WCC acknowledges Mennonite churches’ work for peace at its assembly

By agency reporter
July 27, 2015

Contributions by Mennonites to the ecumenical movement were acknowledged with appreciation by Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, associate general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) during her address at the 16th Assembly of Mennonite World Conference.

“The ecumenical family learns from your commitment to a theology of peace,” said Phiri, while addressing the assembly on 23 July, in Pennsylvania, USA.

“Since the foundations of your churches, you have remained steadfast to the message of our Lord Jesus to love our enemies and therefore reject violence in the struggle for justice,” she added.

Phiri went on to say that the historic 'peace churches' to which the Mennonites belong have helped a much larger body of Christ to accept the New Testament imperatives of non-violence.

“People from other traditions are often drawn towards a wider vision of peace and active non-violence, which is needed now more than ever to combat religious extremism, which is currently threatening every region of our world,” commented Phiri.

Phiri also invited the participants to join the WCC “pilgrimage of justice and peace.”

She said, “The pilgrimage of justice and peace is a journey of faith and discovery, an ecumenical initiative of the World Council of Churches. The worldwide fellowship of Christian churches invites all Christians to deepen their relationship with God and each other by joining together in prayer, witness and service for justice and peace.”

Phiri added that the theme of the conference, 'Walking with God', with such subthemes as “walking in doubt and reconciliation, walking in autonomy and community, walking in receiving and giving and walking with God stepping forward,” is in synch with the WCC's call to the pilgrimage of justice and peace.

The Mennonite World Conference represents the majority of the global family of Christian churches rooted in the 16th-century Radical Reformation in Europe, particularly in the Anabaptist movement.

The Mennonite World Conference exists to be a global community of faith, a communion (koinonia) in the Anabaptist tradition that facilitates relationships among Anabaptist-related churches worldwide, for fellowship, worship, service, and witness, and also relates to other Christian world communions and organisations.

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* World Council of Churches http://www.oikoumene.org/en

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