or “Why are there so many meetings?”
Historically, the connected Methodist Church throughout the world has been referred to as ‘Connexion’ – a term dating from Wesley’s time. It celebrates and acknowledges the connectedness of all members of the body of Christ, who together make up the worldwide Christian church.
Connexion meets formally as ‘Conference’ every year for a week in the summer. This is also the time when Ministers’ Ordinations take place, as Presbyters and Deacons are ‘received into Full Connexion’. It is here that reports are presented from all the subcommittees that have been meeting during the year, and it is here that all scheduled debates and discussions take place, always in the context of worship.
Many Methodist churches hold a special service in January, called a Covenant Service. Think of this as a New Year service, where we consider New Year’s resolutions, the year that has passed and the year that is to come.
The difference between a Methodist Covenant Service and an ordinary New Year’s Resolution, though, is that it is less about US making promises, and more about God’s promises to us. We look back on the past year and pause to reflect on the many ways that God has been faithful to us – the many ways God has blessed us and been with us through the year. This also causes us to reflect on our faithfulness (or otherwise) to God. In the service itself we read Scripture passages which remind us of the many times God says “I will be your God and you will be my people; my faithfulness is unchanging”.