|Appreciation for British Methodist Role in Challenging Economic Summit|
New York, NY, April 3, 2009--The head of the United Methodist Church's mission agency has thanked the Methodist Church of Great Britain for its role in keeping the concerns of poverty and environmental protection in the public eye as representatives of the world's 20 strongest economies met in London.
In a letter to British church leaders, the Rev. Edward W. Paup, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, noted the important role churches played in dramatizing the needs of the poor and environmental issues prior to and during the early April G-20 summit.
Weeks before the meeting, religious organizations, in coalition and individually, took active roles in a coordinated campaign under the slogan "Put People First," which involved marches and, for church groups, ecumenical services, including one at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster.
The effort continued through the April 2 summit. Emphasis was on the economic assistance needed by developing countries, especially where needed industrialization may contribute to greater environmental pollution.
Rev. Paup addressed his letter to the Rev. Stephen Poxon, president of the Methodist Conference in Great Britain, and the Rev. Martyn Atkins, general secretary.
The G-20 participants announced that their governments would contribute $1.1 trillion for economic assistance of developing nations. Paup said in his letter that he was prayerfully hopeful that the funds would "accomplish the goals of greater sustainability and climate-friendly industrialization."
The British Methodist Church had joined with the Baptist Union and the United Reformed Churches in a statement linking economic development and environmental protection before the G-20 summit. It said, in part:
British Methodist president Rev. Stephen Poxon, quoted in the British press, said, "It would be neither fair nor feasible to expect developing countries to take on the challenge of climate change without substantial support."
Rev. Paup said in his letter that his agency shares the concerns raised by British churches in their appeals to G-20. He pointed to the current United Methodist emphasis on ministry with the poor.
He concluded his letter by telling the British Methodist leaders that "your role in dramatizing the needs of the poor prior to and during the G-20 meeting is a strong testament to our common Wesleyan heritage. Thank you for so well representing a cause dear to the heart of our founder and to worldwide Methodism today."
Date posted: Apr 03, 2009