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The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches will take place in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 30 October to 8 November 2013. The assembly has the mandate to set the future agenda of the council, to elect governance officials and to speak with a public voice on behalf of the churches. It is also a unique moment for the whole fellowship of member churches to come together in prayer and celebration. The assembly theme, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” is not merely a slogan for the event, but provides a focus for theological reflection, worship and meditation, as well as for planning programmatic activities before, during and after the assembly.



WCC 2013: On the Road to Busan

In just under 22 hours I fly to Vancouver for the first leg of my long journey to Busan, South Korea for the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches. Actually, I began this journey over a year ago when I was selected as one of the United Church’s delegates to the Assembly. So far my journey has included mostly reading and reflection. In April, I met several of the other Canadians who will be at the Assembly in South Korea. We gathered in Toronto for a time of orientation and community building. It was exciting to meet so many people who share my passion for ecumenism and who are all committed to growing the ecumenical movement here in Canada and globally. We will be a diverse group representing the Canadian churches at the Assembly… but I know we won’t even begin to reflect the vast diversity of people who will gather in Busan in just a few days. I can hardly wait to experience it!
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Posted: October 24, 2013 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=6872
Categories: On the Road to Busan
Transmis : 24 octobre 2013 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=6872
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WCC 2013: at the women’s pre-assembly in Busan

A warm Korean welcomeAs I begin my second day at the women’s pre-assembly in Busan, my heart is filled with the stories of courage and hope that others shared yesterday. One idea that particularly stands out for me from yesterday is that for change to happen, sacrifices must be made. Those with power must relinquish power, so that those without power can take their rightful place. We heard about a male priest in Mexico who accepted excommunication as a consequence of his solidarity with women who resisted their church’s decision to revoke the right of women to be ordained.

Can I have this kind of courage? Is my determination to work for justice strong enough that I would be willing to sacrifice my own power and privilege in order to stand with those to whom power is denied? I cling to the hope that with God, all things are possible!

The conversations we are having are challenging, inspiring, difficult, and filled with hope.
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Posted: October 28, 2013 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=6884
Categories: On the Road to Busan
Transmis : 28 octobre 2013 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=6884
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WCC 2013: second and final day of the women’s pre-assembly

Statement by the men at the Women & Men's Pre-AssemblyToday, the second and final day of the women’s pre-assembly, was powerful, painful, and compelling.

We heard stories of human trafficking and sexual violence. Many tears were shed; but powerful stories of hope and resistance were shared as well. The group of men who have been part of this pre-assembly, and who met together on their own for part of the day yesterday, read a statement they composed confessing their participation in patriarchy, acknowledging the need for transformation in the relationships between women and men, and committing themselves to continued dialogue with the church and society on issues of gender justice. It was a moving example of what true humility, repentance, and commitment to personal and collective transformation looks like. Of course, it is in the living out of this statement that true healing and change will happen. I was struck by the similarity to the churches’ apologies to Aboriginal Canadians. And I was reminded again how it is not enough to say sorry; we must dismantle the attitudes and structures which have created injustice and commit ourselves to living in right relationship with all our neighbours.

Tomorrow the full assembly begins. I am excited and a little nervous. Tonight I hope for a good sleep!
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Posted: October 29, 2013 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=6886
Categories: On the Road to Busan
Transmis : 29 octobre 2013 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=6886
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Cantwell: Listening to the voices of those on the margins

Worship space at the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, KoreaToday the message that came through most strongly for me is the importance of listening to the voices of those on the margins. Jesus lived his life and exercised his ministry among those on the margins of society. It is those who are excluded, oppressed, ignored and persecuted in society who are best able to see and name injustices and the structures that sustain them. So our theology must have at its centre the experiences and perspective of those who are marginalized. This is a real challenge for those of us who come from a place of privilege… who are used to having our voice and our perspective listened to. We must relinquish our place at the centre and make room for those who have been silenced to be heard and given priority. This both excites and frightens me… I’m not always very good at shutting up and letting others have the spotlight. But as Christians we must be willing to go where Jesus went, love whom he loved, and risk what he risked. May God grant us the courage and the humility to do so.
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Posted: October 31, 2013 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=6904
Categories: On the Road to BusanIn this article: WCC, WCC Assembly
Transmis : 31 octobre 2013 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=6904
Catégorie : On the Road to BusanDans cet article : WCC, WCC Assembly


WCC 2013: the Public Issues Committee

The Climate Justice sub-group of the Public Issues Committee at WCC 10th AssemblyThe past few days I have been in almost non-stop committee meetings. The Public Issues Committee drafts statements for the assembly to discuss and adopt. These statements then direct the programmatic priorities of the WCC for the next 7-8 years.

Negotiating linguistic, cultural, and theological differences in order to say something in common about the many urgent issues which confront our churches at this time has been both challenging and fascinating. The committees are a microcosm of the whole assembly. It is inspiring to witness (and participate in) the deep listening to one another that allows for fruitful dialogue and collective action.

Tomorrow we take the draft statements to the whole assembly, where nearly 800 delegates will prayerfully try to reach consensus on pressing (and sometimes controversial) issues. We will need the prayers of all our sisters and brothers in Christ to accompany us through this important and difficult work.

May the God of life truly lead us to justice and peace.
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Posted: November 3, 2013 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=6920
Categories: On the Road to BusanIn this article: WCC, WCC Assembly
Transmis : 3 novembre 2013 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=6920
Catégorie : On the Road to BusanDans cet article : WCC, WCC Assembly