Tuesday, May 10, 2005


The most widely representative global gathering of Protestant, Catholic, Anglican, Evangelical and Orthodox Church leaders concerned with the 21st century mission of the world's 2.5 billion Christians begins today. It will be a unique moment in Christian history.

The assembly will commence with the gift of a huge wooden Cross from Jerusalem, due to be blessed by Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos. Some five hundred delegates and 200 advisers and media have gathered from every corner of the earth through the auspices of the thirteenth World Council of Churches' Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME). They will confer, debate, pray and work together from 9-16 May under the theme "Come, Holy Spirit, Heal and Reconcile!"

The conference in Athens convenes at a time of continuing division among nations, across peoples, between religions and throughout the churches. WCC general secretary, the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, will this morning issue a stirring call to Christians of every tradition and theological persuasion to take with renewed practical seriousness the Gospel of peace, justice and reconciliation which called them into being in the first place. (Full story here.)

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