Methodist Church

EDUCATION SUNDAY

A national day of prayer and celebration for everyone in the world of education

LONDON – As the new academic year got under way the churches here went about publishing the resources they had prepared for Education Sunday 2006.

For well over a hundred years there has been an annual recognition in England and Wales of this Special Sunday as a national day of prayer and celebration for everyone in the world of education.

Education Sunday this year fell on Feb 12. This year the ecumenical steering group responsible for devising the material has focused on the purpose of education for its theme: “Prizes that Last”.

Mr Graham Russell, Methodist Secretary for Residential Schools and a member of the steering group, said: “Sport has been very much in the headlines recently with London’s successful Olympic bid and the excitement over England’s recapturing of the Ashes in cricket.

“Sometimes education seems like a sporting event. There are new targets to aim for, new rules, and new trophies to claim. But education is not just about being the best: it has wider purposes that need to be valued for their own sake – the development of individual potential and the pursuit of knowledge and truth.

“St Paul says we should not run aimlessly, but be like athletes – with a purpose: listening for God’s word, which fits us for life and prepares us for the ultimate prize.” – Methodist Church House, The Methodist Church in Britain.

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World Methodist Council team meets Pope Benedict

NEW YORK – A delegation from the World Methodist Council (WMC) met Pope Benedict XVI recently at the Vatican.

The visit took place on Dec 9, 2005, the day following the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council at which time the Catholic Church emphasised its commitment to ecumenical dialogue.

The WMC was one of the first Christian World Communions to enter into dialogue with the Catholic Church following Vatican II, and has continued the dialogue uninterrupted since 1967.

The delegation was led by His Eminence Sunday Mbang, Chairman of the WMC, and included the Rev Dr George Freeman, General Secretary; the Rev Dr Geoffrey Wainwright, Co-chairman of the Dialogue Commission; Bishop Walter Klaiber (retired) of Germany who co-chaired The United Methodist Church dialogue with the Catholic Church in the US; Mrs Gillian Kingston, member of The Irish Methodist Church and member of the Dialogue Commission; and Bishop William Oden, Ecumenical Officer of The United Methodist Church. Bishop Michael Putney, Catholic Bishop of the Townsville Diocese in Australia and Co-chairman of the Dialogue Commission, and Father Don Bolen form the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity were also included in the delegation.

His Eminence Mbang congratulated Pope Benedict on his election to the Papacy on behalf of World Methodists, and thanked him for renewing the commitment which his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, made to ecumenism.

Citing the progress that has been made in Methodist/Catholic relations through the International Dialogue Commission, His Eminence Mbang spoke of the “significant theological convergence that has been realised on such fundamental themes as revelation, faith, scripture and tradition”. – United Methodist News Service.

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