God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace: Follow KAIROS at the WCC Assembly!
Over the last few days, I have been connecting with friends and colleagues through facebook, Twitter, text and BBM as we make our way to the 10th World Council of Churches Assembly in Busan, Korea.
We have shared packing tips, itineraries, news of made and missed connections, and a sense of the boredom and discomfort of long flights. What has also been palpable, felt even across the internet, has been a sense of anticipation–of reconnection with friends and colleagues, of new experiences of global church, of possibilities in furthering momentum on key justice issues, and of journey to a new place.
The World Council of Churches meets in this way only every seven years, maybe even less frequently in the future. Things have changed since the last assembly in Porto Alegre, the prevalence of social media being only one example.
I am going to Busan as part of the Just and Inclusive Communities Network of the WCC, which works on crucial issues such as racism, migration and Indigenous rights. It is a privilege to bring the Canadian ecumenical movement experience into this global gathering, to be present with the delegations from some of the KAIROS member churches, and to have a chance to engage in issues as diverse as just peace in Israel-Palestine and global financial architecture. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said of the Anglican Communion, “we are because we meet,” and perhaps the same can be said for global ecumenical networks such as the World Council of Churches.
I am privileged to meet in person on your behalf, but I also invite you to join with me, from wherever you are, through connecting to the live streaming, contributing through Twitter and facebook, or by following the news on the WCC Assembly webpage.
The theme of this Assembly is God of Life, Lead us to Justice and Peace” On the road to Busan, that will be my prayer: that global ecumenical justice movements, whether gathered or “ungathered,” will be strengthened by this Assembly in our daily work of faithful action for justice and peace. The Spirit has always moved through these assemblies, sometimes in surprising and challenging ways. May that movement of the Spirit flow beyond the gathered community, and renew and intensify our work for justice and peace wherever we are.