Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – September 2020

Update from Chair of “Headway Ireland” Methodist Evangelicals Together. September 2020


Secretary: Rev Ken Robinson


Dear Members and Friends of Headway (Ireland),

We greet you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Sovereign.

Times of lockdown
These are difficult months of COVID19 lockdown. I have been thinking about the Christian view of time. Because of the future hope which we have as believers, we view time differently and can learn to spend days under pressure yet with purpose and with peace.

Non-believers are shaped by their past history and present circumstances but the view of time which Christians have is additionally shaped by our future hope. Christians are not constantly viewing the rear-view mirror. Our history is not only locked in the past but is going somewhere, because Christ has died (past), Christ is risen (present) and Christ will come again (future). The future hope of believers has a hugely positive impact in times of pressure, persecution and pain.

In Romans 13 verse 11, 12, we have insight into a Christian view of time. “And do this understanding the present time…. because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” God is always working his purposes out.

God made time and manages time. Our timing is partial but God’s timing is perfect. We do well to remember that we live between the two comings of Christ. An old hymn starts: “My times are in Thy hands, my God I wish them there.” God is trustworthy and we are learning to trust God more.

While our view of time is a difference between the believer and unbeliever whom Paul describes bluntly as “without God and without hope” (Ephesians 2v12), the major difference is that believers are marked by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1v13).

Knowing God
Dr J I Packer in his book Knowing God, describes four characteristics of the one who truly knows God.

….they have great energy for God.
….they have great thoughts of God.
….they show great boldness for God.
….they have great contentment in God.

Dr Packer passed home to God on 17 July 2020 at the age of 93. With his friend John Stott he gave leadership to Anglican evangelicalism. I first met him in Belfast at a Christian Union Conference which I helped organize. I remember him as a charming man who was at home among students. He was an admirer of the theology of John Calvin and the evangelistic zeal of John Wesley and was an authority on both. When asked for a final word to the Church he said: “Glorify Christ in every way.”

Headway developments

I write to give you an update on the revised plans of Headway (Ireland). We now operate within the constraints of public health guidelines and our planned events and planned events have to be postponed on convert to virtual events.

Our Headway (Ireland) AGM will take place on Friday 2nd October 2020 but will be convened by zoom. At this meeting I have requested that a new Chair should be appointed. It has been my privilege to serve in this capacity for six years.

We are grateful that Headway has been given a respectful hearing in Irish Methodism on many issues and not least in the debate about the redefinition of marriage. Presently our church adheres to the traditional, biblical view of marriage although the pressure for revisionism in both Church and nation is unrelenting. Please pray for the new Headway leadership as it continues to promote traditional biblical teaching.

Spring Celebration 2021

The coronavirus resulted in government lockdown which meant that the Headway (Ireland) Spring Gathering with David Hull of Methodist Evangelicals Together had to be postponed. Plans are in place to hold this celebration in 2021, possibly by Zoom if necessary. David has been asked to address the topic: “Living Biblically in the Church and the World.” Pray for David Hull and MET as British Methodism has agreed a discussion document which is revisionist and disregards the plain teaching of Holy Scripture. This British document does not apply to the Methodist Church in Ireland.

We are glad to know of your encouragements and concerns. Please continue to pray, personally and corporately, for the Methodist Church in Ireland and for the work of Headway (Ireland). Our Secretary, Rev Ken Robinson can be contacted at ptrobinson@btinternet.com.

May God bless you.

Rev. Ken Todd (Chairman)

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – May 2020

Update from Chair of “Headway Ireland” Methodist Evangelicals Together. May 2020


Web site: www.headwayireland.com
Secretary: Rev Ken Robinson

Dear Members and Friends of Headway (Ireland),

We greet you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians are learning to lock arms, virtually, in the lock down. At the end of this letter I will recommend an on-line resource which you may find helpful. This letter is to give you an update on the re-planned events of Headway Ireland .
We trust that you and your loved ones  are  able  to  cope  with  the  unusual  constraints and confinement imposed by the current Coronavirus pandemic.  It  is a testing time for all as we follow  the  protocols,  while engaging  in  prayer and  practical  support.   We  extend   our sympathy to those who have been bereaved.  The Easter gospel is teaching us that God meets us in the familiar and unusual.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, at the start of his public ministry  submitted  to  isolation  for  forty days. For our Lord, it was a time of temptation and trust, of privation  and  re-positioning, of vulnerability and victory. The devil then left Jesus and angels  came  and  ministered  to Him. (See Matthew 4:1-11).

For us, we can surely believe that God knows about the virus, God is in the situation and God is with us. May the presence of the same Holy Spirit of God who led our Lord Jesus in his isolation, strengthen in us God’s good purposes for God’s glory.

You are aware that “Headway Ireland” has had to re-arrange its Spring, Summer and Autumn gatherings and I want to update you on the arrangements which remain somewhat fluid.

Spring celebration

This has been postponed until April 2021 (D.V.) in Seymour Street Methodist Church, Lisburn. We are grateful that Rev David Hull, who is Chair of “Share Jesus International” and Chair of Methodist Evangelicals Together in Britain, has agreed to re-schedule his Irish visit. He will speak about:

“Living Biblically in the Church and the World.”

Summer AGM and Conference Breakfast meeting

These have been postponed until October 2020. The annual Conference of the Methodist Church in Ireland has been moved from June until October 7 – 11, 2020.

Mrs Hazel Loney the newly–installed Lay Leader of the Irish Methodist Conference will address the breakfast gathering. We will confirm dates and times later.

Autumn Celebration

Because of the postponed Conference event in October, we have not planned to have an Autumn Celebration this year.

Creative Bible Engagement is our vision for our Methodist denomination. It goes beyond our expressed desire for Biblical Literacy. Not only should we know the Scriptures but we should Search the Scriptures(John 5:39). Each week I am privileged to join with 50 others, virtually by Zoom, as our minister skilfully leads us through the book of Colossians and allows us time to join small group chatrooms. It is a stimulating creative bible engagement and we are blest from the recovered sense of fellowship. In many Circuits, God is using live-linked worship via Facebook and YouTube as our pastors and preachers learn to be tele-evangelists! We bless our members who are health professionals and carers in the NHS and in our nursing homes. We pray for our President of Conference, Rev Sam McGuffin and our Lay Leader, Ms Lynda Neilands, who are providing us with godly leadership at this unusual time. “Headway Ireland” continues to contend for traditional, biblical marriage as defined between one man and one woman. We are encouraged by the positive feedback, from our Irish Church. The story is sadly different within British Methodism.

Many people are finding a new devotional resource from  24/7 Prayer to be helpful. You can access this (hopefully) by the link below:

https://www.24-7prayer.com/dailydevotional

Feel free to share with us other resources which you are finding useful.

May God bless you.

Yours faithfully,

Rev Ken Todd

A picture which reveals an answer to prayer, is a big story behind the 40 foot container for Ghana, sent by our Methodist Container Ministry this week. The huge mobile crane is lifting the container onto an equally large lorry. The authorities did not agree that the presence of the crane on our roads was an essential work. We prayed and two weeks later, the Holy Spirit convicted the powers-that-be that the Wenchi Hospital in Ghana, in the midst of the Covid-19 response programme, was an essential work of charity. Praise God!

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – February 2020

From the Chairman of Headway (Ireland) Methodist Evangelicals Together.


Dear Members and Friends of Headway (Ireland),

We greet you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The greatest ethical teacher the world has ever known spoke to the crowds: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

These words of Jesus can be applied evangelistically and ecclesiastically, to individuals and to churches. John Stott expounded this passage under the headings: two roads, two crowds, two destinations and two gates. These words are counter-cultural in our western world today where the mood is relativism. The world calls us to a broad road. Jesus calls us to a narrow road through a narrow gate. Unlike the broad road of tolerance and permisssiveness, the narrow road is hard, fenced in with boundaries and clearly marked. “Its narrowness is due to revelation and restricts the traveller to what God has revealed to be true and good” (Stott). There is pressure on the individual Christian as well as church bodies to opt for the broad road where all views are equally welcome. We do well to reflect on this command of the Lord Jesus.

Biblical Literacy

Sometimes, evangelical groups, like Headway, can give the impression of being defensive or negative. We want to be positive in promoting a focus on biblical literacy. We are grateful for reports of well-attended bible study groups in Circuits and we aspire for this to be the norm. Likewise we are encouraged to hear of examples of expository preaching in pulpits. We are intent on encouraging our Methodist Connexion in promoting bible-based ministry and life-style. Our Ministers and Local Preachers are well placed to give us the lead. God forbid that “The hungry sheep look up and are not fed” (John Milton Lycidas).

Individual Evangelism

Headway is supportive of efforts to tackle the decline in our church by encouraging personal evangelism. The message is getting through, that each one can reach one, and we commend the lead from our Home Mission Department. We will be glad to hear from our members of helpful resources for personal witness and outreach.

Human Sexuality

We are unimpressed by the report of the British Methodist Church; God in love unites us, currently being discussed by British Methodist Circuits. Traditional, biblical teaching on the nature of marriage and chastity is being disregarded.Christian holiness is unmentioned. The Bible is being side-lined and its authority questioned. The report is a good example of signposting a broad and trendy road and not the narrow road of God’s revelation.

We also note what Rev Dr William Abraham describes as “the unravelling” of North American United Methodism where there are serious negotiations about a split in the denomination on the matter of the nature of Christian marriage. We pray that God will bring good out of this sad state of affairs and that God will be glorified in all things.

The Church of England has published a statement which holds the line along the road of traditional, biblical teaching concerning Christian marriage and chastity.

We pray vigorously for our own Faith and Order committee in their deliberations on human sexuality. Headway (Ireland) has early presented its findings. Members and circuits have been asked to discuss the matter and report to the working party on human sexuality. It is important to do so.      Here are some dates for your diary.

Spring Celebration

On Wednesday 22nd April 2020 D.V. in Seymour Street Methodist Church, Lisburn at 7.45 p.m. We look forward to the visit of Rev David Hull. David is Chair of “Share Jesus International” and Chair of Methodist Evangelicals Together in Britain. He will speak about:

“Living Biblically in the Church and the World”

 David has experienced serious negative feedback since he made a speech at the British Conference in 2019 when he contended that Marriage is between a man and a woman and that chastity before marriage is the Christian standard. We are grateful that David has agreed to address our Spring celebration. All are welcome.

AGM of Headway (Ireland)

The AGM of Headway (Ireland) will be held on Friday 5th June 2020 at 7.30 p.m. in Seymour Street Methodist Church, Lisburn. All are welcome. At this meeting we will reflect together on God’s road of travel for Headway (Ireland). Your suggestions will be important.

We also will survey some of the issues to be raised at the next Methodist Conference.

Why not join with us?

As a member of Headway (Ireland) you will be kept informed of our work and be able to contribute to it. Membership involves an annual subscription of £20 and as part of that you will receive copies of the British Methodist Evangelicals Together magazine. Please send your enquiry or details to the Headway Secretary, Rev Ken Robinson at 15 Springfort Lodge, Dollingstown, Craigavon BT66 7BE (email: ken.robinson@irishmethodist.org).

Headway Breakfast at Methodist Conference 2020

 This will be held on Saturday 13 June 2020 in Lisburn. Mrs Hazel Loney the newly–installed Lay Leader of the Irish Methodist Conference will address the gathering. All are welcome.

Please feel free to share with us your suggestions and concerns as together with Headway (Ireland) we seek to glorify God and faithfully conserve traditional Biblical values in a changing church and society.

May God bless you.

Rev Ken Todd

Chair of Headway (Ireland)

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – October 2019

From Rev Ken Todd (Chair of Headway Ireland Methodist Evangelicals Together).

Website: www.headwayireland.com

Secretary: Rev Ken Robinson

1 Peter 2v11:  Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.


Church in exile

I spent a blessed day with Rt. Rev Paul Boafo, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in Ghana, which has one million members and is growing. It exerts influence for good in the country and is listened to by the common people as well as the political leaders. Bishop Paul studied in our Edgehill College, Belfast. We reflected that in Europe, once upon a time, the Christian Church was regarded as the shaper of culture and occupied a place of influence at the centre of culture but today, rampant secularism wants to push the Christian Church into exile where the Church is regarded as the enemy of culture. In exile, our Christian calling is to live counter-culturally. As a servant church, like the Old Testament exiles, we will become familiar with the language of lament, penitence and hope and singing the Lord’s song in a strange land.  We do well to listen to and learn from representatives of the World Church.

Conference meeting in Cork, June 2019

Headway was given the opportunity in June 2019 to organise a Conference Meeting entitled “REACHING EVERY GENERATION IN A CHANGING IRISH CULTURE.” The three speakers were Peter Grier (Team Leader for Munster and Connacht Christian Unions Ireland); Rev Greg Alexander (West Cork); and Rev Dr Heather Morris (now Secretary of Conference). It was an encouraging and challenging time as we heard of people coming to Christ and standing for Christ. We heard that people who have not made room for God in their thinking are likely to be more impressed if we are Christian rather than religious. It was an inspiring evening when we focussed on the changeless Christ.

Pro-Life protest at Stormont, September 2019

On September 6th the Stormont estate in Belfast was filled with an estimated 20,000 people who joined in a silent protest over the imposition by Westminster of a new liberalised abortion regime in Northern Ireland. Many Headway supporters were present and it was encouraging to see the President of our Methodist Conference, Rev Sam McGuffin making his protest.

New book by Rev Jim Rea, October 2019

Rev Jim Rea, preacher and broadcaster and lively raconteur, has published a book of short stories with a spiritual insight. “Stories from the streets and beyond” is available in bookshops at £12.95. Jim is a member of the Headway (Ireland) Executive committee.

Home Mission challenge

We are fully supportive of our Home Mission Department which is encouraging the Circuits in our three Districts to be serious, proactive and committed in:

  • Making more followers of Jesus Christ;
  • Growing as followers of Jesus;
  • Serving God in the wider world.

British Methodist Church controversial report on marriage

I attach a 900 word critique of the controversial document from the British Methodist Church (“God in love unites us”). The document which encourages redefinitions of marriage and chastity has gone to British Circuits for consultation. It is a British document and does not apply to Irish Methodism. Our critique has appeared in the October edition of the Methodist Newsletter under the title: “Full of love and lawlessness.”

Closer to home, Headway (Ireland) encourages churches to prayerfully engage with and confidently respond to, consultations and initiatives from the MCI working group on human sexuality.

Further Headway (Ireland) gatherings are being planned:

“Living Biblically in the Church and the World” April Celebration 2020;

“Sharing faith with the next generation” Conference June 2020.

Details of these are being finalised.

Please feel free to share with us your suggestions and concerns as together with Headway (Ireland) we seek to glorify God and faithfully conserve traditional Biblical values in a changing church and society.

May God bless you.

Rev Ken Todd (Chair of Headway Ireland)

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – March 2019

Dear friends of Headway,

We are called to holy living and prayer (1 Peter 4v7). Here are some updates which may encourage us on our journey.

Lisburn

On Wednesday 3rd April at 7.45 p.m. in Seymour Street Methodist Church, Lisburn, Rev Dr David Wilkinson will speak at the Headway Spring celebration on the topic: “Holiness of the Heart.” David is a friend of Methodist Evangelicals Together (MET), a Methodist minister, Durham Professor and Principal of St John’s College, Durham. We look forward to an evening of much blessing.

This Headway celebration is open to all. Please inform your local congregations.

Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast Chaplaincy (Methodist and Church of Ireland, based at The Hub) has happily collaborated with Headway with respect to the visit of Rev Professor David Wilkinson.

Dr Wilkinson will deliver the annual Church of Ireland theological lecture at QUB Emelios lecture theatre on Tuesday 2nd April at 6 p.m. The lecture is entitled: “Science, Religion and the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.” This is a public lecture and free tickets may be booked on line.

United Methodist Church

Recently, representatives of the United Methodist Church (UMC), a worldwide Connexion of approximately 13 million members, met at a special Conference in St. Louis, USA, at the end of February 2019. The Special Conference was convened to address divisions over LGBTQ issues. Members voted to toughen prohibitions on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy. They rejected a “One Church Plan” that would have allowed local congregations, conferences, and clergy to make their own choices about conducting same-sex marriages and ordaining LGBTQ ministers. United Methodist representatives voted for the “Traditional Plan,” which affirmed the authority of the Bible and the traditional teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman.

If you wish to contact Headway (Ireland), we are glad to hear from you. Our Secretary is Rev Ken Robinson and our website is: Headwayireland.com

May God bless you.

Ken Todd (Chairman Headway Ireland)

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – February 2019

“I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2v20)

Dear Friends of Headway,

This is an update about events which we are planning D.V. in the coming months.

We are encouraged by widening support for the work we do. At this time many churches in the western world are faced with the challenge of a trendiness which questions the plain teaching of Scripture. Evangelical Movements, like Headway, feel a duty, given by God, to provide the Church with a reasoned Biblical corrective. We regard ourselves as supporters of traditional Methodist doctrine while embracing fresh ways of “being church.”

“HOLINESS OF THE HEART” on 3rd April 2019
We are pleased that the speaker at our Headway Spring Celebration on 3rd April at 7.45 p.m. in Seymour Street Methodist Church, Lisburn, will be Rev Dr David Wilkinson (Durham).

David is no stranger to Ireland or Irish Methodism and we are grateful that he has accepted our invitation to speak on the topic: “Holiness of the Heart.”

This is a public rally and you can invite all, especially from your Circuit. We pray that God will give to us all, the grace of a holy life.

At the same time, the Queen’s University Chaplaincy has helpfully linked up with us concerning the visit of David. They announce that on Tuesday 2nd April, David will give a public evening lecture on the role of science, theology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. This lecture will be at 6 p.m.  Details will soon be available.

David Wilkinson is a Methodist minister, theologian and astrophysicist. He is currently Principal of St John’s College, Durham. He is regular speaker on BBC “Thought for the Day.”

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on 7th June 2019

The AGM is planned for Friday 7 June at 7.30 p.m. in Seymour Street Methodist Church, Lisburn. At this meeting we shall review our calling to prayer and holiness and continued theological vigilance. We encourage our Church members to pray for revival both personally and corporately.  We persuade members to engage in confident articulate witness to our Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour.

CORK CONFERENCE MEETING on 13th June 2019

Headway is pleased to host a public evening celebration at the Methodist Conference in Cork on Thursday 13 June at 7.30 p.m. D.V. The theme of the evening is: “Reaching Every Generation in Changing Irish Culture” when we will be addressed by three local speakers.

To keep in touch with our counterparts in British Methodism, it is our plan to send out to our membership one copy per year of their magazine MET (Methodist Evangelicals Together).

We are glad to hear from you. Feel free to circulate this update among friends. Our secretary is Rev Ken Robinson (ptrobinson@btinternet.com) and our website is  www.headwayireland.com.

May God bless you.

Rev. Ken Todd (Chairman)

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – October 2018

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – Methodist Evangelicals Together.

14 October 2018

John 17v17: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”

Isaiah 28v17: “I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line”

1 Peter 2v6: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”


Dear Friends of Headway Ireland,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. These three verses unite to encourage us that God’s word gives us standards for living. God, in his grace, sanctifies, straightens and shapes the lives of his people.

Thank you for your support. We are always glad to receive news of God’s work and also to hear of your concerns. I hope this update will bless you in your Christian witness.

Headway is a Bible-based movement. We encourage our members to engage in Bible Study. Scripture is the supreme authority of faith and conduct for the Christian Church.

So far this year we have invited several evangelical leaders who have challenged the Church. Canon Vaughan Roberts was the Headway–nominated speaker at the Faith and Order day Conference on Sexuality. Evangelist Roger Carswell addressed the Spring Rally

promoting personal evangelism. He was ably supported by Tom Wilson from Lay Witness. Bishop Ken Good addressed the Conference Headway Breakfast and challenged us to leave a legacy that will last. They “spoke the truth in love” (Ephesians 4v15).

In the on-going discussions about “Sexuality” we pray that Scripture will be accepted as God’s plumbline to serve as a corrective to secular thinking.

We are a prayer-based movement. We congratulate our Church for the Prayer Focus 2018/2019. It is a top-class production filled with detail and helpful aids to daily prayer. We pray for the revival and renewal of God’s Church. We are a holiness movement and we pray for the spread of Christ-likeness. These are days of satanic opposition to Christianity. We are called to live deeply in the love of God and to happily share the grace and power of Christ. Mr Wesley described holiness as “Perfect Love” and wrote that “Holiness is happiness.”

We are an evangelistic movement. We encourage evangelism through relationships, prayer and action. There are many stories of people coming to know Christ. We thank God for the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Rev William Davidson and the Lay Leader, Mrs Lynda Neilands. They are a blessing on their travels and in their writings as they graciously commend the Saviour to all.

Future events:

  • Friday October 19th  2018 –“The Influence of Cliff College on Irish Methodism.” Ken Todd will give this lecture at the invitation of the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland. All are welcome at Agape Methodist Centre 236 Lisburn Road, Belfast, 7.30-9.00 p.m.
  • Headway Spring Rally on April 3rd 2019 at Seymour Street Methodist Church, Lisburn. Rev. Dr David Wilkinson (Durham) will D.V. speak on the subject “Holiness of the Heart.”
  • Cork Conference 2019 public meeting: “Reaching Every Generation in the Changing Irish Culture.” (Details to follow)

Feel free to circulate this update among friends. Our secretary is Rev Ken Robinson (ptrobinson@btinternet.com) and our website is (www.headwayireland.org).

May God bless you.

Rev. Ken Todd (Chairman)

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – March 2018

Dear members and friends of “Headway Ireland”,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is absolute truth and absolute love (John 1v14).

Our Headway Executive Committee met in February and it was encouraging to receive reports of new members joining and to hear feedback about our recent statements.

Here are some news items and dates for your diary.

In February the  Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist Church in Ireland invited Headway to submit the name of an evangelical theologian to speak at a day Conference in Belfast. Rev Canon Vaughan Roberts, rector of St Ebbs, Oxford and President of the Proclamation Trust, agreed to come and speak on the subject: “The Authority of Scripture in relation to same sex marriage.” Vaughan gave us a strategic, sound and inspiring presentation and we are most grateful to Vaughan for his gracious leadership.


Please note the details of our Spring Rally:

“HEADWAY IRELAND” – (Methodist Evangelicals Together)
Spring Rally:   Tackling the decline part 2
“Every Methodist an Evangelist”
Speaker: Evangelist Roger Carswell (England)
(Including report from Lay Witness movement)
Wednesday  2nd May 2018 at 7.45 p.m.
In Seymour Street Methodist Church Lisburn. All are welcome.


The date for the Annual General Meeting of Headway is Friday June 1st 2018 and it will be good to see you in Seymour Street Methodist Church at 8p.m.

We shall look at the Conference agenda and elect the Committee for 2018-2019.

We meet as an Executive on Thursday May 3rd at 10.30am in Trinity Methodist Church Lisburn.

The “Headway Ireland” Breakfast at Conference in Londonderry is planned for Saturday June 16th at 7.30am when the speaker will be Bishop Ken Good. The Venue is Browns Restaurant at Bonds Hill not far from Clooney Hall Church. – Booking is essential and details will be given in the Conference Blue Book.

If any Headway Ireland members who are not representatives to Conference want to attend please contact Ken Robinson on 028 38333250 or ptrobinson@btinternet.com

We continue to pray for revival in the Church, the conversion of people to Christ and the promotion of Bible teaching in our churches.

Thank you for your encouragement. Please visit our web site (www.headwayireland.com). We are glad to hear of your reports and concerns.

May God bless you.
Yours faithfully,

Ken Todd
Ken Robinson

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – November 2017

Update from Chairman of Headway Ireland – Methodist Evangelicals Together. (www.headwayireland.com)

1 November 2017

Jude v 20,21 : “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

Dear Friends of Headway Ireland,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Note the Trinitarian reference in Jude 20,21: Pray in the Holy Spirit; remain in God’s love; wait for Jesus’s further mercies.

Thank you for your encouragement and your prayers. The committee has been busy and new members continue to join Headway.

One of our aims as a movement is “promoting prayer for the revival of God’s church.” The President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Rev Dr Lawrence Graham has issued a call to a series of 24 hour prayer sessions in all churches. When this is entered into as an invitation from God, it results in much blessing. In Lisburn, we have engaged in this alongside a study of the booklet produced by the Departments of our church, called “BEING CHURCH – Learning from Methodist churches in South Africa.”

Another aim of Headway is “promoting the authority of the Bible especially in relation to human sexuality.” Headway Ireland has written a three page response to the booklet on Sexuality which our Connexion has produced. I hope you have received this. It is also available on our website resources (www.headwayireland.com). We were disappointed that the booklet on “Sexuality” was devoid of Scripture references although they were included on a website report. Please encourage responses to the “Sexuality” booklet from your Circuit or individuals which should be sent to wphs@irishmethodist.org.

We are pleased that Rev Vaughan Roberts, rector of St Ebbe’s Oxford, will be talking to Irish Methodists next Spring, D.V. He has written extensively about Biblical perspectives on social issues, including human sexuality. Keep an eye out for any of his publications.

A third aim of Headway Ireland is “promoting evangelism in the agenda of our churches.” On our website under resources, you can now find the notes of “Envisaging the future” by Peter Lynas of Evangelical Alliance NI. An audio version of this Headway breakfast talk 2017 is also included on the website under events. Peter Lynas, who trained as both barrister and theologian, encourages us to understand the changing context within which we are called to share the unchanging gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a stimulating read/listen.

The date for our Spring Conference in Lisburn is May 2nd 2018: “Every Methodist an Evangelist” (Tackling decline Part 2) –Speaker: Evangelist Roger Carswell (England).

Let us know of your encouragements and concerns. Feel free to circulate this update among friends. Please continue to pray for the Methodist Church in Ireland and for the work of Headway Ireland. Our secretary is Rev Ken Robinson (ptrobinson@btinternet.com).

May God bless you.

Rev. Ken Todd (Chairman)

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – July 2017

Update from Chairman of Headway (Ireland) – Methodist Evangelicals Together.

1 July 2017

Dear Friends of Headway (Ireland),

Jude v 3 “Contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Thank you for your witness and prayers throughout a busy half year. New members continue to join. We endeavour to make our voice heard on debatable matters within our Methodist Connexion. We seek to recall ourselves and our Connexion to honour God’s truth as revealed in Holy Scripture. Charles Wesley addressed God as “Thou God of truth and love” and we want to be found “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4v15).

A recent executive meeting of Headway (Ireland) pinpointed three areas of focus for us at present. They are:

  • Promoting the authority of the Bible especially in relation to human sexuality;
  • Promoting evangelism in the agenda of our churches;
  • Promoting group prayer for the revival of God’s Church.

At our Spring Conference in Lisburn 2017 the church was filled to hear our Secretary of Conference and an inter-church panel of members discuss “Tackling decline – what next?” It was a challenging evening and we hope to publish a report on this on our website.

At the Irish Methodist Conference meeting in Lisburn in June 2017 it was encouraging to hear our President, Rev Dr Lawrence Graham, invite people to know Jesus personally. The report from the Council for Social Responsibility presented a helpful insight into the abuse of alcohol and began by recommending that all Methodists consider seriously the claims of total abstinence. They also encouraged Christians to write to Public Representatives not to liberalise abortion laws. The Board of Education report will have encouraged all Christian teachers by defending the importance for Christian education on schools.

At Conference the new structures for our Church received a mixed response although it was good to hear Rev Dr Heather Morris indicate that the three separated District Superintendents should be chosen with evangelistic and well as administrative gifts in mind. Rev Shaun Cleland had earlier, at the Ministerial Session, made an impassioned plea for prioritising evangelism.

The Conference discussion booklet on human sexuality was considered. While the document is introductory, our Headway members would have liked more biblical references to have been included.

Seventy eight persons attended the Methodist Conference breakfast which was hosted by Headway. Peter Lynas from Evangelical Alliance addressed the gathering with biblical clarity, passion and faith as he outlined the challenges facing the church of tomorrow. His talk is worth hearing or reading. An audio version of his talk is available on our Headway (Ireland) website (www.headwayireland.com) and hopefully we can present it in print.

Our plans for the future include a Spring Conference in Lisburn on May 2nd 2018:

“Every Methodist an Evangelist” (Tackling decline Part 2). Also, we have been invited to speak at a Faith and Order Day Conference on the subject: “The authority of the Bible with reference to human sexuality.” We will keep you informed of other events which we are planning.

Please let us know of your encouragements and concerns. Please continue to pray, personally and corporately, for the Methodist Church in Ireland and for the work of Headway (Ireland). Our Secretary, Rev Ken Robinson can be contacted at ptrobinson@btinternet.com.

May God bless you.

Rev. Ken Todd (Chairman)