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Faith working through love

Members of the Baptist World Alliance and the World Methodist Council met in February at Runaway Bay Jamaica. The meeting was the fourth round of conversations of the international dialogue between Baptists and Methodists.

The World Methodist Council is one of the ecumenical partners supported by the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund which enables United Methodists to share a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical organizations.

The overall theme of the dialogue was faith working through love. The theme of the conversations this time centered on "Grace and faith : sung and preached, lived and shared".  Participants discussed a range of papers on the works of piety and mercy, in worship and preaching, including hymnody, and in the outworking of faith in practice among Methodists and Baptists in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. 

As well as considering the ten papers submitted for discussion, work on the compiling of the final report began and the tasks set to prepare for the concluding meeting scheduled for Sarum College, Salisbury, in the U.K.  14-21 March 2018.

The dialogue members participated in Sunday worship at Hoolebury Methodist Church in the St. Ann`s Bay Circuit of the Jamaica District.  They were joined for the service and lunch by Bishop Everard Galbraith of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas.  The Rev. Dr. Oral Thomas of the United Theological College (UTC) in Kingston preached the sermon on Matthew 5:20, drawing on the theme of holy hands and helping hands in joining together worship and service.

Earlier in the week the group traveled to Kingston to visit the denominational offices of the Jamaica Baptist Union (JBU) and Jamaica Methodist District and shared lunch at Saxthorpe Methodist Church. They then visited the UTC on the campus of the University of the West Indies at Mona before calling at the Bob Marley Museum and having dinner hosted by the General Secretary of the JBU, the Rev. Karl B. Johnson.

The Baptist World Alliance delegation included professors from Duke University Divinity School in the United States,  University of Ibadan in Nigeria, Catholic Institute of Paris, French Bible society in Paris, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Trisha Miller Manarin served as the BWA staff liaison.

Methodist attendees included representatives from World Methodist Council, Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome, Uniting Church Faculty of Theology, Melbourne, Australia, Jamaica District Conference, Western St. Andrew Circuit, in MCCA (Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas), Methodist Church in Southern Africa,  Reutlingen School of Theology in Germany and Covenant Community Methodist Church in Singapore.

World Council of Churches website

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