WCC assembly includes 21 ecumenical conversations

By Gladys Mangiduyos*

As the World Council of Churches assembly theme beckons the participants to ask God to lead them to justice and peace, spaces for celebration, dialogue and reflection are provided.

Ecumenical conversation is the avenue for that in-depth dialogue.

The 21 organized ecumenical conversations during the Oct. 30-Nov.8 assembly engage participants in sustained and in-depth conversations on critical issues that affect the life and witness of the church today.

One of the conversations, “Human Security: Towards Sustaining Peace with Justice and Rights,” challenges the traditional notion and dominant practice of national security by arguing that the proper referent for security is the human being.

“Human security is profoundly linked to human dignity, human rights and fullness of life,” explained the Rev. Liberato Bautista, an executive with the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, who is serving as a resource person for that conversation.

True human security, he argued in the initial presentation, ensures the integration of justice, peace and human rights with the nurturing of sustainable communities. “Any discussion about security,” Bautista said, “must address risks and vulnerabilities that marginalize, minoritize and dehumanize peoples.”

Human dignity is a gift from God, not the result of the benevolence of the state, he pointed out. Assaults on human rights are therefore a source of insecurity and vulnerability.

Discussions about human security are not alien to the ecumenical agenda, Bautista reminded the group. Globalization, especially related to issues of capital and labor, is a matter demanding the attention of the ecumenical movement.

The next sessions of the conversation will engage participants on the biblical basis and contextual experiences of human security and look at situations such as militarization and climate change, which greatly affect indigenous peoples.

Each conversation, unfolding over four 90-minute sessions, has between 80 and 120 participants. The conversation groups will prepare short reports that will be submitted to the new WCC Central Committee in 2014.

* Mangiduyos, a deaconess in the United Methodist Philippines Central Conference, is a UMNS correspondent at the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly in Busan, Korea.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 ornewsdesk@umcom.org.

Additional WCC assembly stories:

Relating assembly theme to Christians in Egypt

Asia shares aspirations for justice and peace

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE

Latest News

Mission and Ministry
Staff at the World Council of Churches speak during a public launch in Geneva for a new downloadable resource to help churches take practical steps to care for the earth. The event also honored the legacy of the Rev. Norman Tendis, who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash two days earlier. From left are Isabel Apawo Phiri, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit,  Dr. Manoj Kurian and Dinesh Suna. Photo by Ivars Kupcis/WCC.

A pastor’s legacy: Roadmap for all churches

Before he died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the Rev. Norman Tendis completed a practical congregational guide to creation care, a project of the World Council of Churches.
Photo of retired Bishop Michael J. Coyner, courtesy of the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church website.

Opinion: ‘What’s next for our United Methodist Church?’

With a little more than a year before the regular General Conference 2020, retired Bishop Michael J. Coyner looks at what The United Methodist Church might consider for the future.
The Rev. John Yeaman.

Commentary: Are United Methodists ignoring Wesley?

Methodism founder John Wesley implored us to ‘do no harm.’ John Yeaman feels the denomination’s stance on homosexuality ignores that rule.