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Sound the Bamboo
[CCA Hymnal]


Embracing and Embodying God’s Hospitality Today
 A Message from the Seventh Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS VII)

Embracing God's Hospitality
Asian Theologians who met at Seoul, Korea for the Seventh Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS VII, called for a serious commitment to recognizing God’s hospitality and embodying it in churches, between churches, among religions and in the midst of creation.  

Affirming the belief that God is the ultimate host of the whole creation, and that as “recipients and agents our hospitality is simply an overflowing of God’s abundant hospitality and our joyful and thankful response to it”, the participants spoke of a hospitality in a theological and moral sense, which is, spiritual, just, warm and welcoming, beyond mere physical comforts and financial considerations. Regretting that Christians have not necessarily been the ideal and just hosts in the past and present, they urged the churches to embrace God’s hospitality and become effective witnesses in a discordant world.

The message from the participants of CATS VII comprising 26 women and 46 men, challenged churches to take up a prophetic role in the advocacy for:
·   justice and human dignity of all individuals, especially the marginalized, the indigenous and migrant workers;
·  shedding assumptions of superiority and embodying God’s gracious hospitality to the richness and spiritual treasures of other religions;
·  pursuing the role as peace builders through active theological and spiritual engagement, dialogues and conflict resolutions;
·  a  serious commitment to ecological justice and environmental theology; and
·  confronting gender discrimination, and all kinds of violence against women and children in society and churches;  

The message mentions a special remembrance of the re-unification efforts in Korea. It also expresses the hope that the recommendations would be translated into action in order to witness to God’s hospitality.

CATS VII recorded deep gratitude and appreciation of the local Korean churches and congregations, as well as the faculty, staff and students of the Methodist Theological University, for their wonderful hospitality. “Theirs”, they wrote, “was the setting and nourishment for our reflections and conversations.”
The message compared the hospitality which we are to embrace and to embody to that of the Triune God, which is the supreme expression of self-emptying and self-giving, as manifest in the incarnation, ministry, cross, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Participants Relaxing
And finally, the message concluded on a note of humility and hope:
“Our message of hospitality, which we declare here and carry with us as we journey back to our many nations and churches, is one of courageous vulnerability and faithful gift of ourselves to our neighbors and to one another”.
Embodying God's hospitality Today


posted by communications on Friday, July 06, 2012  

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