I write this note to readers having taken on the role of
Before going on to describe the contents of this first 2023 issue, it is perhaps briefly worth laying out a short housekeeping note in the way of future publication plans for
In this, issue 8.1, we are offered multiple routes to reflection, both introspective and extrospective, that might further connect us with ourselves and with others beyond us. Daniel Pratt Morris-Chapman begins by reflecting on the life and monumental theological contributions of the recently departed William Abraham (1947–2021), surveying his influences, those he influenced and the immensely influential nature of his scholarship through major themes and publications. What manifests is a comprehensive examination of a figure of significance far beyond the Methodist tradition, and one yet, as the author note, whose ultimate legacy is not defined by us, his fellow humans.
Kevin Highfield then takes a comparative look in asking what novel connections might emerge from a conversation centred around communal holiness between the Methodist and Liberation traditions. In placing John Wesley and Gustavo Gutierrez into dialogue, the author encourages contemporary reflection on how Christians in the present might simultaneously challenge poverty whilst also furthering sanctification.
Then, turning inwards, Shini Abraham writes on the essentiality of ensuring the wellbeing of those who attempt to ensure the spiritual wellbeing of us. Drawing on her own experiences as a pastoral care worker operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the author writes within theological models of reflection and proposes a heightened emphasis on the importance of Sabbath rest as a means of furthering repose and resilience amongst those dedicating themselves to ministry.
Finally, Kenny Johnston similarly turns the lens towards us in exploring what role greater accountability and discipline might have to play in small group worship. Examining his own experiences as part of one such ‘experimental’ worship community inspired by early Methodist forms, the author advocates for further scholarly consideration of small group models and the value they might represent to spirituality in the present.
I hope the pieces within this issue serve similarly to inspire some reflection in yourself as the reader.