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Sound the Bamboo
[CCA Hymnal]



Bridging Gaps between Mission, Evangelism and Ecumenism

Twenty program and related staff and representatives of mission, evangelism and ecumenism units of member churches and councils of the Christian Conference of Asia gathered on 2-7 December in Taipei, Taiwan, for the workshop on Doing Mission and Evangelism with an Ecumenical Vision, bearing in mind the CCA General Assembly theme, "Building Communities of Peace for All." The meeting was jointly organized by the CCA and the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, which also served as host of said workshop.

The group in session.

The workshop opened with worship during which Rev. William Lo, general secretary of the PCT, spoke on the "Incarnation of the Kingdom of God".

In a summary of the four-day workshop, the group affirmed their belief that "it is God who calls us into God's mission of turning to the world in love and compassion (mission), through sharing the good news of fullness of life for all (evangelism), throughout the one household of God (ecumenism)." But the group was deeply aware of the many challenges that impact the churches including the distortions and gaps that have come about with regards to mission, evangelism and ecumenism. These are worsened by the impact of globalization, terrorism, and fundamentalism, to name a few.

The group at morning worship

The workshop included the sharing of and listening to stories of passion or involvement in mission, evangelism and ecumenism; input on bridging the gaps between the three by Hope S. Antone of CCA-FMU; an overview of the challenges to doing the same in Asia by Cheng Yang-en, a historian-theologian of Taiwan; a panel presentation on contextual responses to the challenges by Tarcisius Fernando (Sri Lanka), Rex Reyes (Philippines), Tina Rendell (Australia) and William Lo (Taiwan). Workshops and discussions were held to deepen the sharing which included strategies and suggestions for future direction.

Worship and visits with four local churches enabled the participants to learn about special ministries of the PCT, including the church for the hearing impaired and for families of people with Henson's disease.

Eang Chhun, Nurdiana Sari Wijaya, Tarcisius Fernando and Chang Chung Chih sharing a song in sign language following their visit to the church of the hearing impaired.

Among the recommendations of the group was to support the capacity building needs of churches and/or councils of young or newly open nations such as Timor Leste, Laos, Cambodia and Nepal; to do more sharing and exchange for mission with youth, women and children; to initiate and facilitate building bridges and relations; and to affirm the prophetic role/function of the church especially in these challenging times.

posted by hope on Wednesday, December 08, 2004  

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