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The Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) has issued a letter to the Christian world in which it calls on churches everywhere to become healing and reconciling communities of hope, open to all.
The olive-wood cross from Bethlehem that was presented to the Athens mission conference will continue its journey, traveling to the WCC's 9th Assembly in Brazil before returning to Athens.
"How can we not to share the Lord's supper when we can have dinner together?" Loud applause followed the sharp question posed to the world mission conference at its last plenary session by Johnson Asamoah-Gyadu, a Methodist pastor and theologian from Ghana.
As Athens2005 reaches its conclusion, Bishop Ioannis of the ancient see of Thermopylae, the jovial chairman of the Athens Local Arrangements Committee, is a busy but satisfied man.
"How old was Jesus when he first delivered His message? According to WCC standards He would have been considered a youth..."
At the Agios Andreas Recreational Centre, which is owned by the Greek Ministry of Defense, conference participants encounter Greek soldiers on a daily basis and helicopters tend to fly overhead during times of worship.
The Rev. Dr Opoku Onyinah, rector of Pentecost University College in Accra, is a conference advisor. He has become a leading contributor to consultations on healing from Accra to London to Santiago, Chile. An executive council member of the Church of Pentecost, he is familiar with his Ghana-based church's missionary outreach in 54 nations. Last month, he conducted training for leaders of his church in Italy.
Alix Lozano, director of the Mennonite Biblical Seminary of Columbia, was unable to speak at Thursday's plenary session on mission and violence because she was denied a visa. But her voice was still heard.
On Wednesday evening, conference participants were treated to a lively and colourful display of traditional music, song and dance from various regions of Greece.
These were Orthodox theology teacher Athanasios Papathanasiou's words during one of the press briefings at the world mission conference. Papathanasiou, a member of the Church of Greece involved with the planning of the conference, was trying to explain the seemingly abstruse issue of the influence that the final things (eschata) have over the non-final ones (history).
|©2005 World Council of Churches|