The World Methodist Council Steering Committee, with members from six continents, met together in Rome, Italy. Their gathering was held at the Casa Maria Immacolata, operated by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de ‘Paoli. They met midway between the 2016 World Methodist Conference (Houston, TX, USA) and the 2018 World Methodist Council (Seoul, South Korea). 80 denominations in the Wesleyan/Methodist family make up the Council, with over 80.5 million members.
Rev Steve Hickle, WesleyMen president, reported to the group the progress of FastPrayGive.org, WesleyMen’s singular focus. FastPrayGive is a grassroots, social media-driven response to the ongoing crisis of world hunger, currently impacting 815 million people. FastPrayGive.org seeks to build a worldwide Wesleyan movement that will build resources to end hunger. Hickle highlighted the power of fasting one meal per week, praying for hungry people during that time, and donating $2 (USD) per week. That $2 is enough to fund 7 meals, or one meal a day for a week, through WesleyMen’s meal packaging partner, Rise Against Hunger. For more information use the contact form.
A highlight of the committee’s gathering was an audience at the Vatican with Pope Francis I, where he was presented a Spanish translation of the work of the Methodist-Catholic dialogue, celebrating fifty years of ecumenical conversation. When Pope Francis was first elected, his opening remarks named as priority reaching out to Christians of other confessions and care for the poor. He has said, “You pray for the hungry, then you feed them. This is how prayer works.” The World Methodist Council and WesleyMen gratefully welcome Pope Francis as an ally in working to end hunger.