Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Unity in diversity or mere disunity?

This evening I am a bit tired. That is probably why this post will focus on a few problems.

We had the last ecumenical conversation today. The leadership has been good but have we reached anywhere? When were to decide on a few affirmations and a few challenges I felt that we worked too much with details. One of the facilitators repeatedly asked us to focus on the content of every sentence and say yes or no to that and if we had time we could go back and work with details. It seemed as if very few listened. The dilemma with the WCC is also that so many perspectives have to be taken into account so the final statement sometimes becomes watered down to almost nothing. But maybe the process itself is the most important.

The delegates were supposed to elect the Central Committee yesterday. They did not, because of a lack of young nominees. So tomorrow there is an extra business plenary. My concern is this: Haven’t the churches known this for seven years? Are they not interested in young people? (Probably not in decision making. Maybe as stewards!)

On top of questions relation to gender and age I know from conversations I have had with individuals that indigenous people and people with disabilities also struggle to be listened to. Not to mention sexual minorities.

Are we not all humans? It becomes very clear to me that there are power struggles and unjust structures to be addressed.

So, let me end by saying that I still am happy to be part of this gathering. It is important that churches, so different, still talk to one another and still pray together. Possibly the Holy Spirit, who moved on the first Pentecost (which was the theme today) also will move now, almost 2000 years later!

Evangeline Anderson-Rajkumar was one of the presenters in the Oikotree workshop. This is an initiative that brings hope. I want to get more knowledge about it before I write anything. Former WCC General Secretary Samuel Kobia also spoke at the workshop.

Another person who brings hope is Fr Michael Lapsley who list both his hands in letter bomb attack but now signs a copy of his book: "Redeeming the Past. My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer." I got a copy from "Women in Church and Society" together with other men, who had been involved in the Pre-assembly!

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