Global Ministries Co-Executive Participants in WCC World Mission Event in the Philippines
The pre-assembly event of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) concluded in Manila on 27 March with spiritual reflections, prayer and a profound commitment to the churches’ work on mission and evangelism.
Julia Brown Karimu traveled to Manila, Philippines to participate in the pre-assembly event of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME). More than 200 participants from around the world met from March 22 to 27 focusing on the theme “Together towards life: mission and evangelism in changing landscapes”.
Participants analyzed a draft of the statement on mission and evangelism to be presented at the WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, Korea in 2013. The goal of the event was “to seek renewed thinking on mission and evangelism, developing a draft of the WCC statement on mission and evangelism that succeeds a statement of thirty years ago.”
Read the working draft statement: Together towards life: mission and evangelism in changing landscapes
The time in small groups after each plenary presentation was an enriching experience of the diversity of the global church for Brown Karimu. She shares: “My group had a Russion Orthodox priest, the head of Faith and Order in the WCC, a Filipino and a South Korean Pentecostal, an Indonesian scholar and an East Indian ecumenist! We learned to share our differences of opinions with respect for one another.”
Brown Karimu continues: “For me, the event was an affirmation of Global Ministries’ “Critical Presence” approach to God’s mission. We talked about the church working with the marginalized of society. In many cases, we are accompanying partners that are walking with folks beyond the margins and so we are on the leading edge of this new push in God’s mission. We talked about the growth of the church, particularly Pentecostals, in the East and the South and the need to re-evangelize the North and the West. As Global Ministries, we have been engaged with Pentecostal partners and Indigenous expressions of the church for some time now. It’s reassuring to know that we are right on target in our involvement in God’s mission as Disciples and UCC.”
During the event, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines organized a visit to the “Smokey Mountain” dumpsite, home to around 30,000 people surviving through scavenging. The community fears demolition orders from the Philippines government who wants to initiate a housing project in the area.
The slum dwellers are opposing this project and protesting against forced displacement, demanding their rights to the land. Recently there had been clashes between the community and the National Housing Authority. Julia was able to participate in a video which tells their story: