hope and change in a fragile world
Church World Service in a season of missiological reflection, 2008-2011
table of contents 4
”Mission Together in a Fragile World” by Dr. Daryl Balia
”Hope and Change in Mutual Mission: Call to Action” by Dr. Elizabeth S. Tapia
“Hope, Suffering and Prayer: Clash of Periphery and the Center, A Christological Missiology” by the Rev. Charles W. Amjad-Ali, Ph.D., Th.D.
“Hope and Faith in a Fragile World” by Dr. Earl Trent
“Hope and Change in a Fragile World” by Dr. Alton Pollard
“Witnessing to Christ through Confessing Communities: Missional Evangelism and the Other” by Dr. Laceye Warner
Hearing the Voices of Emerging Theologians
“Hope and Change in a Fragile World” by the Rev. Jeff Conklin-Miller
“Hope in a Fragile World” by Arnold Sang-Woo Oh
“Hope and Change in a Fragile World - Listen” by Molly Kacal
“Bridging the Chasm: Conscientization as Christian Discipleship” by Dr. Maria Teresa (MT) Davila
“Radical Habits: Practices for Evangelism Today” by Dr. Frances Adeney
“Global Awareness in Contemporary Ministry” by Dr. Bo-Myung Seo
Afterword by the Rev. John L. McCullough
Our Missiological Reflection Continues ~ Questions for Individual Reflection or Group Discussion about Hope and Change in a Fragile World
A missiological convocation in October 2008 launched CWS’s first effort in missiological reflection. This
meeting initiated the long held hopes and recommendations of ecumenical partners and member communions within CWS. The primary purposes of the CWS missiological reflection process were: •
to influence the present and future culture of CWS and its members
to feed into the efforts and outcomes of Edinburgh 2010
to instill within CWS’s own planning process called CWS 2020 the importance and recognition of God in the
midst of our work as a gift and grace of our mission, and
to recognize, theologically, the need for the witness of our church partners that is manifest in tangible ways
CWS an ongoing commitment to theological reflection
through our service and work.
took root through the vision, planning and prayers of
“Hope and Change in a Fragile World,” inspired by the biblical passage found in Romans 12:9-12, was the
a Church World Service committee named Mission
theme for the October 2008 convocation held in South Bend, Indiana. The vision of hope and change juxtaposed
Relationships and Witness.
against the fragility of the world in which we live continued to call beyond the convocation event and became the
clarion call for CWS for the duration of the 2008-11 quadrennium.
The idea and intention of bringing to life within
With a rich history intertwined in the witness of
the National Council of Churches USA, Church World
Service upon its independence and autonomy from
worship, a series of quality panels, learning stations or workshops, the bible study presentations, bible study and
the council realized that a clearer theology of CWS as
theological reflections set a tone and lifted a high bar of expectation for hearing words that would inspire and
an organization needed to be articulated. As a sibling
challenge CWS in its work. Earlier in the quadrennium the CWS Board received a report on the perceived impact
organization in the historic U.S. ecumenical endeavor,
and outcomes of the convocation itself. Expressed at that time and affirmed by the Board was the desire to
the distinct mission and work of Church World Service
continue to devote quality time for missiological reflection during Board meetings and beyond into the future. Thus a
deserved a distinct opportunity to engage in theological
continuing pattern of hosting times of missiological reflection became a part of the CWS Board practice and meeting
or missiological reflection to help articulate, secure and
embed our understanding of God at work in us and our
work on behalf of God in the world.
a variety of contexts. Without exception, the theologians (formally and informally speaking) came from communities
Although the convocation itself contained several different experiences and learning modalities including
The speakers who made presentations and engaged the Board in discussions came from various streams and
where the CWS Board meetings were held. The changing venue of CWS Board meetings created the opportunity
Issues of exclusion, discrimination and race
to locate and engage theologians and/or practitioners of mission relevant to our work and its challenges. Our mining
cannot be ignored
for jewels uncovered many theological treasures. You will have the opportunity to read or view these presentations
We need to recognize the influence of
in the material that will follow shortly.
capitalist interests within Christianity
Missionary standing has too often been an
ways by subsequent speakers. All of them brought to us a unique wisdom derived from their body of work and their
experience in the marketplace of mission. A number of themes emerged as each speaker kept in mind our general
There is a need to better intertwine ordained
theme of “hope and change in a fragile world.” Some of the themes identified through the various presentations
and lay roles in ministry
Mission is to be approached with humility and
Confrontation and competition is most often adverse to mission
We are called to giftive mission - meaning the giving and receiving of gifts
Greed is an important but not often
Inter-religious or interfaith dialogue creates interfaith bridges in the 21st Century
articulated challenge in mission today
The regular practice of radical hospitality is needed
We need to confront the presence of
The South is now North - present in America and other parts of the world
corruption in the church and world
Mutual mission respects and honors all partners involved
We are called to minister to the stigmatized
Sharing is not optional
The healing of the periphery (of society) also reaps a healing of the center
Mutual trust and mutual affection are requirements for mutual mission
God favors the servant
Mutual mission begets mutual transformation
Our call to service is often in tension with human desires for privilege and access
The plurality of the American context is a rich mission field
Hierarchies are too often divisive
Transformation often comes through those and that which has been rejected
The gospel of Christ initiated hope and change in the world –this means healing, deliverance, recovery of
We are called to be “living stones”
sight and liberty
God calls the rejected and the living into a new community as God’s people
We are called to heal, restore and embody the beloved community
There is a need to recognize the full humanity of each other 6
Missional Evangelism is the embodiment, not just proclamation, of the Gospel
Our presenters lifted up pertinent themes for our reflection. Many of these themes were repeated in different
God is the primary actor in evangelism
Three systemic sins important for confessing communities to address are: the exploitation of creation; idolatry
of wealth and the oppression of the other •
Many of these themes cited above were raised as different threads by our speakers and interwoven
together during these four years to create a tapestry of hope for change in our fragile world and our part in it. Our missiological reflections became a part of a union of weavers seeking to help us fulfill the vision and mission of CWS in faithfulness to God’s call to serve the world. Each speaker helped us to see and recognize our work and next steps in different ways and with different voices spoken from their experiences of life and faith. We invite you to “listen” to them in this format and look for these themes and others as you read.
In the pages that follow you will find excerpts - shortened or summarized versions of the presentations heard.
They are presented in chronological order. A variety of media forms have been used to capture their voices. As they were available, the fuller written manuscripts or audio- video presentations are provided at the end of each section. At the CWS missiological convocation in October 2008, Mission Together in a Fragile At the CWS missiological convocation in October World was presented Reverend Dr. Daryl Balia, former director of the Edinburgh 2008, Mission Together inbyathe Fragile World was presented by TheLooking Reverend Dr.Edinburgh Daryl Balia, Director 2010 Project. at the 2010 project, he makes an historic overview of the former director of the Edinburgh 2010 Project. Looking missionary endeavor and itshe legacy since 1910. Balia led in asking the question, “Where at the Edinburgh 2010 project, makes an historic overview ofisthe missionary endeavor andCiting its legacy mission going in the 21st century? John Wesley’s approach of viewing the world as since 1910. Balia led in asking the question, “Where his parish, which bounds one to declare the world the good news, of tidings of salvation, mission is going in the 21st century? Citing to John Wesley’s approach viewing world asinterrupt his parish, he interjects thatof greed andthe corruption the good news we preach and disrupts which bounds one to declare to the world the good the church’s mission endeavor. He contends that the church is called to be at the forefront news, of tidings of salvation, he interjects that greed and corruption interrupt the collapse ofmission the moral order and the good news we preachaddressing and disrupts the church’s endeavor. Hecontribute toward social moral regeneration. contends that the church is called to be at the forefront addressing the 8 collapse of the moral order and contribute toward social moral regeneration.
It is our hope that the effort here represents the life and works of our still living ecumenical movement. The words of these theologians continue as living prayers, proclamations and prompts to be agents of hope and change in our fragile world. Kyrie Eleison.
mission together in a fragile world
Dr. Daryl Balia
that for Wesley the negro slave was no more the object of evangelical zeal for conversion than the English nominal Christian.
Our practice of doing God’s mission together in the world today is premised on the notion that mission is from
…Wesley was indeed bound by ‘duty to declare unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation.’
North American Missions
everywhere to everywhere...One way to get a grip of our moorings is to take an historical overview of the missionary
legacy which we have inherited through the witness of some of the great fathers and mothers of the faith…
called the three-self formula, namely, the need for self-governing, self-propagating and self-supporting churches …
American churches, at this time, constituted a hierarchical institutional structure which allowed only their obedient
native assistants to receive ordination as a loyalty ‘bonus’ for their perseverance in being trained, validated and
World missions…generally, was historically meant to include as primary agents those people who we
Nineteenth century Christian missions, whether in Africa or elsewhere, were dominated by what came to be
considered ‘lost’ in a world we knew little about. ..
eventually granted access to power. … Americans had learnt from other contexts that it was important to secure the
support of the ruling elite and work through them for the conversion of nations.
Wesley, might have succumbed to the temptation of seeing the parish as his world for if mission meant
going to mostly white and nominal Christians who happened to be located abroad; There was clearly no strategic
formulation or policy at work, except the drive to recognise new circuits that were evolving abroad…The tide might
have changed in 1778 when the Methodist conference debated the matter of a mission to Africa, but it was only in
predisposition nurtured through oversimplified distinctions. That the missionary lived as an aristocrat, having
1786 when the Methodist conference for the first time sanctioned the sending of William Warrender for ‘heathen’
full authority… Being usually a trusted friend of the colonial government… there was nothing to fear about state
intervention…No missionary at the time would have quite agreed that his function was a fiduciary one while that of
saving souls rested with his native subordinates… . Unless one assumes of course that the one who has to ‘look
If the nineteenth century was the ‘great century’ for world missions, it is hardly surprising to encounter
…An ideological framework was created for the American encounter with peoples of distant lands and a
resistance in earlier times to the notion of ‘reaching the un-reached’ among mainstream Protestants.. If John Wesley
after’ monetary matters is de facto the one in charge.
saw the world as his parish but shared no passion for the conversion of the heathen, his missionary ‘disposition’
towards the other ‘stranger in our midst’ remains a challenge for us and was certainly far in advance of his time.
dealt with lightly by the missionaries...One missionary was…clear in his understanding: ‘With ordained pastors over
Slave owners and slave traders found justification for upholding their capitalistic impulses in slave dealing with the
self-supporting churches, it is plain that we cannot have the same authority over the churches we once had.’
belief that blacks were barbaric and uncivilized. Wesley’s understanding of natural law, human liberty and inherent
equality would not allow him to sit comfortably in midst of such eighteenth century cultural superiority. In his words,
‘Certainly the African is in no respect inferior to the European.’ In an interesting study, Irv Brendlinger has shown 10
head of international and inter-church co-operation on a depth and scale never before known.’ …
Questions relating to the suitability of native converts to progress towards the ordained ministry were never
‘Edinburgh 1910’ was ‘unique in the impetus it gave to Christian activity in many directions’ and ‘a fountain
Edinburgh 1910 was a prototype… in that it stood out as the first ‘world’ gathering of missionaries and the
markets, due to ‘greed and corruption,’ ‘It is essential that the churches be an active voice in national discussions’.
scope of its work embraced missionary efforts (albeit Protestant) from most parts of the world…Edinburgh 1910…,
is infamously remembered for its truncated delegations that served to exclude those from the ‘younger’ churches…
ignored the prevalence and practice of corruption in society... But it might be misleading to claim that the ‘Christian
Edinburgh’s clock in 1910 was not one where Roman Catholic, Orthodox or emerging forms of independent
faith and tradition has a long history of condemning corruption’ when it fact the opposite is true.
Christianity featured at all; God’s decisive hour seemed to be directed to God’s agents in heathen lands who were
mostly white, male and mainline Protestants only, with a small band of women helpers in attendance.
Christ be first themselves ‘cleansed’ from corrupt influences as though this is ever possible. Churches have and can
bring their moral capital, accumulated over centuries, to bear on the global effort to combat and prevent corruption…
given that corruption can thus be attributed to a whole range of possibilities... that does not detract from the enormity
The initial conversations in looking towards a centenary gathering (called Edinburgh 2010) revolved around
the need to articulate a theology of ‘mission in humility and hope’. This was later modified to include the notion of
From the most cursory reading of church history it should be apparent that churches have not completely
…The struggle for the moral transformation of society does not require that artisans for the new humanity in
of the challenge it presents to us who are seeking to do God’s mission in the world today.
‘serving God’s mission together’ ... Still, the overriding considerations related to the presence of the ‘other’ …the majority of Christians in the world were now no longer located in the global north. Women would no longer accept being subservient partners... Pentecostalism was … accounting for over twenty five percent of world Christianity... Christian discourse about mission was in need of a new way of speaking about God, a new language and a new ‘translation’ of God’s love for the same world.
Edinburgh 2010 was…conceived as an opportunity to do God’s mission again, in the presence of witnesses
from all parts of the world and without cultural domination… The hope was for a vision to evolve among churches
To read Dr. Balia’s fuller manuscript, follow this link: Daryl Balia keynote presentation to CWS Missiological Convocation Oct 21, 2008
that would provide fresh energy and impetus for undertaking the task of mission in ways that would not cripple existing resources or structures… Edinburgh 2010, (was) is meant to be a time to reflect, rethink and become resolute about God’s mission again…
The landscape for mission in the twenty first century has certainly changed as, it might be said, the world
becomes a smaller place where mission is from everywhere to everywhere. ‘Greed and Corruption’ No missiological presentation … would be complete without reference to the current turmoil in world economic 12
At the CWS missiological convocation in October 2008, The Reverend Elizabeth S. Tapia, M.A., Ph.D., presented
Hope and Change in Mutual Mission: Call to Action. She charged that engagement in mutual mission transforms each actor under the guidance of the Triune God. She urged for the doing of mission together in genuine partnership and mutuality to generate with others the transformative force needed in our fragmented world. Rev. Tapia served as the Director of the Center for Christianities in Global Context at Drew University and Theological School in New Jersey and currently works for the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church in New York.
The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth S. Tapia 14
hope and change in mutual mission: call to action
“Hopelessness is a form of silence, of denying the world and fleeing from it.” Paulo Freire
interconnected world with connected oceans, one’s pain becomes the pain of all; one’s joy becomes a communal joy. Now that I have recently migrated to the United States due to family reasons, I have realized that here, in America,
“We are in mission, all of us, because we participate in the mission of God who has sent us into a fragmented
lies a huge mission field.
and broken world. We are united in the belief that we are ‘called together in Christ to be reconciling and healing
1. Immigrants (are) the new missioners? … nearly one in five people living in the US speaks a language at
communities.” These words came from a Letter From the 2005 Athens Conference on World Mission and
home other than English, Do we truly welcome the strangers in our midst?
Evangelism. These words dwelt in my heart since I was particularly moved when on the shores of the Aegean
2. As the vitality and growth of Christianity have shifted from the North to the South and immigrant churches in
Sea… 600 people from 105 countries gathered to welcome ...a small boat … docked … to deliver, with love, a gift
US, are there ways we can be in mission together? Who are your partners in mission nowadays? What needs
from the churches in Jerusalem… a huge olive-wood cross, carved from the fragments of the trees uprooted to
to change in power relationships? Christianity’s growth in the Two-Thirds World is characterized by vitality, at
build… the wall separating Palestinians from Israelis and other Palestinians. It was a “sign of both suffering and
the same time of poverty… How do we do mission together in the context of economic injustice…?
3. Furthermore, What are your hopes for doing mission in the 21st century? What changes do you wish
to make in making mission more mutual, more sustainable and more relevant? How do we move with an
Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I believe mutual mission can lead to mutual transformation. Those who are
engaged in partnership and mutuality in mission transform each other under the guidance of the Triune God. Doing
eschatological hope and practical mission in the midst of domestic problems, world wide financial recession,
mission together in genuine partnership and mutuality with others generates a transformative force needed in this
ecological crisis and increasing global violence? What kind of action is called for?
4. The personal is missional … Growing up in a brood of ten in a small village in Central Philippines, I learned
My purpose … today is …to give a word of encouragement. En cour - In heart is to put your heart in the heart of
early on four principles of survival:
mission that is proclaiming the unconditional love of God to all peoples and creation. I want to encourage you to
a) Sharing is not an option. It is an obligation.
reaffirm your commitment to ecumenical partnership. I want to encourage you to let your hearts burn with fire for
b) When someone is sick or in need, don’t just stand there. Offer help.
mission, in oikos, here in a fragile but precious world. ..
c) When in doubt, look for direction: pray and consult with others.
d) If your neighbor or your sister/brother is hurting, stop talking. Do something.
This CWS missiological convocation is important… a timely contribution to the decentralized centenary
celebration of the Edinburgh World Mission Conference. It is related to four mission themes Mission and Power;
5. Doing Mission is contextual; we live in financially unstable condition due to corruption and greed … What
Forms of Missionary Engagement; 8 Mission and Unity, as well as Mission Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship
is not given is how we can reverse the almost midnight point to the world’s possible annihilation …. With this
…I want to propose that our hope for and praxis of mutual mission can bring mutual transformation. Living in an 16
contextual background, how are we to speak of mutual mission?
6. Asia, the birthplace of a majority of religions in the world, is so rich culturally and spiritually, yet so poor
I believe mutual mission can lead to mutual transformation. Doing mission together in genuine partnership
economically and ecologically. Asia is restless manifested in poverty...Their call to Action: “pay attention to the
and mutuality generates a transformative force needed in this fragmented world. Drawing from several models…
importance of inter-religious dialogue, solidarity and cooperation …place premium on ecumenical leadership
mutual mission means:
1. sharing a common vision.
Some models of Mutual Mission in Asia come from:
2. a living dialogue.
A) The Christian Conference of Asia.
3. committing ourselves to equal partnership
B) The Swedish Mission Covenant Church (Sweden) and Hindustani Covenant Church in North India.
4. It means taking the time to celebrate and share our problems, concerns as well as our successes and surprises...
C) NCCUSA, NCCP and CWS show solidarity with the people of the Philippines.
5. It entails a willingness to recognize, and repent of the pitfalls of a triumphalistic western Christendom, and the
D) Communities of Shalom at Drew/UMC aim to “engage congregations and communities to build a future of
arrogance of militaristic/economic power.
hope and peace together through multicultural and multi-faith collaboration.” …Their six-point approach to
“Hope and Change in Mutual Mission” means I believe that Church World Service and its constituencies are
pregnant with hope.
S - Systemic and Sustainable change
Signs of Hope in Mission and you can certainly add to the list:
H - Healing, Health, Harmony and wholeness
Grassroots organize for change
A - Asset-based community development
The ratification of the UN Declaration of the Right of Indigenous Peoples
L - Love for God, self and neighbor
NGOs working together for peace, justice and sustainable development
O - Organizing for direct action
Peoples Movements: Women, Indigenous People, World Social Forum, etc.
M – Multicultural and Multi-faith collaboration.
Increasing Interreligious Dialogue and projects
For me, these are some examples of doing mission together. The learning stations provided in this
Indigenous theologies of Hope
A Call to Action requires:
kin-dom building here on earth. It means also being co-missioners with one another, transcending barriers of race,
B) Reaffirming the commitment to promote visible unity of the church.
creed, color, age and life situations as well as life preferences. By ‘mutual mission,’ we mean all parties involved
C) Mutual mission requires mutual affection and mutual trust.
in… planning, implementing, resourcing and evaluating.
D) A sense of “humility”, acts of repentance, acts of reconciliation.
consultation are living examples of these too.
Mutual Mission: What do we mean by mutual mission? It means we are being co-missioners with God in
In humility, I’d say the WMC Edinburgh 1910 paved the way to the birth of the ecumenical movement. It
opened a door, but it was not the door. But one thing that stands out for me as I studied this history: The three streams of ecumenical collaboration eventually came out of this Edinburgh meeting: Life and Work, Faith and Order, and the International Missionary Council, merged into the present day World Council of Churches. Don’t you think we should continue our ecumenical ties?
Yet, the challenge of race relations evident in 1910 is still very much with us today. Kyrie eleison... Roman
Catholic missiologists, Stephen Bevans, Eleanor Doidge and Robert Schreiter point to a multi-dimensional mission: • • • • • • •
Witness and Proclamation (Evangelism) Enculturation Liturgy, Prayer and Contemplation Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Health and Healing (CWME) Reconciliation Interreligious Dialogue
My friends… We need each other to survive, to live meaningfully. Mutual Mission can give bring about mutual
At the CWS missiological convocation in October 2008, The Reverend Charles W. Amjad-Ali, Ph.D., Th.D, presented the bible study “Hope, Suffering and Prayer: Clash of Periphery and the Center, a Christological Missiology,” a biblical reflection of Mark 5:21-43. Lifting up themes
transformation...this is possible when our work together is: dialogical, embodied, contextual, transformational,
from the two related stories in this gospel reading that highlights those living on the periphery
creative, hope-filled and celebrative.
of society - ritually and socially outcast and anonymous against those in society who are in
Use your power of 5 “Vs:” VISION, VOICE, VOTE, VISIBILITY and VIBRANCY.
the center or the places of privilege. Jesus performed or allowed healing for these on the
I end with this prayer of Archbishop Oscar Romero, from El Salvador.: “We may never see the end results, but
periphery and those in the center. The two models of healing in the Mark passage – one about
that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not
a woman who was not willing to give up, and a child resurrected are ones to be considered as
messiahs. We are prophets of a future that is not our own. Amen.”
the church seeks to be witnesses of Christ in the world in the current age. Dr. Amjad-Ali is the
Follow: Elizabeth Tapia Keynote Address at the CWS Missiological Convocation October 21, 2008 to read the full
Martin Luther King Jr. Professor for Justice and Christian Community and Director of Islamic
Studies at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. 20
The Reverend Charles W. Amjad-Ali, Ph.D., Th.D Read: Mark 5:21-43 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” (Rom. 12:12).
On the surface is an admirable picture of what the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) entitles the “Marks
of the True Christian.” It has the potential to be used, as a quietist mantra for us to withdraw from any Christian practice and witness that challenges the structures of power… in the context of mission they have been viewed as a call to the subjects of missionary activity to be passive recipients of the gospel:
I…want to bring into focus here, a character in the gospels who partially exemplifies the attribute ( of justice
and change)… the woman with the flow of blood When she hears of Jesus.... she reaches out to him, to heal herself… a woman with a faith strong enough to go out and steal her salvation
Mission is not always a question of what we give…it is also… what they take from us. In the case of the
hemorrhaging woman…(she was) a member of the masses (the ochlos, “crowds”)…, she does not wait to receive healing and grace from Jesus, but boldly takes what she needs from him.
Mark 5:21-43… is the only place in the gospels where two healings are purposefully and inextricably
intertwined. ….he two come from very different socio-economic, class, and political locations. Jairus’ daughter represents the very center of Jewish society … while the hemorrhaging woman represents the extreme periphery
hope, suffering and prayer: clash of periphery and the center, a christological missiology
For Jairus, a Jew of high status, to come into the heart of the masses and fall to his knees before Jesus...
is a sign of his extreme desperation.. What is critically clear here is that the center must come to the periphery for healing,
The drama is supposed to be played out at the center, yet the periphery takes over…the difference between
the two narratives is immediately apparent. …The woman is anonymous and obviously holds only a marginal
location in society. .. Jairus’ daughter, whose father is obviously a very powerful and religious upper-class man… the
To read Dr. Amjad-Ali’s fuller manuscript, follow this link: Charles Amjad-Ali Keynote Bible Study at CWS
woman is desperately ill... She is now broke and desperate.
Missiological Convocation October 22, 2008
Yet, she has not given up hope… She is willing to take matters into her own hands …so that she is not excluded from the public arena and stigmatized no more. Jesus’ response is unexpectedly not one of anger, but of love; …Jesus does not revile her…audacity,… rather he calls her, “Daughter,” a term of deep compassion, love and endearment… he … stops, affirms her actions, and claims her to be his family… Perhaps he uses the term “Daughter” because she has had the courage to take her healing into her own hands; to break the oppressive religio-social codes …challenge the edifice of dehumanizing processes. This is truly missiological. Because of her courage, Jesus tells her, “Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”… This is not just a spiritual peace but it also represents a socio-political statement… The story reverts once again to Jairus’ daughter… Jesus then moves toward the healing required at the center. . Jesus radically privatizes this healing …the ochlos is kept from being a witness to the healing at the center…enters the private space. Those present are amazed; yet Jesus instructs them “no one should know In contrast, the healing of the hemorrhaging woman, done in the most public of spaces …is made totally public both through her public confession. …While the woman at the periphery is being healed, the news from Jairus’ house is of death. And yet the healing of one at the periphery also heralds the possibility of restoration and even life at the center. The latter cannot be achieved till the former has fully taken place… This is a story of contrasts and preferences. The question for us is which of these two women is a model for mission for us? To quote Bonhoeffer through Elizabeth Tapia again: “The task of a Christian, is not to lead a pious life, but to be a witness to Christ in the world though life and action.” And through this we become a community of change and hope, and in mutual mission through action.
In March 2009, the Reverend Dr. Earl Trent presented a Bible Study from I Peter 2: 4-10. Trent related his comments to the need to build our mission on the cornerstone and foundation of the Christian faith, which while rejected by mortals, is alive and precious in the telescopic view of the Holy. He contends that the rejected have often been the instruments of Godâ€™s transforming presence. Dr. Trent has been the Chair of the Mission Relationships and Witness Committee of CWS and will become Chairperson of the CWS Board in 2012. He currently serves as senior pastor of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, DC.
hope and faith in a fragile world
The Rev. Dr. Earl Trent
example: persons who have been displaced because of hurricanes Katrina and Rita… still long for home… in the midst of a new and different, community.
Read: I Peter 2:4-10
The new people… comprised of the rejected … are now a part of this new people. .. may feel as if they lose
something in being associated with the formerly rejected.... The majority (also) needs mercy for the unintended and
Several themes are drawn from this text. The first is “stones…The second is “a new people” (built from this
unthought-of consequences of their corporate actions and privileges ...A new sense of being and a new sense of
becoming God’s people is what is being called for in I Peter.
What does it mean to be “stones” and what does it mean to be “a new people? … in Church World Service.
With what are we building our spiritual house and who are we as inhabitants of this house?
Given our often competing feelings and values, where do we find our hope? In the midst of competing
sensibilities, we are called upon to live mercifully…This is the right thing.
What do you do with the imagery of stones...? Stones… stand in contrast to the fragile nature of the lives…
In the scriptural passage, these stones are the outcasts and the rejects. Yet in I Peter, the outcasts and rejects are created into the new people…
In this context, the rejected are called by God… yet chosen and recognized by God as precious. Through
God’s eyes and like Jesus, the formerly rejected become living stones built together into a spiritual house…
The passage also provides an architectural statement. The cornerstone is where the walls line up.
Contemporary cornerstones are ceremonial… In this …scriptural motif, the author is saying to the faithful, line yourselves up with Christ.
The “stones” in the passage may also mean the capstone. A capstone is the stone that is elevated to the
top…. The pyramid with its capstone is a psalm of triumph. (An)other characteristics of stone … mentioned in Isaiah 8:14 … is a word of prophetic judgment..
Then there is the second figure: … God’s new people. The issue of being chosen...is special, an honor, a
privilege… and all the adjectives that there are that are the best ones to have and use. For example, refugees who are rejected in their home land are now welcomed by those who speak another language. As outcasts who have been subjected to merciless treatment to now receive mercy is beyond one’s ability to fully fathom. Another 28
To read Dr. Trent’s fuller manuscript, follow this link: Earl Trent Bible Study in Missiological Reflection March 25 2008
In October 2009, the Reverend Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III presented a bible study of â€œHope and Change in a Fragile World.â€? Drawing from the Gospel of Matthew 9 as well as utilizing other biblical texts and the wisdom of African and American proverbs, Pollard related stories of healing, resurrection and the restoration of hope through changing the condition of the poor, afflicted and otherwise challenged that Jesus encountered. Dr. Pollard is the Dean of Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Pollard specializes in African American Religion and Culture, Sociology of the Black Church, Southern African Studies, Pan-Africanist Religious Thought, American Religious Cultures and Sociology of Religion.
hope and change in a fragile world
Dr. Alton Pollard
Psalm 133 proclaims how good it is for those who believe and practice their faith to dwell together in a unified
house. The converse of unity is division. The consequences of division are captured well in the African proverb,
The world’s experience of God was ushered into an era of hope and change in the world through Christ. The
“when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
baptism of Christ itself presented the opening up of heaven. However, this initiation and the recognition of God’s
favor demonstrated at the baptism ushered Christ into a season of being in the wilderness. In this wilderness, Jesus
isolationism. Their wisdom prompts the putting aside of discrimination based on gender, generation, social class,
was tempted by the adversary. Despite his diminished physical strength because of fasting and the propositions
sexual identity, religion and race. The speakers of wisdom lift of the value of the very young and the very old on the
made to him during that time in the wilderness, he remained clear in his resolve to fulfill his mission.
margins of the continuum of life and are too often overlooked, cast aside or suppressed. Contemporary and ancient
prophets urge the living out of justice kindness and humility by lifting stigmas that divide and incite hatred and
Christ’s message after enduring the temptation in the wilderness was to go to the temple – to proclaim that
The sages of proverbs from Africa. America and the Bible also warn against the dangers of hierarchies and
hope and change had now come – that the prayers of the dispossessed had been answered and that God was
ushering in a new era of the good news that meant healing, deliverance, recovery of sight and liberty for those in
need. Jesus brought to life the gospel that he proclaimed by healing the blind, the lame, the leper and the deaf.
and humility; afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted; be affirming of all and alienating of none.” The African
American mystic Howard Thurman proclaimed that we will know when the beloved community has been manifest
The dead were raised and the poor received good news. In the midst of death, Jesus proclaimed the
In search of the beloved community of God, American sacred wisdom urges is to “speak truth to power in love
conditions of life, and in the midst of sickness, Jesus promoted health. The synoptic gospels recount the story of an
when “we have lost our fear of our sisters and brothers and are no longer ashamed of ourselves.
awakening of a young girl, the daughter of a religious leader, from the dead. Adjacent to that story is a healing story
of a woman who had suffered 12 years from excessive bleeding or hemorrhages. Matthew 9:18-26 is one of the
Continuing in the wisdom of Dr. Thurman, “Let us now go forth to save the land. For this is why we were
three places in the gospels where this story can be found.
Jesus ministry also brought light places where the shadows fell. Also found in Matthew 9 is a story of the
healing of two blind men. (vs. 27-31) It is here where you see Jesus as a principle actor in God’s mercy and where the blind men who exercised their faith experience the opening of their eyes and the restoration of their sight.
Later in Matthew’s 9th chapter, a story of the healing of a man possessed by demons and also unable to
speak takes places. It is here where the demons that possessed him were cast out enabling the man to at last speak. The crowds that witnessed this man being freed of his affliction were amazed declaring to all who would listen that they had never experienced anything like it before in Israel. 32
The PowerPoint of Dr. Pollard’s presentation may be found by following this link: Alton Pollard Presentation to CWS Board October 21, 2009
In March 2010, The Reverend Dr. Laceye Warner presented “Witnessing to Christ through Confessing Communities: Missional Evangelism and the Other.” Drawing from various historical interpretations and responses to the “Great Commission,” she addressed the misconceptions of evangelism, and spoke to the need to take ecclesial evangelism seriously, even among those whose primary mission is not evangelism, she contends that ecclesial evangelism is the work of God’s Spirit and a the Missio Dei. Dr. Warner is Associate Dean for Academic Formation and Programs; Associate Professor of the Practice of Evangelism and Methodist Studies, and the Royce and Jane Reynolds Teaching Fellow at Duke University Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. 34
witnessing to christ through confessing communities: missional evangelism and the other
Rev. Dr. Laceye Warner
one has committed; this is a myopic approach to evangelism. Evangelism and mission is made manifest in the life of a congregation in its life in the world. Confession is a two-sided coin: it is a confession of belief, and it is a
The familiar passage, Matthew 28:16-20 has been commonly called “The Great Commission.” It is one of four
confession of sin. There is an eschatological ethos in confession that gives us a perspective that is larger than the
Gospel commissions ~ each having its own unique and increasingly demanding account of the commission. Yet,
present tense. The opportunity here is that Matthew invites disciples to practice the love of God and neighbor within
Matthew 28 is probably the most familiar and has often been used as a rally for American and European Christians
communities of faith.
to accomplish mission and do evangelism around the world.
communities of faith to and with “the other.” Inspired by Matthew’s commission, some terms are helpful to define.
In early Christianity, the commission was considered to have been accomplished by the apostles. Luther and
This reflection supports the ecclesial character of missional evangelistic practices in and by Christian
Calvin disagreed, but were not successful in revising this interpretation. It wasn’t until William Carey’s work, An
Enquiry, published in 1792 that a turning point occurred in the understanding of the commission.
Evangelism is the embodiment, not just proclamation of the Gospel. Evangelism is the heart of God’s mission. It
is a sharing of the Gospel message. Scott Jones in The Evangelistic Love of God and Neighbor based on William
These words in Matthew’s text have had an impact in our practice of missional evangelism. The themes of
Missio Dei or the Mission of God is a Latin term indicating the sending of God.
Matthew 28 have pervaded the UMC and other church’s approaches to mission and evangelism. Yet, there are
Abraham, The Logic of Evangelism provides a helpful definition: “that set of loving, intentional activities governed by
three misconceptions that invite a constructive theological response based on Matthew’s commission.
the goal of initiating persons into Christian discipleship in response to the reign of God.” This is at the heart of God
Misconception 1: Matthew 28 often emphasizes and inspires Christians or individuals in the “going.” This is
said not to dissuade persons from going, but the emphasis on “going” has tended to glamorize exotic locations and
the perpetuation of colonialism. “Going” is needed, but not as a mission tourist who stays a few days takes a few
“Go” has received disproportionate attention. When we talk about going to make disciples of all Nations, the
great photos and then goes home unchanged. There is an opportunity in this misconception. Matthew identifies the
question has been asked are we talking about “Nations” or “Gentiles”? There is no clear consensus. The evils and
ekklesia or gathering of the people of God as key in the “going.” It is time to imagine what it means to receive and to
complexities of colonialism have pervaded. The command to “Go,” according to the scholar Dr. Musa Dube has
send. It is about going and being the people of God in any given place.
seemingly given Christians an unrestricted passport to all nations without their consulting the nations in question.
Misconception 2 assumes that human responsibility is the key to making disciples. Actually, it is God inviting
We are to move from Going to Gathering…to “Go!?” The sense of how we go is as important as the going.
In Matthew’s commission there is a use of “all the nations.” Dr. Amy-Jill Levine points out that ethne, which is
humankind into the role of discipling. Human strategies are helpful, but the larger question is who we are in relation
used in Matthew most often indicates an ethnological description, but could indicate a religio-ethical usage. So it
to the reign of God? There is an opportunity in this misconception: the verb ‘discipling’ indicates God is the primary
can be used to mean not as going to other nations, but going to people who have other practices.
actor in evangelism.
disciples and promises to be with them always ~ to the end of the age (v. 18). This is an important distinction in
Misconception 3 has to do with a focus upon confession which at times becomes a list of individual sins 36
“Jesus came to them” is an important message in the passage. Despite betrayals, Jesus comes to the
understanding “Emanuel” or God is with us. When we go, Jesus is there and when we depart, Jesus is there.
micro-finance, micro-lending, and debt-reduction that can be utilized and seen as more than good stewardship
practices, but a part of our calling as confessing communities sent into the world for redemption and reconciliation.
John Wesley, founder of 18th century renewal movement, uncovers a collaborative relationship between God
and the ones God calls to realize God’s reign. The verb matheteuein or “to disciple,” which is rare term, indicates
God is the primary actor in evangelism. It is to an urgent discipling that we are called. All Christians as a part of
is much more to be done in the world. The commission in John 20: 19-23 states, “As the Father sends me, so I
our discipleship is a commission through our baptisms to Christian service, including evangelism: “to proclaim the
send you…” Confessing communities prayerfully have their own examples of being co-participants in breaking
Gospel in our words and in our lives.” Discipleship is not a church membership drive but an opportunity to invite
others to participate fully in the reign of God, and to bring people into God’s discipleship.
today is to be the church. The church doesn’t need a strategy, the church is the strategy. Ecclesial Evangelism
Ecclesial Evangelism is an ecclesial confession ~ an ecclesial evangelistic practice from the verb terein,
Regarding a third opportunity of “breaking oppression,” perhaps there has been much progress, but there
In conclusion, Brian Stone in Evangelism after Christendom, the most evangelistic thing the church can do
which is to observe or to practice. The verb entellesthai is to command. Jesus’ commandment is in obedience to the
takes seriously: confession and redemptive ecclesial practices; eschatological dimensions of a witnessing
invitation to love God within communities that love God and love neighbor.
community, and pneumatology or the Holy Spirit. Revelation 21:1-6 is a vision of the church in all its beauty - “the
church above” in all its fullness where there is no suffering, mourning, violence, addiction and where we live by
There are three systemic sins that are important for confessing communities to address: exploitation of
creation; idolatry of wealth, and the oppression of “the other” as defined by ethnicity, gender and ability. These
sight because our faith has been fulfilled. Nevertheless, we live in the “church below” that has not yet lived into its
systemic sins are areas of current interest in confessional communities and present opportunities for ecclesial
fullness. There is still a beauty here that can be glimpsed as we participate as communities of faith and witness
witness beyond preaching and confessing for confessional communities:
God’s unfolding reign.
The “Care for Creation” which is supported by the Gospel text found in Mark 16:15. Here Jesus says to them,
Goodness is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than
“Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” When Wesley points out that all of creation
death; victory is ours through Him who loved us.
will be redeemed and brought into the realm of God, he broadens the scope of our understanding of creation
(Desmond Tutu, South Africa from John 1:5)
beyond human beings. Practices that are redemptive are not a “check-list” but come from within the communities of practice.
To hear the audio recording of Dr. Warner’s presentation, follow these links:
“Witnessing to Christ through Confessing Communities: Missional Evangelism and the Other.”
“Wealth-sharing” is within the most often spoken of topics in the bible. Money is third only to the themes of
love and faith. Yet money is not often talked about in our churches. As supported in Luke’s commission, Luke 24. 44-49 is best read through the lens of the year of Jubilee found in Luke 4:16-20. The year of Jubilee, although admittedly never achieved provides an opportunity for a redistribution of wealth. There are financial practices like 38
Hearing the Voices of Emerging Theologians
At the time of her presentation, Molly Sue Kacal was a candidate for a Master of Divinity degree in the class of
Duke University Divinity School
2011. Having worked overseas partnering with pastors and missionaries, her vocational aspirations include pursuing
March 11, 2010
a leadership role within an inter-denominational church mission that provides feeding centers, homes and schools for orphans, health care, and counseling centers in rural communities or desolate places. In her words, she desires to be a faithful child of God who takes seriously the teaching to look after orphans and widows in their distress and
In March 2010, the Church World Service Board held its meeting on the campus of the Duke University
to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27, NIV)
Divinity School. The Divinity school environment provided a wonderful theological context for reflection and the work of governance. In addition to the presentation by Dr. Warner just highlighted, three students of varying experience
Rev. Jeff Conklin-Miller, Ph.D. Candidate
and different levels of academic study presented to us their reflections on “hope and change in a fragile world.”
Brie bios of these emerging theologians are found below; their comments follow in the pages to come.
It’s important for you to know for what follows that my own experience in mission is located almost entirely in a
congregational context. Before I was a doctoral student, for eleven years, I was a pastor, serving United Methodist
Jeff Conklin-Miller is a doctoral student in the Th.D. program at Duke University Divinity School with primary
congregations seeking their way in the plurality and diversity of Southern California. In that context, the church
areas of concentration in Theology, Ethics, and the Practices of Christian Mission, Witness, and Evangelism. His
struggled to know how it was a part of the one body - one church. What we learned painfully and repeatedly in
secondary areas of study include Theology and Practice in the Wesleyan Tradition. Conklin-Miller’s dissertation is a
facing our racial, cultural, linguistic, economic separations from one another - is that we do not know what it means
contemporary (North American) missional ecclesiology, drawing from the Wesleyan tradition and the insights of John
to be “one body.” At the same time, we found ourselves facing the need to minister in a rapidly changing, “Post-
Howard Yoder and Rowan Williams.
Everything” world: “post” modern, “post” Constantinian, and “post” colonial. The texture of what constituted “church” and what constituted “world” grew more complex: the church struggled with sometimes competing visions of its own
Arnold Oh is a doctoral student in the Th. D. program at Duke University Divinity School with a primary area
identity and calling, all of which cohered, I think, in deep questions pertaining to what we call “mission.”
of study in Theology and a secondary concentration in Mission. The focus of Oh’s dissertation is the role early
So, to pick up on one of the questions posed to guide this time together, when we ask how might we better
Protestant missionaries’ theology and Christology in particular had in the interpretation of the Great Pyongyang
or more faithfully respond to the challenges of being a church in the world, in my work here at Duke, I start with the
Revival in Korea from 1903 to 1907. His work examines the formation of religious subjectivity found within modern
terms of your name itself, namely, “Church” and “World. We may not dwell much on the relationship of church and
Koreans stemming from this particular theo-historical moment.
world, other than to determine that the two are linked by the calling of one to serve the other. However, I’d argue that mission requires a theological differentiation of church and world. I’m quick to add that this can be, and often
has been problematic, as the differentiation of the church and the world is prone to overstatement, and is thus
and Christian Theology, Serene Jones says that “to understand the church as the gift of God, one must tell,
often implicated in underwriting the church’s sectarian preparation from the world which consequently undermines
simultaneously, at least two stories about how God relates to it.” First, there is “the story of a God who creates,
mission. In contrast, my work seeks to live in the space between church and world, trusting that the church exists in
forms, envelopes, and protects the church…” Then there is “the story of a God who judges and forgives the church.”
“the creative tension of, at the same time, being called out of the world and sent into the world….”
However, this story of God’s grace in creation, judgment, and forgiveness is not told only for the sake of establishing
and securing the church’s identity. Rather, she argues, “out of these two economies of divine grace emerge two
That’s the space I want to focus on, the “tensioned” space between church and world, and I’ll raise two
particular tensions for our consideration here in relation to questions of Church, World, and Service in Mission. The
different pictures of the same church: the church marked by its boundedness, on the one hand, and by its openness
first, the tension is between “performance and patience” and the second tension is between the “boundedness” and
on the other.” 4
the “openness” of the church.
does it say about the church seeking to serve the Missio Dei in the world when we say that the church is both
How do we strike a balance between Performance and Patience? The tension here can be narrated in
What might it mean to extend her ecclesiological reflection to a missiological context? In other words, what
different terms; perhaps as the tension between “action and contemplation” or between “service and prayer.”
marked by its boundedness and its openness? More specifically, what practical embodiments would develop from
While performance emphasizes human action, the skilled participation of the trained actor, patience names the
such ecclesial and missional commitments?
stance of hopeful presence, expectant waiting, placing trust not primarily in the agency of human action, but in the
eschatological promises of God. In practice, performance calls for metrics, visible results and measurable outcomes,
confession and repentance. I’d argue that repentance names not only an “intra-ecclesial” practice of the bounded
while patience asks for what one author has called “deep breaths and long views.”
church, but is also an expression of the church’s “openness” in mission, in the world. The question is, Can we
combine these concerns to name how both patience and the bounded openness of repentance can be embodied
While this may be impressionistic, I think the church’s engagement in mission shows more concern for
One direction for these reflections might be aimed, fruitfully I hope, at the consideration of the practice of
performance than for patience. Missional evangelism after the advent of “church growth” theory has been concerned
expressions of the church’s mission in, with, and to the world? At the least, this would challenge much of the
with numerical results, and what constitutes “success” in congregational mission is often quantified in the numbers
imagination in contemporary North American (white) Protestant congregations that often see mission in terms of the
of dollars raised and given. However, in some comments on the nature of 21st century mission, Archbishop of
“surgical strike.” What shape does mission take in order to embody presence in patient and repentant terms?
Canterbury, Rowan Williams suggests that “We need a long-term view,” because “mission,” he says, “always requires an almost superhuman level of patience.” So, the question to ask here is, in a world that determines legitimacy in terms of market shares, does the church see its mission most in terms of performance or patience? What does, or what would patience as such look like in the work of the Church in mission?
Can the church in the world be both “bounded” and “open” at the same time? In her book, Feminist Theory 42
Arnold Sang-Woo Oh, PhD Candidate
people’s experience of fragility and hope – vis-à-vis mission – is to say that we are translators of hope. This is a task that requires much self-examination and an incredible amount of humility.
I was in Seoul, Korea couple of years ago at a conference for North Korea where a large gathering of
To help the poor, relieve disasters, etc., is no doubt helpful, but we must uncover or unveil the ways in which
international missionaries who were interested in North Korean missions was held. The first speaker to greet the
we frame the problems of the world, and the motivations that drive us to action. In light of the shift of the center(s)
delegation was a high profile leader within Korean missions. He said in 1985 there were 5000 full-time Korean
of Christianity from the global north to the global south, we must ask the question, How now do we understand the
missionaries who gathered together in Wheaton Illinois; while there they committed to an annual per capita gift of
hope that emerging Christianity in the ‘fragile’ global south offers us? And perhaps a more poignant question we are
$500. In 1992, 12,000 full-time missionaries gathered and the annual per capita income increased to $12,000. He
confronted with in light of God’s activity in the global south is, how do we see our own fragility in light of this rising
continued by saying that that by the year 2025, he believed and was working toward a goal of 200,000 full-time
missionaries with a per capita gift of the same. This trend begs the question, how does the hope of the gospel so seamlessly flow through the same channel as hope in capitalism? The mark of success of hope in people has been framed too often in terms of nation-state, capitalism and missions. In short, the speaker colonized the vision of hope.
Molly Kacal, M. Div. Candidate
To borrow from Alasdair MacIntyre’s book Whose Justice, Whose Rationality and in light of your theme, we
have to ask the question, “Whose hope and whose fragility are we talking about?” The words, “hope” and “fragility”
LISTEN ~ Listen to God – to the places where God is calling. Listen to the culture in which you are serving and the
do not exist in a vacuum, but bear a significant historical and cultural cache. Justice, peace, equality, freedom are
cries of that culture.
words that we often use without keeping in mind the long history of development and the felt sense of fragility in
various parts of the world. Fragility has taken a particular position in modernity (i.e., systems of economic,
into it and the ones who immerse themselves within the culture. If we, the church, are to bring hope to a fragile
political, and social governance in our contemporary period) since the colonial period. Fragility is too often
world and allow the world to change, we must first recognize that it is not us changing the world – rather it is our
associated with colonialization, related to Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, and what is means to be black,
Lord and Savior bringing about any changes we may see that builds the Kingdom of Heaven.
feminine, dependent, poor, uncivilized, un-Christian, war-torn, under-developed or developing countries, etc. Hope,
conversely, has a mirror tradition. It is typically associated with what it means to be white, European, American,
century, we must first learn to listen and care, and while responding, we must be constantly in prayer for our hearts
masculine, self-sufficient, developed, modern, etc.
to be broken as God’s heart is broken. Only in that brokenness can we truly have compassion for the lonely, the
There is a colonialization of hope because there is a colonialization of identity. It is rooted in the exploitation of
dying, the hurting, the grieving, the lost, the weak – the ones who Jesus calls ‘the least of these.’ It is when our
people’s fragility - an inescapable condition of being a creature. To place ourselves in the role of mediation between 44
heart is transformed into God’s heart that we allow God to work through us to bring about change in this fragile
No one knows a culture better than the people who live within it on a daily basis: those people who are born
If we are to faithfully respond to the various challenges that we face as a church within the world in this 21st
world. In the brokenness God gives us, true compassion is expressed, and then we become more accessible for
a tutoring center and a feeding center with a small orchard. Even though I am an ocean away, God continues to use
God to use and move us to build His Kingdom.
me to raise support for children to attend school, as well as raise awareness of how this lady and her community
care for orphaned and vulnerable children in their village. In listening to the cry of the mother and responding to
As we enter into the world as the hands and feet of Christ, we must first LISTEN to God’s voice, where God is
calling you, as one of His disciples. Then – we must listen to the culture in which we desire to reach and hear their
God’s calling, I was able to become the hands and feet of Christ for these children. It became essential for me to
immerse myself in this African culture in order to gain a better understanding of the people to and with whom God
As I continue, I would like to share one short story about where God has taken me and how I believe God has
called me to care.
worked through me. After graduating from my undergraduate school, I felt certain that God was calling me to live
beyond myself, so I headed to Swaziland, Africa. It was here that I learned the importance of listening to the culture
journey partnering with pastors and missionaries around the globe. Through these experiences, I have learned the
and not only hearing their needs, but realizing that they had much to teach me. In Swaziland, our team met a lady
importance of building interdenominational partnerships with pastors and long-term missionaries – for they have
named Madame Mhylanga at a fruit market who was collecting fruit for children who come to her house for a meal
listened to their culture and understand it far better than myself.
and informal lessons. In the words of Mother Teresa, she invited my team to ‘come and see.’ So we loaded up a
van and headed 3 miles uphill on a path orphans and vulnerable children take every day to a small shelter made
biggest need within his church and community. In listening to his needs and knowing where the gifts of my team
from tree bark and aluminum. This single mother of three tries to keep the children as long as she can each day,
align with the needs, he asked us to take prayer walks around the village, teach English in Buddhist schools, build
knowing that many of them when they leave each afternoon go home to some horrible situations.
relationships with the people around the community, and invite them to church, as most of the people in the village
are Buddhist. This was his desire, and we became the hands and feet of Christ – and the church grew in number.
Hearing the longing in the lady’s voice for help to care for the little ones who walked daily to her home, I
Since living in Swaziland, I have led short-term mission teams to Russia, Ireland, as well as an 11-month
When I arrived in Thailand, I sat across the table with the local pastor to ask what he perceives as his
desired to relieve the stress of this mother and care for these orphaned and vulnerable children. During the first few
Rather than going in with our own agendas, we must first listen to people who know the population in which
months, three teammates and I taught the children as they circled around us on the ground; we also found ways
we are working: these people do not have to be the same denomination as you. If we are to help in the building of
to purchase food when they had none. Knowing that these children needed an accredited education, I worked
God’s Kingdom, then we must put aside our denominational differences and allow the very nucleus of the Gospel
alongside a team member to raise funds for twenty-two students to attend a recognized school. Our team met
to not only be heard through our words, but also seen through our actions. God calls us to Love God and Love
with the tribal chief to ask for his favor to move the care center closer to the school as a ‘safe’ place for the children
People. Through loving God, we are able to more effectively love people and live out Christ’s desire to care for the
before and after school. In order to ease the children’s transition from learning at the care center to a school
least of these – the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the prisoner.
environment, I worked within the recognized school to teach and tutor the children. Currently, the care center in
Mhlanya serves at least seventy-five children and functions as an informal school for both children and adults; it has 46
outside their comfort zones and immerse themselves in another culture, I have learned that not only does one’s
Before I conclude, I want to add that in listening to our own U.S. culture and in leading young people to step
worldview shift but also one’s faith grows. Therefore, not only do we need to listen to the cry of other cultures, but we need to listen to the cry of the future of the church and provide opportunities for young people to step beyond themselves and create a space for God to transform them more into the likeness of Christ, while at the same time building the Kingdom of Heaven. They will not only gain in experience, but they will be transformed to build God’s Kingdom whether they remain in the American culture or venture into international missions.
So, when all is said and done, we must remember to Listen to God and Listen to the cry of our surrounding
cultures, including our own. We must build relationships – because in the end, that is all we have.
In October 2010, Dr. Maria Teresa (MT) Davila presented in reflection on the Gospel narrative of the servant Lazarus and his rich master. During her presentation, Davila spoke of the change of favor or status in the reality of God’s design away from the rich and toward the servant. The advantages afforded the rich in the temporal realm are reversed in the design of God’s holy realm. As human beings, our call to service is at times in tension with common human desires for power, privilege and access; this very human desire often work in cross purposes to God’s intention for us and reveals the ongoing sinful condition or our inheritance as human persons. Dr. Davila, a laywoman in the Roman Catholic tradition is Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Newton, Massachusetts. 48
Dr. Maria Teresa (MT) Davila
I may be preaching to the choir by presenting to you today. CWS has a long history of Christian leadership that
has covenanted to care for the poor, the refugee and the environment. CWS has historically affirmed the mandate of Matt 25:31-47 reflecting what it means to be agents of hope and change in a fragile and vulnerable world. CWS has an incarnational practice of participating in the suffering of others as Christ took on the suffering of others as the ultimate act of love. There is something about God’s option for the poor that becomes incarnational in the contexts where we serve. We are called to be present to the suffering of others.
My question as a mother of four young children between the ages of 8 and 1 1/2 years, committed to making a
life here and not moving to Asia or Africa is, what does it mean to be a disciple that honors God’s option for the poor in our context of privilege? We live in a culture of consumerism, rugged individualism and “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” that rules us in our societal expectations and norms. There is a paradigm actively at work that “everyone needs to be out for themselves and if it doesn’t work out, it is your own fault. “ A mantra of “I shop, therefore I am” is prevalent. Shopping is a central part of our U.S. identity. We also have concepts of what is good poor and what is bad poor. If a hurricane hits you then you are among the good poor. If you are among the chronically poor, including veterans, immigrants, the forever unemployed or addicted, then you are among the bad poor.
The secularization of certain laws and cultural attitudes has become a part of our cultural system and created
a separate secular canon in our country. An example of this secular resistance that leaks into our churches includes perspectives of illegal immigrants as simply being law-breakers. The teachings of Christ affirm a family’s right to
bridging the chasm: conscientization as christian discipleship
seek a better life, and mandate us to welcome and provide hospitality to the stranger has been challenged by this secular canon. We have to ask what is shaping the identity of the people we serve in our churches ~ our faith or the secular canon?
Human beings were created for relationships with God and each other. Sin is the breaking of these
can cross from there to us.” He said, “Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— for I have five
relationships. Structural sin includes corporate structures that prevent relationships from flourishing. Does this
brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.” Abraham replied, “They
mean all corporations are evil? If you look at a corporation’s mission statement or its policies, you have to ask,
have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.” He said, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to
does the corporation support the breaking of relationships in its pursuit of money? Our humanity is compromised
them from the dead, they will repent.” He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will
whenever our relationships are threatened. This is a threat to our own dignity and humanity as well as the dignity
they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” ’ (NRSV Luke 19-30)
and humanity of others. Yes, there is a loss of human dignity to the poor, but the privileged lose their human dignity
when they participate in structures and systems that don’t support relationships. This is a threat to all of human
do we continue the conversation further? The distance between Abraham and the rich man is the same distance as
beings and to creation.
between the space between the rich man and Lazarus. This chasm was created on purpose so that the rich man’s
life would not touch the life of Lazarus. In Micah and other Lucan passages, it is not an argument against riches, but
In what kind of action might we engage? Conscientization is a necessary practice for Christians whose
In reading this Gospel story, what is the chasm between the rich man and Lazarus that Luke describes? How
privilege limits and clouds our ability to fulfill the essence of human dignity ~ to be daughters and sons of God and
an argument about when riches create chasms between one’s own security and privileges and those who do not
sisters and brothers to each other and to the environment. Conscientization is becoming aware of the obstacles to
have these things. These chasms blind us to our shared humanity.
full humanity, especially the poor and recognizing our destiny is tied to the most vulnerable. The destiny of others is
infinitely linked to ours because of our universal condition as children of God.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) seemingly by random. Sometimes I wonder if I have a special tie to persons with CP. On
the “T” one day, a person with CP started speaking to me. Thoughts of Dorothy Day and her mysticism related
The Luke 16:19 story of Lazarus and the rich man provides an exercise of Christian imagination.
I’d like to tell a story about an experience on the “T” line here in Boston. It seems I often meet people with
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at
to Matthew 25 came to mind as I thought my duty had been completed in acknowledging this person in one
his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from
conversation. The conversation led to a continuing relationship with this man whose name is Michael. After awhile,
the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by
I no longer saw him on the “T.” I was concerned about him, but afraid to reach out in fear of what a relationship
the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented,
with him might demand. I was able to track him down and found out that he actually lived just one block from me.
he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on
As a result, we have re-established a relationship outside the “T” and through the difficulties of sometimes not
me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.”
understanding his speech well and the challenges of his wheel chair, he has become a significant in the life of my
But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like
manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a
great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one 52
ways I don’t measure up in my own life. My dissertation on God’s preferential option for the poor is a harsh volume,
Sometimes I feel my own work in ethics damning me. Reading it becomes a judgment of my life as I face the
yet it is about faithfulness. In prayer, I confront my own flaws, but come to the realization that God is bigger than my flaws. I have to yield to God’s bigness. The confrontation of flaws in our churches is a larger conversation. The reflections of Ignatius about the cross reveal his conflict when he asks “Why for me – why, have you done this for me a flawed being?” You have to move through it - identify the flaws and then say thank you in gratitude knowing that our recognition of it moves us onward in imitating Christ. It is to acknowledge and have faith that God is able to work despite our flaws and to be incarnate in us. To view a video of Dr. Davila’s presentation follow this link:
In March 2011, Dr. Frances Adeney presented material from her work in her book Graceful Evangelism. The section in this book entitled “Radical Habits” provided keys for graceful evangelism, or honoring the Christian faith in diverse religious contexts. Adeney urged learning from the errors of evangelistic approaches of the last century which includes the accepting the often differing perspectives and experiences of others. Dr. Adeney’s material provided a helpful backdrop for the discussion of CWS’s mission statement – its appropriate articulation and the living of it in the dynamics of the multi-religious contexts where we serve. Dr. Adeney is the William A. Benfield, Jr. Professor of Evangelism & Global Mission at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. 54
Dr. Frances Adeney
There are seven practices that further the cause of gospel through a witness of grace and love toward
others… Practicing these radical habits will lend biblical consistency to the outreach of both individuals and communities…
A few critical assumptions undergird the practices of graceful evangelism: 1) God’s grace is never limited to
Christian interaction. 2) Graceful evangelism is neither competitive nor cooperative, but reflexive. 3) Listening and identifying with the people to whom we are sent forms the basis of developing these practices
The giving and receiving of gifts is the perfect metaphor for graceful evangelism. Giftive mission metaphor
emphasizes the appropriateness of giving and receiving gifts as part of our witness. Seeing ourselves as bearers and receivers of gifts improves our relationships with people of other religions and counters anti-mission forces of distrust (and) self-aggrandizement …
The metaphor of the gift is important in the 21st century because Christians are frequently and inevitably in
contact with people of other cultures who hold different beliefs. The metaphor of gifts puts relationships ahead of making a sale. The two-way interaction of giving and receiving gifts leads Christians into better relationships with those of other religions.
Giftive mission expresses itself in the radical habits of Christians. Examples of giftive mission are shown
through the example of innovative missionaries of every generation that have tailored the gospel message to the times…
radical habits: practices for evangelism today
One example is Paul, the apostle… He insisted that God’s gracious gift was for all people – gentiles and
not just for the Jewish people… This paradigm became the primary one for Christian mission. Paul encouraged the church… to accept the gift of God’s grace and remove… restrictive Jewish constraints of membership and
holiness… The Gospel was for all...
The fuller manuscript of Dr. Adeney’s work may be found by following this link:
Frances Adeney Mission Presentation on Radical Habits March 17, 2011
Another is St Patrick of the fifth century… Although kidnapped by the Celts, he was determined to spend his
life as a gift to the Celts…Patrick believed that the true basis of mission was in community, which is discovering together what it means to b a part of God’s story of grace.
In Latin America, Bartholome de Las Casas found himself defending a Christian principle that all are equally
able to love and glorify God. Rejecting the notion of the innate inferiority of native peoples, he influenced a more inclusive view of human rights. Stemming from his own experience as a young person…, given a slave by his father as a gift, he befriended the young man and then knew a person can never be considered a gift, to be owned by another.
Catherine Booth a co-founder of the Salvation Army, spent her life convincing Christians to give to the
poor, provide medicine for the sick, and help the disadvantaged. To the wealthy, she preached the giving of their resources and time. She developed different strategies in the 19th century for doing this.
William Sheppard in the late 19th century focused the importance of mission to African traditional religionists.
As the first African American Presbyterian missionary to Africa, Sheppard made deep connections to leaders of the Kasai tribe in Congo. He never disparaged the beliefs of the Congolese and only rejected religious practices that conflicted with his Christian view of human rights. The results of Sheppard’s respect for others made a mark on mission history.
Mother Teresa measured her gift … not by how many came to her for help, but by how other Christians treated
the ones that did come to receive services from the Sisters of Charity... She was blessed by the dying poor, seeing in each one the face of Christ. Her influence on global culture is unrivaled....
Doing an excursion into the history of evangelism and development makes questions better answered… Using
a model of learning that brings us the knowledge of difference fosters our ability to accept others with their differing perspectives and experiences. Through this, we discover a practice of graceful evangelism. 58
In October 2011, Dr. Bo Myung Seo presented â€œGlobal Awareness in Contemporary Ministry.â€? In his presentation, Dr. Seo raised the need for greater global awareness in our approaches to mission. Seo urged taking into consideration the need for interfaith or inter-religious dialogue toward creating interfaith bridges in a religiously diverse world for the purpose of greater faithfulness to the gospel of peace and justice. Dr. Seo pointed to the pluralistic richness of the US that provides a rich context for bridge building in understanding the world beyond U.S. borders. In as much as such a rich diversity exists in the U.S., often within the radius of a few blocks, American soil provides an excellent context for deepened global awareness. Dr. Seo is Associate Professor of Theology & Cultural Criticism at Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. 60
global awareness in contemporary ministry
By Dr. Bo-Myung Seo
Then, how can ministry be globally informed without succumbing to either the expansionist model or the
capitalist model of self-interest and competition? I think we can do it by claiming the Christian sense of what it
Though I am a stranger to this organization, I am not a stranger to the whole idea of … Church World … I
means to be global. It is to humbly serve others as justified sinners…It is to help the poor and work for peace in the
have a sense of gratitude and camaraderie for your work.
name of God. It is to be guided by the Spirit and to go where the poor are and where peace is most needed.
Like so many non-Western countries in the world, Christianity was introduced to Korea by Western
As some of you know, Korea is known for its phenomenal church growth. Korean mega-churches in the 70s
missionaries ... since 1885 until recent years is a text book example of a success story in mission, unique to the
and 80s became a wonder in world Christianity. However in recent years, Protestant churches in Korea are facing
20th century… a great deal of international mission and aid work has gone into the making of Korean Christianity…
a deep crisis. … church growth is no longer something to be taken for granted. People are dissatisfied with the
excesses of big churches that do not pay attention to the needs of Christians living in the 21st century… Protestant
…From the perspective of a Korean-American teaching at a Protestant seminary, there is a need for
contemporary ministry to be more globally informed… Ministry … enacts God’s Word in the world is always
Christians in Korea are suffering from a serious identity crisis… -
undergoing change…How ministry is practiced in the United States has always reflected changing circumstances in
The Korean Church’s one response has been to focus its attention away from what is happening inside and to look
society. I teach a required course for all M. Div. students, entitled “Global Sensitivity in Ministry.” The main intent
to the outside for overseas missionary evangelism. Next to the United States, Korea is the country that sends the
behind the course was the recognition that ministers in training today ought to have a perspective that is broader
largest number of missionaries to overseas… Missionary fervor is driving many of Korean and Korean-American
than the common Eurocentric .. or one based on the idea of American Exceptionalism...
churches … Their model of mission is one that is steeped in the 19th century... Needless to say, a new model of
mission is needed – one that counts not the converts who come to churches but one that counts how much suffering
There are three reasons why global awareness is important for ministry today. First, through economic
globalization, patterns of our ordinary, daily lives have taken on a global dimension… Second, the United States is
has been alleviated …
the most globalized religiously pluralistic society in the world... Third, the United States and Europe are no longer
the vibrant centers of Christianity. Alongside these reasons, denominations no longer exert influence upon their
awareness? I would emphasize three aspects of such global awareness. First, a critical reflection on the history of
members… Increasing numbers of people in the United States say that they are spiritual but do not attend church…
Christian missions…Second, ways in which economic globalization has become the greatest determinant of how our
denominational affiliations no longer provide members’ religious and faith identity...The post-denominational age
lives are lived around the world… Third, an awareness of the presence of other religions and an understanding of
does not automatically mean a secular age, rather, it as an age where people seek religion and piety on their own.
the importance of interfaith dialogue...
Reflection on the History of Christian Missions
… the practice of embodying … ministry has always been global in its aspiration …We always have to be
If contemporary ministry requires ‘more global awareness,’ then we need to talk about the content of that
careful that this does not becoming co-opted into being a function or subsidiary of the larger agenda of the dominant
Christianity has always understood itself to be a missionary religion, because Christianity was introduced to
force of the age. … it has to maintain a certain, critical distance… 62
the non-Western world through the Western missionary activities. Such mission work was never free of political
connotations. Throughout the modern period, missionary work was conceived of as a civilizing mission… a part of
dialogical and constructive manner. …one always starts with thinking about God. What kind of God is the God
colonizing work. … Understanding this history - is an effort at Western self-understanding...
whom we worship in church as well as the God of our lives? What about God do we feel compelled to proclaim in
words and deeds? Think about the places in the world where physical violence is still being perpetuated against
It is impossible to understand what is happening around the world without keeping in mind what colonialism
does to the minds of those who are colonized… Try name a place in the world today where there is significant
people of other religions, in the name of one’s own religion? …We have to realize that we live today in a global
violence and struggle and to explain the situation without recalling the legacy of colonialism has played in the
village, where your next door neighbor could be a member of any number of different religions. These people are
conflict. Chances are you can’t. …What we often do in this country is to blame individual dictators and tyrants for the
the same people whose taxes support our local and federal governments, who want the same protection from the
conflicts. Surely they should bear much of the immediate blame, but …why is it that for one dictator there is always
fire department and police department. I think it is imperative that our churches are at the forefront of reaching out
a significant part of the population that is willing to support him to the end?
and building bridges across religious boundaries toward a healthy co-existence and promotion of justice and mercy
… This, I think is a unique task of contemporary ministry. In this way, we can model what it means to be religious
Western Christianity is not immune from responsibility in many ongoing conflicts in the world. Understanding
missionary work as a civilizing mission means also to understand it as a political mission… Trying to understand that
for religious people around the world. ...The United States has been endowed with exceptional potential to be a
history is an exercise in self-understanding, as well as an understanding Christians in the non-Western world.
force for good in the world. History proves this. It is a matter of how we act upon this history that gives us continuing
Global Economy and Christian Faith
In the last 20 years or so, we’ve been witnessing something interesting in theology. It is the phenomenon of
theologians writing about global economy and economic matters… There is a rather simple explanation. Global capitalism is no longer a way to organize economic systems. We are asked to adopt a new view … centered on … ‘competition.’
The capitalist assumption … is that competition is good and brings out the best in us. Freedom means the
freedom to compete, and the inability to exercise this freedom results in laziness and dependence. What theological
The fuller manuscript of Dr. Seo’s presentation may be found by following this link:
questions can we ask of this anthropology? … What pastoral questions should we ask? …At times, there is piety in
Bo Myung Seo Church World Service Mission Presentation October 20, 2011
the act of asking questions... Interreligious Dialogue
I believe …interreligious dialogue has to be a part of any ministry-training and any practice of ministry...
no serious work of systematic theology can happen without a section on how to think about other religions in a 64
After having intentionally engaged in a four-year process of missiological reflection, Church World Service has
learned much about itself. Motivated by a world fraught with crises, CWS’s founders did not have the opportunity to pause and reflect on the nature and purpose of their mission. They simply did it – responding to the needs that were before them. However, those who perpetuate the mission more than six decades later have taken this opportunity to reflect and realize that the fulfillment of the CWS mission stretches beyond the visible horizon.
In these reflections, CWS has discerned that understanding and appreciating the historical mission context
and theology of an organization that responds to global needs is an act of faith; it is relevant to shaping our focus and effectiveness. Our faith is the deep root that taps into why we give food to the hungry and offer rest to the weary. Therefore, our faith must always be evident. Likewise, it is necessary to recognize how needs change, and how we must adapt, accordingly.
As Church World Service casts its vision toward the horizon, it does so with a sense that the discernment of
mission can’t ever be stagnant, or simply treated as something that is already known by its participants. Our history travels with us, but it is only through the emergence of each new day, and the embracing of different contexts that our past can be more fully known. The exercise of inviting intentional examination and thought about our mission can be both frightening and invigorating. It is frightening in the sense that the critique that results is sometimes less than complimentary of the intended goodwill of the time. Nevertheless, it is invigorating because it leads to possibilities beforehand unseen. The context of our work is never devoid of culture; within it resides the opportunity for new perspectives to enliven our ongoing service.
CWS would do well in making an ongoing commitment to missiological reflection as a deep investment in
its organizational life. No organization has a better reserve of persons and experiences willing and able to enrich
its mission than ours. The spectrum of missiological perspectives posited within our global reality is impressive. In the future, CWS might better avail itself to hear how others from Africa and Asia, women living in “the developing world,” and those who bear the pangs of hunger and despair, interpret our shared history, to lend us their theological
perspectives and cultural lenses so our mission might be better lived out. This will enable Church World Service to
Our Missiological Reflection Continues…
remain relevant, be a leading organization in thought and practice, so that we can share our gained knowledge with others to together transform the world in which we live.
Questions for Individual Reflection or Group Discussion about Hope and Change in a Fragile World
Eradicating hunger and poverty, and promoting peace and justice is more than a mere human vision. It is
reflective of our relationship to the Creator ~ to be creature and creative, accountable to and for one another, and
Daryl Balia raises this challenge in his presentation for our reflection: Churches have and can bring their moral
live as if there is truly enough for all.
capital, accumulated over the centuries and embracing the entire world, to bear on the global effort to combat and prevent corruption. The Reverend John L. McCullough CEO & Executive Director - Church World Service
During our current ongoing worldwide economic turmoil, how might the church, both prophetically and practically deal with the challenge of greed and corruption? 2.
Elizabeth Tapia’s comments urge: Doing mission together in genuine partnership and mutuality with others
generates a transformative force needed in this fragmented world. What are your hopes for doing mission differently the 21st century? What changes do you wish your church would make to make mission more mutual, more sustainable and more relevant? What kind of action is called for? 3.
Charles Amjad-Ali asks us to reflect on the clash between the periphery and center: How does your church or
communion provide healing for those perceived to be on the periphery and the ones believed to be in the center in human social structures? 4.
Earl Trent raises: The fragile nature of our financial markets reveals not only the fragile nature of our
world, but also the connected nature of our world. We need God’s mercy for the unintended and unanticipated 68
consequences of our actions, even as we endeavor to be “salt of the earth and light of the world.”
With this knowledge how do we respond to the call to be salt (a preserving agent), and light (an illuminating hope)
11. Frances Adeney compels us to adapt radical habits and to practice graceful evangelism: Who are the
in our work in the world?
exemplars of graceful evangelism and giftive mission in your tradition? What have they taught you and how you adopted their lessons?
Alton Pollard spoke in earnest of the search for the beloved community of God: How does your church or your
communion best “speak truth to power” with love and humility, afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted?
12. Bo Myung Seo professed the need for greater global awareness and a better recognition of the plurality in our diverse nation: In what ways has your faith community or church engaged in authentic inter-religious or inter-faith
Laceye Warner spoke about the church’s witness to Christ in confessing communities:How has your
community stood in resistance to oppression? What stories do you have from your community? 7.
Jeff Conklin-Miller in his presentation asks us to think about the competing pulls between the values of the
world and the values of Christ: In a world that determines legitimacy in terms of market shares, does the church see its mission most in terms of performance or patience? 8.
Arnold Oh prompts the Church to continue thinking about its colonial legacy: How does your faith community
sort through the issues of lingering colonialism in this current era? 9.
Molly Kacal urges us to listen deeply: In what ways does your faith community listen anew to the contexts
where you serve to discern appropriate responses in mission? 10. MT Davila’s biblical examples identify chasms that exist in community: What are the biggest obstacles you see within your tradition in having authentic and engaged practices of God’s preferential option for the poor? 70
dialogue? What have you learned from these conversations and experiences?
475 Riverside Drive Suite 700 New York, NY 10015 (800) 297-1516 www.churchworldservice.org MRW 1
Photos submitted by presenters, by Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance and CWS staff.
Published on Dec 6, 2011