Adventists and Methodists Dialogue in Cardiff, Thursday 28 January 2010
On Thursday evening 28 January, three Adventist ministers along with members of the Cardiff African Fellowship, met with the minister and members of the St Andrews Methodist church in Birchgrove, Cardiff. The Cardiff African Fellowship has been renting the St Andrews church for nearly six months now and relations with the Methodist congregation have been very good.
The meeting was initiated and chaired by Rev Philip Drake, who pastors two Methodist congregations in Cardiff. Proceedings began with Welsh Mission President Pastor John Surridge giving a twenty minute presentation on the Seventh-day Adventist church, using video clips and photographs of Adventist work around the world. Pastor Surridge highlighted the church's size and exceptional growth rate but also acknowledged the major contribution that Methodism has made to the development of the Adventist church, particularly in its early years. He pointed out that the Adventist stand on temperance and gambling was identical to the position that Methodists originally held and that the Adventist tradition of holding quarterly communion services can be traced back to the days when horse riding Methodist preachers often took three months to visit every church in their circuit.
In his presentation Rev Drake spoke about the history of the Methodist church and in particular the story of the two brothers, John and Charles Wesley. John Wesley's emphasis on personal holiness and the need for order in church work and worship is still a guiding influence in both Methodism and Adventism, and the hymns of Charles Wesley are familiar to Christians of many different denominations.
Following the two formal presentations the congregation divided into small groups where specific questions could be asked. Each of the Adventists present - Pastors George Asiamah and Jeremy Tremeer, and local members Dr Theo Gokah, Dr Esther Ndiweni and John George - spent time explaining fundamental Adventist beliefs such as the Sabbath, the Second Coming of Jesus, and the State of the Dead.
Throughout the evening there was an atmosphere of graciousness, respect, and genuine interest. The members of both congregations hope that the cordial relations will continue to grow over the years ahead.
30 photos from the day can be seen in our gallery section.