Radical Discipleship: Report on an Anabaptist/Methodist Conference

About 50 participants gathered at Cliff College, Derbyshire on 4 November 2006 to explore the Anabaptist and Methodist traditions and the emphasis both traditions place on discipleship. Among them was a group of Mennonites from California who were visiting the UK to connect with the Anabaptist Network and other groups.

The keynote address on 'Radical Disciples' was given by Martyn Atkins, principal of Cliff College. This was followed by a joint presentation introducing the two traditions. Dave Nussbaum and Karen Stallard presented Anabaptism through a mix of story-telling, drama and reflection. Philip Meadows then presented the Mathodist tradition, highlighting its genetic code - his presentation is attached below.

The afternoon started with four seminars on offer on: Baptism and radical discipleship, What we sing shapes who we are; Peacemaking: Methodists and Mennonites in Ireland, and The church as a community of disciples. It finished with a plenary discussion on issues raised during the day. Methodist-style and Anabaptist-style worship framed the day.

Feedback indicates that most people enjoyed the conference and found it helpful and stimulating to compare and contrast these two different traditions. Some wanted the discussion about discipleship earthed more than it was. One possibility to emerge from the day is a further conference to look at the practicalities of making disciples.