Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Geneva Secretary of the World Methodist Council, reported:
An audience of about 80 people attended a webinar jointly organized by the World Methodist Council and the Salvation Army on 20 November.
Salvation Army General Brian Peddle and the WMC General Secretary Ivan Abrahams both challenged the participants to take up the Wesleyan call to holiness and to witness Christ in the current age Looking back to the dialogue with the Salvation Army which ended 2011, the Methodist co-chair Rev. Paul Chilcote said: “Talking with Salvationists was like a reunion with cousins around the table.” He highlighted that the report which was adopted 2011 is “action oriented”, underlined by the remarks of Lieut. Colonel Karen Shakespeare, who was one of the Salvationists in the dialogue team. She said: “We have learned that entering into partnerships sometimes allows us to more fully and effectively serve with love and compassion, teach the truths of the gospel clearly, and work to bring about God’s mission in a wounded and broken world.”
According to the theme of the dialogue report: “Working Together in Mission: Witness, Education, and Service”, we were introduced to a joint work with migrants at the Mexican/US border. “We put the learnings of the dialogue into action before we knew that there was a dialogue”, Bishop Felipe de Jésus Ruiz Agui- lar from the Methodist Church in Mexico said. Together with the Salvation Army, Methodists distribute food and clothes, offer legal assistance, and accompany those who got stranded at the border. He and Major Gerardo Ortiz were convinced: “We can do more because we work together.” Rev. Glen O’Brien from the Uniting Church in Australia serves as researcher at an institution of the Salvation Army, Eva Burrows College in Melbourne. He reported of several colleges and universities where the WMC member churches and the Salvation Army are cooperating in the field of Theological Education.
An inspiring example of witnessing the faith is “Oasis Recovery Church” in Sheffield, UK. Andy Parkinson and Paul Huggins, both working within the Salvation Army, told us that the cooperation with the Methodist Church and other partners bears fruits: People feel at home at Oasis: “We all need recovery, …not only from substances, but from all areas of our lives including the ef- fects of COVID-19.” Oasis proves: Creating one congregation with members of different churches is possible, if there is a com- mon vision and a commitment to build up the kingdom of God, not just a denomination. The webinar was organized to recall the dialogue and share best practices for working together in God’s mission.First Friday Letter, the World Methodist Council, December 2021