Indigenous Global Ecumenical Gathering meets in Aotearoa New Zealand

By agency reporter
July 29, 2018

Participants at the Indigenous Global Ecumenical Gathering observed the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand on 22 July 2018. In a sermon for the occasion, the Rev Prince Devanandan, president and ecumenical officer of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, said the WCC helps churches unify yet remain diverse.

“Being many is not something that we must do away with”, he said. “We need the rich diversity, with the richness of our diversity how can we be one.”

The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia and the Anglican Missions Board in Rotorua hosted the WCC for its 2018 Indigenous Global Ecumenical Gathering and youth pre-meeting. The gathering, which ran from 18 – 23 July in Ohinemutu, a Maori village and a suburb of Rotorua in New Zealand, drew 200 indigenous participants from around the globe.

Participants, who focused on the theme 'Indigenous Spirituality and Reconciliation: Called to a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace', were from regional, national and local ecumenical indigenous networks, communities and churches.

Dr Katalina Tahaafe-Williams, WCC programme executive for Mission and Evangelism, said: “It is a time of prayerful listening and dialogue and sharing good practice examples of hope, as participants together embark on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace informed by indigenous spirituality, and aimed at reconciliation and healing.”

* 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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