Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 335

A clearer vision is sought by CEC’s Assembly

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 20 luglio 2009

A summary of feedback from small groups on the theme of “Vision” was reported on Saturday 18 July in the morning plenary of the 13th Assembly of CEC. Canon Bob Fyffe, general secretary of Churches United in Britain and Ireland, presented the findings of the previous days’ working groups. “There was a desire for clearer purpose, shared values and common actions from the Conference of European Churches,” Canon Fyffe observed. Additionally, there was a fundamental question about the locus of power in CEC’s decision-making, the style of operation, the relative size of delegations from large and small churches. “Many people feel disenfranchised”, he said, especially among first-time participants in an assembly. Some said that they did not feel they were being heard, with unfortunate consequences for levels of trust. It was suggested that future assemblies provide more thorough training in rules, procedures and effective participation. Groups reflected a widespread yearning for greater eucharistic sharing among Christians of different traditions and for improved relations with Roman Catholics, Pentecostals and other churches that currently are not members of CEC. There is also a longing to connect what CEC does at international and inter-confessional levels with the European grass-roots and congregational life. Among many other themes was the recognition that “Europe is no longer a white continent” and that Christians at every level must make common cause with the minorities in their midst including migrants, youth and people with disabilities. European churches also have a worldwide responsibility to act together in support of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Colin Williams, CEC’s general secretary, offered his reflections at the close of the report from working groups. The message he heard was that CEC requires greater “focus and coherency” as it addresses a diversity of issues. This is the message and challenge he will carry forward into future consultations and planning sessions.

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