From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
WCC - Christians and churches called to reconciliation
"Sheila Mesa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tue, 11 Sep 2001 15:49:50 +0200
World Council of Churches
Press Release, PR-01-31
For Immediate Use
11 September 2001
Christians and churches called to reconciliation and healing
Commission on World Mission and Evangelism starts preparations
for world mission conference in 2005
The Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) of the
World Council of Churches (WCC) has begun preparing for a next
world mission conference, scheduled for the first half of 2005.
The conference will focus on churches as reconciling and healing
communities. "In a time of globalization, with increasing
violence, fragmentation and exclusion, the mission of the church
is to receive, celebrate, proclaim and work for the fullness of
life in Christ," states the CWME in the final report from its
meeting at Techny Towers, Illinois, USA, from 29 August to 5
The 2005 conference will coincide with the midpoint of the
Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV), launched by the WCC in 2001.
"In this context, the ministry of reconciliation is a concept
that needs to be explored in order to renew the practice of
mission and evangelism," explains Jacques Matthey, the
coordinator of the Mission and Evangelism team.
In search of a new style
According to Matthey, the commission recommended that the
conference move away from producing long reports and, rather,
build on contributions and draw on experiences from local
churches and mission groups worldwide. The conference should
provide opportunities to discuss case studies of healing and
reconciling communities, and also offer safe spaces for more
personal exchanges, informal encounters and prayer. The study
aspect will not, however, be neglected, but will be emphasized
during the preparatory period.
Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Roman Catholics
For the first time in its history, the commission includes
representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical and
Pentecostal churches and bodies among its voting members. These
new opportunities of cooperation will be made visible during the
preparatory period, as well as at the conference itself. Steps
towards more intentional dialogue and genuine common witness
could become significant Christian contributions to overcoming
conflicts, the commission said.
The commission proposed a 500-participants' conference so as to
allow participation of people involved at the frontiers of
mission. It set criteria for a venue, and elected a planning
committee of 12 to work on the overall guidelines decided at
Techny, and to prepare more detailed proposals for approval by
the WCC Central Committee in September 2002.
The CWME is chaired by the Rev. Ruth Bottoms of the Baptist
Union of Great Britain, and by the Rev. Dr George Mathew from the
Syrian Orthodox Church, India. It will meet again as a full
commission in spring 2003.
For further information, please contact Karin Achtelstetter,
Media Relations Officer, Tel.: (+41.22) 791.61.53 Mobile:
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of churches,
now 342, in more than 100 countries in all continents from
virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is
not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The
highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately
every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in
Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general
secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.
World Council of Churches
Media Relations Office
Tel: (41 22) 791 6153 / 791 6421
Fax: (41 22) 798 1346
PO Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
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