Several Methodist leaders spoke about Methodist approaches to synodality at an international conference at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome from 26-28 January 2023. The conference – Listening to the West – brought together leading scholars and church leaders from Methodist, Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, and Old Catholic churches to present theological, canonical, pastoral, and historical perspectives on synodality. The conference was organized by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the Angelicum under the patronage of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity and the General Secretariat of the Synod. The Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome collaborated with the Institute of Ecumenical Studies in organizing the conference.
The Rev. Prof. J. Kwabene Asamoah-Gyadu, a minister of the Methodist Church Ghana and president of Trinity Theological Seminary in Legon, Ghana, gave a keynote address on “Synodal Experience: the Methodist Approaches.” During upon Methodist hymnody, Prof. Assamoah-Gyadu spoke about Methodist spirituality, discipleship, and sacramentality as marks of the Methodist approaches to synodality.
Additional lectures on Methodist synodality were given by:
- Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Geneva Secretary of the World Methodist Council and bishop emeritus of The United Methodist Church in Germany, on pastoral perspectives
- Revd Dr Kenneth Howcroft from the Methodist Church in Britain on canonical/church order perspectives, and
- Revd Prof Daniel Pratt Morris-Chapman, minister of Ponte Sant’Angelo Methodist Church in Rome and visiting professor of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, on historical developments.
The Rev Deacon Alessandra Trotta, moderator of the Waldensian Evangelical Church (Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches), also gave lecture on pastoral perspectives during the Reformed segment from the perspective of United/Union churches. Deacon Trotta is Methodist and serves as the head of the Methodist-Reformed union church in Italy.
The Rev. Matthew A. Laferty, director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome, moderated the keynote lecture.