"An ecumenical movement that doesn't involve conversations between people who disagree would not be an ecumenical movement," says Michael Kinnamon in the following interview given at the 9-16 May 2005 Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME). (...)
On Sunday, Christians from more than 100 nations, representing churches in every geographic region and most of the historic traditions of Christianity, closed their conference on world mission and evangelism in a "sending service" in central Athens, on the site of Saint Paul's sermon to the Athenians. (...)
Dialogue between Pentecostals and others active in the ecumenical movement is still in an early stage of development as the constellation of participants expands. (...)
Women in brightly coloured saris eat breakfast with bearded men in flowing black robes. Lutherans compare ideas with Catholics. Orthodox exchange greetings of peace with Evangelicals. Participants in the Athens World Mission Conference have experienced the formation of a peaceful and accepting community. (...)
A leading Vatican official affirms that Catholics are "in the ecumenical movement" to find answers to questions of Christian unity, recognizing the World Council of Churches as "an essential partner".
The mission of women is often very ordinary. It happens every day, sometimes in very quiet ways. It happens in Canada when a woman encourages the spiritual gifts of her three daughters. It happens in Nigeria when Christian and Muslim women join in solidarity to protest religious violence in their town. It happens in India when a woman with a theological degree offers to volunteer at her church because, as a woman, she will never be ordained there.
Moving away from cool images of violence conveyed by culture, participants at the world mission conference in Athens took a hard look at the ambivalent relationship between mission and violence. No easy answers though. (...)
The wood of olive trees uprooted near Bethlehem during the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis is transformed into an emblem of hope and reconciliation. On the shore of the Aegean Sea, a small craft delivered a cross of olive wood from Bethlehem at morning prayer on the first day of the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) near Athens. It came as a gift from the Christian churches of Jerusalem, a reminder of the birthplace of Christianity and the contemporary struggles of the people there. (...)
Understanding is the first step on the road to reconciliation. This is one of the convictions that Christian youth from diverse regions will carry home with them following a week of conversations and reflections on the themes of mission, reconciliation and healing. (...)
On the morning of 10 May, a large wooden cross sent from Jerusalem will arrive by boat at the beach of the Agios Andreas recreational centre on the outskirts of Athens, thus marking the beginning of the first Conference on World Mission and Evangelism to be held in the 21st century. (...)
Ruth Bottoms will miss milking cows and feeding chickens when she sits in the moderator's chair at the 9-16 May Athens Conference on World Mission and Evangelism, where she will try to ensure a balanced and representative exchange of views among nearly 500 participants from almost every slice of Christendom. (...)
For the first time since world mission conferences began in 1910, the trilogy of the Holy Spirit, healing and reconciliation will be at the core of the 2005 Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) to take place in Athens, 9-16 May, with the theme "Come, Holy Spirit, heal and reconcile - Called in Christ to be reconciling and healing communities". (...)
Faith healing and spiritual cures have always been part of the church's ministry. But to many, they smack of magic, of mystical claims of "impossible cures", deeply foreign to "Western" patterns of religion. Conversely, those patterns are sometimes seen as dry fruits of aging churches which have lost contact with the living source of healing power. (...)
Young theologians on future issues of mission: Is there miraculous healing in today's churches? How can people be reconciled in a society torn apart like post-apartheid South Africa? How can the Holy Spirit help to find a new understanding of mission? (...)
Is reconciliation possible? What does forgiveness mean, and what is needed for it to happen when the offence was a frightful one and the pain seems insurmountable? (...)
The countdown has started: in six months representatives of Pentecostal and other evangelical churches will meet as equal partners with women and men from WCC member churches and the Roman Catholic Church at the World Council of Churches' Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Athens, Greece (9-16 May 2005), aiming to draw up some common visions for the future of Christian missions. (...)