The third round of conversations of the international dialogue between Baptists and Methodists centred on “Making Disciples: Baptism and Christian Initiation”. It took place from 3-10 Feb 2016 at the Elstal Theological Seminary near Berlin, Germany.
Participants (below, with German friends) discussed two Bible studies by distinguished New Testament scholars: Matthew 28 led by Walter Klaiber, Methodist Bishop Emeritus, and Romans 6 by Carsten Claussen, of the Baptist School of Theology at Elstal. The dialogue reflected on historical, theological, liturgical, and ecumenical perspectives on baptism and the process of Christian initiation, as well as received reports on baptismal practice among Methodists and Baptists in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean.
Dialogue members also had the opportunity to travel to Wittenberg, where preparations for next year’s 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation are taking place. In Wittenberg, they visited the Reformation museum and the Castle Church where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses.
The Rev Malcolm Tan, Pastor-in-Charge of Covenant Community Methodist Church (CCMC), was part of the six-member Methodist delegation. Last year’s round of conversations had been held in Singapore at CCMC (see MM April 2015, P21).
The overall theme of the five-year dialogue between the Baptist World Alliance and the World Methodist Council is “faith working through love”. The next session of conversations will take up the theme of “The Call to Discipleship” and will be held in Kingston, Jamaica.
For the official communique, see
http:// firstfridayletter.worldmethodistcouncil.org/2016/03/ the-baptist-world-alliance-world-methodist-council-bilateral-dialogue/