• Tony Holden

Be bold - choose your words carefully

The theme of the current national Methodist Church magazine is ‘Be Bold’ {1}. I am delighted to read in it that a black woman is to be our 2021/2022 President - Revd. Sonia Hicks. I noticed that, though the articles were varied, few referenced ‘the Jesus of the Gospels.’ My ‘felt’ criticism took me back to 1972 [aged 32!]. I was invited to edit a daily newssheet at a large, prestigious, Church Leader’s Conference! {2} We were a fringe-activity. Our title was ‘Upside down,’ from the New Testament words: “these people are turning the world upside-down” {3}. On the final day we produced seven slogans urging this Ecumenical Conference to engage with, for example, simplicity of lifestyle, our world-wide [beyond the church] struggle to be human, the opportunities for participation and community. The book-size report had a comment on our slogans which as I recall was something like: “and they didn’t use the word ‘God’ at all.” {4} So, be bold and choose your words carefully!

Notes - {1} in our Methodist Church National magazine ‘Connexion’ summer 2021 and using Joshua 1,9 in what we Christians call the ‘Old Testament’ and Jewish people name the ‘Hebrew Bible’ or ‘Tanakh’ {2} by a long-gone organization - ONE for Christian Renewal and from Acts 17, 6. {3} the Very Revd. Dr. David L. Edwards [died 2018] ‘The British churches turn to the future: one man's view of the Church Leaders' Conference, Birmingham, 1972’.

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