Piercing Conversation: ConneXion 2022
One of the more surprising practices that John Wesley promoted was the inclusion of Christian “Conferencing” as a “means of grace”, along with prayer, searching the Scriptures, the Lord’s Supper and fasting. Of course, he meant much more than what we might think of as “Conferences”. We might frame the term in our day as the means of grace provided by authentic community that we experience in small groups, accountability relationships, local church worship AND our larger gatherings as a movement. Christian conferencing has been described as:
“..piercing conversation about our lives with God, our experience of God, and how to live as a result.”
From 4-6 November we will be engaged together in a “piercing conversation” about our lives with God, our experience of God and the Mission he is calling us to live out together. ConneXion 2022 draws together a number of threads that will be a part of our time together as together we seek to AMPLIFY our mission as Wesleyan Methodists in Aotearoa-New Zealand.
Collective Missional Discernment
What has traditionally been called the “Business Session” which is a term that has not always felt like a good fit. The “why” of this part of our Conference is to discern God’s will for the church as a missional body:
- Discerning national leadership through Spirit-led elections
- Aligning around our shared values and practices through Constitutional amendment
- Assessing fruitfulness and understanding the mission field through reports
- Resourcing mission through passing a budget
- Providing clarity and focus through approving a National Strategy
Our Collective Missional Discernment will be a key focus for our time together on Friday 4 November as Ministers and congregational representatives gather.
Worship, Celebration & Inspiration
The gathered “community” or “conferencing” of our movement as represented by Ministers and local church leadership worshipping together and welcoming the ministry of the Holy Spirit among us. Embodying the oneness of God in the ways we live out our God-given distinctiveness together (gender, culture, age etc) and confirming the pastoral call of Ministers through ordination.
Our Conferencing will start on Friday morning with a time of worship and sharing in the Word. We’ll be celebrating together on Friday evening with a meal and reflecting on the faithfulness of God through the service of those who are retiring or in transition. This will also be a time to reflect on 200 years since Rev Samuel Leigh landed in New Zealand with a mission of his own. On Saturday evening we’ll be worshipping together as we celebrate the ordination of Ministers and the installation of our national leadership.
Equipping for Missional Fruitfulness
We’ll also be taking time to prepare ourselves – heart, spirit and mind for missional fruitfulness through training, inspiration, teaching and testimony. We’re setting aside Saturday 5 November for this crucial work of preparing for AMPLIFYING Mission as we seek to Reach, Grow and Serve. We hope to have as many local church leaders as are able to join us at this time.
We pray for “piercing conversation” as we prepare for ConneXion 2022, that you and I might be sent once again for the gospel.