The Summer 2020 edition of the Methodist Church's magazine is now available.
Editor David Perry writes:
How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? (Psalm 137:4)
The last edition of the connexion was written before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, and represents a world and a normality that now seems so strange and far away to us. By contrast, the majority of the articles in this edition have all been written during the period of absolute lockdown here in the UK.
Our aim is to give you an overview of how the pandemic has impacted the life of the Church globally and a sense of how, in the midst of this terrible crisis, God has been inspiring us to respond in fresh and creative ways. Other pieces reflect the underlying challenges we face as we seek to put the gospel into practice, such as the timely article on antisemitism.
However, the murder of George Floyd in the United States and the consequent groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, with its necessarily strong determination to call out and confront racism, needs to be addressed too. We have therefore included a special section written by five Black British Methodists, who responded to my request with next to no time in which to write their contributions. To them I am profoundly grateful.
As a sign of solidarity with everyone who is living through lockdown I asked each contributor to provide a doorstep portrait of themselves, to reflect the shared consequences of the instruction to “Stay at Home”. You will appreciate that the magazine looks different too, as we were not able to send our superb professional photographers to cover the stories in their usual imaginative depth and detail.
So in every respect this edition of the magazine is itself an expression of what it is to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land. The wonder, of course, is that singing a new song is precisely what God enables us to do. Indeed in times of crisis and disconnection it is what we should expect. Psalm 137 expresses both a cry from the heart in anguished times, and the fulfilment of the very hope that once seemed so elusive and out of reach. I hope that the contributions in this edition of the connexion will affirm the wonderful truth of God’s new song for all of us and prompt us as the Church to be transformed together.
Published at 12:57 on 25 June 2020