, one week before his 72. birthday. Karl died because of a heart failure after having spent exactly two months in several hospitals. Since his birth my brother had mental and physical handicaps. Our parents helped both of us to understand that we are both gifted and precious, differently abled as we were. Because of my brother I learnt that it is nonsense to judge people mainly on their ability to gain degrees and make professional success. Karl performed extremely well in loving God and keeping loving relationships with so many people. In recent years he needed more and more support.
well, but he needed two even more difficult surgeries because of an ileus, followed by an endocarditis and several other infections. Until last Friday the doctors told us that he had a chance to recover. Shortly after having been moved from the ICU to a “normal” room in the hospital, Karl had a pushback and this time he was ready to let go this earthly life, trusting that Jesus, whom he deeply loved, would wait for him together with many saints who went before, amongst them our parents. The celebration of life will be held November 15 and Karl will find his earthly rest in Eppingen in the south of Germany.
Exactly two months ago Karl fall and broke his 2nd cervical spine, which needed to be fixed after he had received a cardiac pacemaker. These surgeries went
Thanks for all you are doing and your ongoing prayer support.
The Phillips School of Theology will host the Twenty-Seventh Pastors’ Conference & Eightieth Founders’ Celebration, January 8-11, 2024. The theme is, “Seeing The New: Discovering Next Level Ministries That Transform Churches” This year’s Pastors’ Conference is a milestone as we celebrate our 27th annual event and first in-person meeting in 4 years! The registration fee for the Pastors’ Conference & Founders’ Celebration is $100. Online registration is available here . You may download a registration form here. For additional information, please contact 404-527-7768 and visit online at https://thecmechurch.org/pastors-conference/ We look forward to your presence at the in-person Pastors’ Conference and Founders’ Celebration! Please pray for the success of these events.
World Methodist Council
First Friday Letter page 7
Nepal Nazarenes respond in wake of deadly landslides The rainy season in Nepal has caused severe landslides in several districts. Rains and slides significantly impacted villagers in the small town of Mehele in July, as more than 50 families were displaced from their homes, and most crops were damaged or destroyed. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) in Nepal distributed food relief packs to almost all the families impacted in the area. Contents included essentials like rice, lentils, oil, and salt. Other distributions included tarps for shelter and soap. Traveling to the impacted area was difficult. A team of NCM Nepal volunteers from three local churches used motorbikes to navigate the wet and slippery roads to reach the location, where they met a truck that brought items via another route. Damaged roads and no electricity increased travel time for the group. “The roads were extremely challenging, with landslides visible everywhere,” said Sandeep, the local NCM coordinator. “We could see collapsed bridges and large metal debris along the riverbanks.” When they arrived at a distribution point, Sandeep noted that the area was still at risk. Geographically, the area was susceptible to landslides, and many of the houses were at risk in case of more rainfall. A small landslide occurred higher up the hill while they were there. A man named Yadav came to the distribution to receive food. When the rains hit, water began flowing down their road. “My house fell in the twinkle of an eye,” Yadav shared. “When I opened my eyes, there was a big landslide. I could not find my family. I have been
World Methodist Council
searching till now for my wife, my daughter-in-law, and my lovely grandson.” Yadav’s family members were not the only lives lost; this set of slides caused 110 fatalities in the area. Along with his deep grief, Yadav had to face rebuilding and recovering financially and physically. “We were in trouble. Every household is in financial crisis,” he pointed out. “I thank everyone who initiated the relief distribution to us.” One elected official expressed his thanks for this compassionate outreach. “I am impressed by this kind of work initiated by NCM Nepal,” he stated. “As an elected representative of this community, I take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of my people of Mehele. You came to this place right after the disaster as a medicine for fresh wounds in our community and life.” While recovering from this crisis will take years, the immediate care provided essential items to a village that otherwise was without help. Looking ahead, NCM Nepal staff and volunteers are planning how they can assist in the next stage of healing. “The people lost their loved ones, they lost their parts of agricultural land, they lost crops, and they also lost their animals,” Sandeep said. “There are high chances that people may be victimized by trauma and need counseling. Now, they have received some basic items just for a short time. If NCM helps them long term in the recovery of living and bringing them back to their previous situation, it will be a great blessing for the affected people.” --Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region
First Friday Letter page 8
WesleyMen Unveils 2023 Advent-Epiphany Devotional Thanks be to God, from whom all blessings flow! WesleyMen is pleased to announce the publication of Triptych for Advent 2023. The work marks the 7th in a semi-annual series that includes seasons of Advent through Epiphany and also Lent. A “triptych” is a three-paneled art piece, first popularized in the Middle Ages, joining together three themes. From those early times until now, triptychs have been installed as “altar pieces.” This triptych “interlocks” Biblical themes drawn from the Revised Daily Common Lectionary Year B, with Mark featured, drawing also from Matthew, Luke, John and more. The three theme texts span the Exile, Mary’s Magnificat and Jesus “back home” in Nazareth. Each day’s readings include a scripture, a reflection and a prayer; it is cowritten by Mr. Andy Morris of Nashville, Tennessee, WesleyMen program director, and Rev Steve Hickle, WesleyMen president, of Raleigh, North Carolina, both in the USA. While sponsored by WesleyMen, the devotional is designed to be an inspiration for all people, providing an opportunity for deepened discipleship and a call to action. So how do you obtain this resource? Glad you asked! You can order at WesleyMen.org or use the QR code in this article (with your smartphone, point and click!). Paperbacks are available for $6.99 (USD) downloads for $1.99 (USD). That’s 35 daily readings, roughly 20 cents or 5 cents per day, paperback or download. We look forward to processing your order. Advent is right around the corner!
Rev Steve Hickle, president, WesleyMen An Affiliate of the World Methodist Council stevehickle@WesleyMen.org
Position Position in in Church Church History History at at Perkins Perkins Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University advertisement for an assistant professor of History of Christianity with a specialization in Methodist/Wesleyan studies. The full description of the position and how to apply can be found at the following link: https:// www.smu.edu/-/media/Site/Perkins/Academics-Faculty/Job-Advertisement-Final. pdf. For questions or inquiries email Wesley Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org World Methodist Council
First Friday Letter page 9
22nd World Methodist Conference Gothenburg, Sweden 13-18 August
Photo credits: Perkins School of Theology/ R. Hipps
Please send press releases, articles and resources! Submissions should be a page or less (450-500 words), edited and ready to publish. Contact us by Monday, 20 November at email@example.com if you would like your story to be included in the December edition of the First Friday Letter.
On the Web
About the First Friday Letter
This and past First Friday Letters can be found online at FirstFridayLetter.worldmethodistcouncil.org.
The First Friday Newsletter is a monthly publication of the World Methodist Council.
The World Methodist Council’s website may be found at worldmethodistcouncil.org. The World Methodist Council’s Conference website is at worldmethodistconference.org. To subscribe to this newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publisher: Bishop Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary Communications: Michaela Bryson All stories and photos, unless otherwise stated, are protected by their respective copyrights. Please do not copy without expressed written permission from the Council.
Follow the Council on social media!! Twitter @WMCouncil
World Methodist Council
Facebook @World Methodist Council
First Friday Letter page 10