In his address made Saturday 30th June, Bala Gnanapragasam, the newly elected and inducted Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, reflected on ‘Transforming Hope’.
At the Methodist Conference, taking place at the University of Nottingham until 5 July, Bala Gnanapragasam, a Trustee at Christian Aid and former Labour Councillor, shared emotive stories that looked at the importance of inspiring hope and challenging injustice.
Reflecting on hope, Bala said: “Hope is vital, and it is right at the heart of our faith. I want to engage in the sort of listening and conversation that makes friendships, builds communities, and encourages hope.”
Bala spoke of his passion for social justice: “We face poverty and injustice at every point of our lives and in every place. So I ask myself constantly: ‘Can this be what God wants for his people?’
“A church that abandons the poor is no longer the church of Jesus Christ and we do abandon the poor if we don’t challenge these ideas.
“But in the middle of this apparent hopelessness, I know that God must be doing something – changing things, calling us to new journeys so we have to be ready!”
Mr Gnanapragasam gave his address to an audience at the Conference which included friends from Sri Lanka celebrating the first Sri Lankan Methodist to be made Vice-President of the British Conference.
• The videos of Bala Gnanapragasam’s address is availablehere • The text of the Vice-President address is availablehere