How do we proceed with the conclusions of the world mission conference in Arusha (more about “Arusha” : click here)? And how can we give those conclusions a prominent role at the 11th World Council Conference in 2021? These issues were raised during a study meeting of a World Council of Churches working group’ earlier this month in Bossey, Switzerland.
"And how do we protect the energy of the Arusha meeting from being lost?" asked Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, moderator of the Mission Committee of the World Council of Churches. The attendees worked together further on the Arusha Call, as drawn up last year based on the input of more than 1,000 participants in the conference in Tanzania.
Jennifer Martin from Jamaica, member of the Mission Committee of the World Council of Churches and also co-moderator of the international reference group for the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, drew on the dynamics of the Arusha conference. "The follow-up of Arusha has only just begun," she said. "The real work is outside the church. The point is to be close to the people from the churches who make contact with marginalized fellow citizens".
Dr. Peter Cruchley, Mission Secretary of the World Council, said that the development of missionary churches also is a priority. "Discipleship is very much the central issue then," he said. "especially the kind of discipleship that will create peace and justice."
During the meeting, the innovative insights "from Arusha" about discipleship were set out. The meeting also looked ahead to opportunities to give the Arusha call a prominent role at the 11th World Council Conference in 2021. "Arusha has given us a language, we really need to turn that into action and engagement," Coorilos said. "Where are the disciples? Who are the disciples?"
The Dutch Mennonite Mission will continue to pay attention to further translations of the Arusha call and is happy to be available for cooperation with Mennonite congregations, who want to get started with Arusha through local initiatives.