Mission: a call to life-giving witness
WCC 10th Assembly examines challenges and opportunities
November 7, 2013
BUSAN, South Korea
On Nov. 4 the World Council of Churches (WCC) 10th Assembly featured a mission plenary. The plenary session presented an action-oriented reflection based on the new WCC mission statement: Together Towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes.
The plenary sought to highlight the common challenges and opportunities for mission in the current global context.
The new WCC mission statement, Together towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes, was unanimously approved as an official statement of the WCC by its Central Committee at its meeting in Greece in September 2012.
The WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) has prepared A Practical Guide on the new statement, which includes Bible study, prayers and songs. The guide also includes a DVD that contains video clips on the history and activities of the CWME, the eight preparatory study reports leading to the new statement and the centenary issue of the WCC journalInternational Review of Mission (IRM).
Plenary Moderator Kirsteen Kim, in her introductory remarks, acknowledged the growth and strength of the missionary movement of the Korean churches.
Presentations included a theological reflection by the Rev. Stephan Bevans, a priest in the Catholic missionary congregation of the Society of Divine Word (SVD) in the United States, on the WCC mission statement. Bevans recalled the words of Rowan Williams, “Mission is finding out where the Spirit at work and joining in.”
He said, “It is with the same conviction and same faith in the Holy Spirit that this document proposes a fresh, dynamic approach to engaging in the work of mission and evangelism in today’s changing landscapes”.
The plenary included two other reflections ― “New Ways of doing Evangelism”, on the contemporary context of evangelism in the world, by the Rev. Cecilia Castillo Nanjarí, who is from the Pentecostal Mission Church in Chile; and by Bishop Geevarghese Mor Corillos, who is moderator of the CWME, speaking on the concepts of mission, including “mission from the margins,” derived from the new affirmations of the mission statement.
The plenary included a CWME video production focusing on the changing landscape of global mission since the 1910 World Missionary Conference, also known as the Edinburgh Missionary Council of Church in the Philippines, brought the mission statement to life with vibrant and creative dance and music portraying contextual references on the mission of the Holy Spirit bringing fullness of life.