To strengthen the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) Christian mission and witness, it is essential to evolve creative ways of implementing a new statement on mission issued last year by the world’s largest ecumenical body in the lives of churches.
With these reflections, the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) prepared for the upcoming WCC 10th Assembly at a meeting here March 8-13. The assembly will take place in Busan, Republic of Korea, Oct. 30-Nov. 8 this year.
The new mission statement, “Together Towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes,” was discussed extensively by the CWME members who gathered. The group concludes its seven years of service at the Busan Assembly.
The statement formulates a renewed understanding and practice of mission and evangelism, drawing insights from Protestant, Evangelical, Orthodox and Roman Catholic mission theology.
In the meeting, CWME members developed study and policy guidelines, as well as training modules on the statement. They agreed on the importance of making the statement relevant for congregations globally.
“A challenge for new CWME members coming in after the WCC assembly will be to make sure that the ‘new missiology of life’ in the statement is translated into concrete actions,” said the Rev. Jooseop Keum, CWME secretary.
“Implementation of this statement will take time, and it needs to be incorporated at various levels within the structures of churches and mission actors,” Keum added.
In his address to the commission, CWME moderator Metropolitan Geevarghese Mor Coorilos discussed several events marking the work of the commission in recent years.
“The commission was blessed to organize and be part of significant events, such as the centenary celebration in 2010 of the Edinburgh World Mission Conference and the 50th anniversary of the integration of the International Missionary Council and the WCC in Ghana, 2011,” said Coorilos.
He also mentioned the centenary issue of the International Review of Mission, a WCC journal, and the CWME pre-assembly mission event in the Philippines, 2012.
“The commission can be proud that it has contributed to the WCC’s new mission statement. Indeed it is a historic achievement of the CWME during this period,” added Coorilos.
The CWME members were hosted by the Cook Islands Christian Church for the first time since the church became a WCC member in 1975.
The commission has proposed to hold the next World Mission Conference in 2018.