The valuable community engagement work of the Methodist City Missions across Ireland was recognised and celebrated at June’s Methodist Church in Ireland's Annual Conference in Belfast, when attendees heard how the City Missions were supporting those most in need in the community and contributing to their local economies through social enterprises and employability programmes.
There are five City Missions across the island of Ireland, and together they employ 454 staff with an annual turnover of over £11m. 670 volunteers give their time freely to help in the outreach work.
The Methodist Church in Ireland’s World Development and Relief Department (WDR) is beginning to link congregations throughout Ireland more closely with its overseas partners. One of the ways it is achieving this is by encouraging methodists to visit overseas projects to help, listen and learn.
Recently, three Belfast Methodists travelled to the KOPILA Nepal Project with Tim Dunwoody (WDR project Worker) just before the devasting arthquake in April. The travellers were Nicky Coulter, Stephen Sheerin and David Dunlop.
An exciting day recently for the young people at Belfast Central Mission's (BCM) Housing Support for Young People's project in Newtownards. The young people at the project were interviewed by Felicity Finch, better known as Ruth Archer from the BBC Radio 4 programme, The Archers.
The Rev Brian Anderson, the newly installed Methodist President, addressing the Methodist Conference at his Installation Service in St.Patrick's Church of Ireland parish church, on Newtownards Road spoke of the need to engage with those who differ from us in matters of human sexuality.