World Council of Churches by mD08AE

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 30

									 World Council of Churches
 CENTRAL COMMITTEE
 Geneva, Switzerland
                                                         Document No.    GEN 6
 26 August – 2 September 2003



 For Information




                                        ACTIVITIES REPORT
                                             2002-2003



The past year has been marked by intense WCC staff work to adapt programme plans to financial
realities and to implement the decisions made by the WCC officers on 14 November 2002. At the
same time, staff have devoted substantial energy to strengthening planning, monitoring and
evaluation mechanisms. The challenges of working with de-centralized and relocated staff have
been substantial. Efforts are underway to develop consistent policies and procedures for WCC staff
who are based outside of Geneva.

While staff have gone through periods of anxiety and emotional strains during this time of
transition, they have continued to develop and implement innovative and effective programmes in
response to the changing world situation and following the recommendations of governing bodies.
The sections below provide a brief overview of the programmatic work carried out by the teams
since the August 2002 Central Committee.

This activity report is organized according to the core programmes revised in November 2002, with
the names of the offices or teams that carry out the related activities. Much of the work, though,
relies on cooperative efforts and expertise across teams.
                                                  2

                            Strengthening the Ecumenical Movement
                                      (General Secretariat)

1. Leading the work of the WCC
The General Secretary has continued his effort to visit all member churches at least once between
the two assemblies. This reporting period included visits to several countries in Asia, Brasil (where
preparatory work towards the assembly was inaugurated with the local churches and ecumenical
partners) and Russia).

The General Secretary gave public lectures at various occasions (e.g. Willingen, Germany, “50
years anniversary of the World Mission Conference”; Brookline, MA USA, "The Orthodox
Churches in a Pluralistic World"; Ecumenical Kirchentag Berlin, Germany; Thessaloniki, Greece,
“The importance of Orthodox Contribution to the WCC”; Minsk, Belarus “The Role of the World
Council of Churches in the Age of Globalization”.)

The General Secretary continued exploratory discussions with a wide range of ecumenical
partners following the positive reception of his presentation to the Central Committee (September
2002) on the need for a new ecumenical architecture. As a result, the proposal for a reflection and
study process on the “Re-configuration of the Ecumenical Movement” has reached a sufficient
degree of maturity and preparations have started for a meeting to take place in November.

The General Secretariat offered leadership to the Assembly Staff Group and organised the first
meeting of the Core Group of the Assembly Planning Committee.

The General Secretariat participated actively in the effort of communicating to member churches the
re-location of regional desks, of listening to the churches' concerns and of maintaining an open
dialogue with heads of churches throughout the process.

The General Secretariat has reviewed the Council-wide work around the database and initiated a
more rational use of human resources assigned to this specific task.

2. Facilitation of governing bodies and interpretation of their decisions
Following the 2002 meeting of the Central Committee, taking into consideration both the evaluation
of the meeting by the members of the Central Committee and the financial constraints, an intensive
study began and negotiations took place regarding accommodations and technical arrangements. A
proposal with considerable savings was presented to the Executive Committee (February 2003) and
was implemented in organizing the present meeting of the Central Committee.
In cooperation with the Office of Church and Ecumenical Relations and the Team on Budgeting and
Planning, the subsidy policy for participation in meetings of governing and consultative bodies was
implemented.

3. Preparing the rules for consensus decision-making
In consultation with the Officers, a small reference group was formed by the General Secretary in
order to begin analyzing the questions related to the move to a consensus method of decision-
making. The group took into account the report of the Special Commission and presented a first
progress report to the Executive Committee (February 2003), further discussed with the Steering
Committee of the Special Commission (June 2003) and prepared its report for submission to the
Central Committee.
                                                 3

                             Nurturing the Fellowship of Churches
                               (Church and Ecumenical Relations)

1. Fostering membership relations
Staff visits were made to member churches in Greece, Albania, Czech Republic, Chile (on the
occasion of the meeting of the Advisory Group on Church and Ecumenical Relations) and the
Democratic Republic of Congo. A WCC staff team (from Faith and Order, Mission and Ecumenical
Formation and Church and Ecumenical Relations) visited the China Christian Council (CCC) in
March 2003 to strengthen the relationships and cooperation between the WCC and the CCC.

Representation of the WCC was arranged at the assembly of the Church of Scotland and the United
Church of Christ in Japan and at the Synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany. Participation of
the WCC was also ensured in an ecumenical team visit to the churches in Togo..

The work of the Special Commission was complemented throughout the year by expanding
reflection and discussion of the issues on its agenda through special events; visits; contacts;
dialogues; documentation both for the use of member churches and the SC; translation and
interpretation of WCC documents for distribution in Orthodox Churches for a better understanding
of the activities of the WCC; support for young Orthodox scholars to do research on ecumenical
issues; and organization of ecumenical training workshops.

The Steering Committee of the Special Commission met in Neapolis, Greece in June 2003. The
Committee continued working on consensus method and membership. It was informed about
ongoing work on ecclesiology by Faith and Order and the extent to which this work responded to
the concerns expressed by the Special Commission. It reviewed and tried to further clarify the
sections of the Special Committee Report on worship and the “parity committee”.

A seminar on the ecumenical movement and the WCC was held in Port-au-Prince, in cooperation
with the Protestant Federation of Haiti. It was attended by some 30 participants from the Methodist
Church, a member of the WCC, and Evangelical and Pentecostal churches in Haiti which are not
members of the Council. The participants recommended that the Protestant Federation of Haiti
apply for the status of associate council with the WCC.

The Study on Membership, begun in 2001, was concluded in 2002. Staff facilitated and coordinated
the work of the Membership Study Group. The final report was presented to the Executive
Committee and subsequently shared with the 2002 Central Committee where the recommendations
were approved. This concerns particularly new theological criteria for membership, the creation of a
new category of “Churches in association with the WCC”, the groupings of member churches for
the purposes of representation on governing bodies and participation in the life and work of the
WCC, the application procedures for membership and certain questions of membership oversight.

2. Widening the Fellowship
The Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC met in June 2003
and received reports from the sub-groups (consisting of members of the JWG and specialist-
consultants invited by the two bodies). The Plenary will conclude the studies and begin its work on
the Eighth Report. The work of the JWG is enriched by the wider co-operation between the WCC
and the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity, such as the on-going relationship with
Faith and Order and the co-operation between the team of Mission and Evangelism and Missionary
Orders in the RCC. A new area of co-operation will begin soon with the Pontifical Council on
Justice and Peace on issues of globalisation, conflict in Africa and human rights.
                                                 4

The third meeting of the Joint Consultative Group with Pentecostals was held in a Methodist
Retreat Centre near Seoul, under the theme the “Unity of the Church”. As requested at the previous
meeting, a selection of key WCC documents on ‘Unity’ had been sent to the members in advance.
The venue provided an opportunity for exposure to Pentecostalism in Korea. The members of the
group attended worship at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, which is the largest congregation
in the world and is part of the Korean Assemblies of God. They also participated in a theological
symposium held at another KAG church in Seoul hosted by the director of the International
Theological Institute. While the Korean Assemblies of God was not in a position to host an event
related to the WCC, it was nevertheless willing to organise and host a meeting in which their
ecumenical concerns could be voiced in the name of “Ecumenicals and Pentecostals”. The fourth
meeting was held in Cleveland TN, U.S.A: in May 2003.

The Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions had its annual meeting in October
2002 and its Executive Group met in May 2003. The WCC contributed to the agenda of the CWCs
by reflecting on the proposed Global Christian Forum and the question of reception of bilateral
dialogues. Since the year 2000, the Secretaries have been discussing the question of new roles for
CWCs in relation to the WCC. The Secretaries expressed their interest in contributing to the WCC
study process on “new ecumenical configurations”.

The Continuation Committee of the Global Christian Forum met from February 28 to March 1,
2003 in Amsterdam. It evaluated the third Consultation on the Forum proposal which took place in
June 2002 at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, USA. Positive aspects were highlighted: the
broad representation, the presence of many new people, the storytelling, the Provisional Purpose
Statement, the affirmation of the Forum proposal and the vision of the process. Among the critical
aspects were that some participants had expressed hesitation about their presence at the meeting and
several Evangelical and Pentecostal churches and organizations had declined the invitation. Some of
the main lessons drawn were the need for a clear sense of direction of the Forum process, and the
need to give the Forum a profile and communicate the idea more intentionally and more widely.

3. Promoting the Coherence of the Ecumenical Movement
A meeting of REOs and ecumenical funding agencies (Specialized Ministries) in 2002, in
conjunction with the annual meeting of REO general secretaries took place in December 2002 in
Geneva, hosted by the WCC and the CEC. The meetings were further informed by the ideas put
forward by the WCC general secretary on a “new ecumenical architecture”. This meeting of the
REO general secretaries, representatives of the Specialized Ministries and WCC staff was the first
of its kind and provided a setting for common reflection on the respective roles of the ecumenical
bodies and their cooperation, in the perspective of a new ecumenical configuration. The general
secretaries group agreed to continue this important discussion in conjunction with its 2003 meeting.

The Liaison Group between the Christian Conference of Asia and the WCC had its third meeting,
in Taipei, Taiwan just prior to the meeting of the CCA General Committee. One of the main
recommendations was that the CCA and the WCC coordinate as closely as possible the next
assemblies of the two bodies in 2005 (CCA) and 2006 (WCC), in terms of theme(s), Bible studies,
preparatory process etc. The Group also agreed that the minutes of its meetings should be shared
with the Asian members of the WCC Central Committee and the members of the CCA General
Committee. It is still hoped that a meeting between members of governing bodies can be arranged.
                                                  5

                                   Ecumenical Institute, Bossey

The renovated Château was inaugurated during a meeting of the Bossey Board on June 14 in an official
celebration with about 160 guests from the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, surrounding communities,
and long-time friends and former staff of Bossey, including a student from the first Graduate School in
1952. The beautifully-renovated facilities of Bossey provide an inviting, comfortable and well-equipped
setting for the Ecumenical Institute's activities and for visiting groups.

1. Ecumenical Formation
The 53rd Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies was held 2 September-17 December 2002. The 54th
session, under the theme Mission in a Broken and Suffering World was held 3 February-23 May 2003.

The Master of Ecumenical Studies programme was attended through spring 2002 semester by 11
students selected from a pool of 34 applicants (one woman and 10 men) from 7 countries, 5 regions,
and 7 denominations who graduated in June 2002. The Autumn 2002 semester was attended by 10
students from 38 applicants (3 women and 7 men) from 8 countries, 4 regions, and 6 denominations
who began studies in September 2002 .

The first Intensive English Summer Course, English as a Tool for Ecumenical Formation, took
place from 3 June-27 August, 2002, and the second Intensive English Summer Course started June
2 and will continue until August 29. During these courses, students are involved in a process of
ecumenical formation both through the practice of English used in some important documents of the
ecumenical movement and through life in community and worship.

The research programme continued its work on the following themes: The Present Situation of the
Religious Life in the World and its Challenges to the Ecumenical Movement and Towards an
Ecumenical Social Ethics in a Period of Accelerated Process of Globalisation.

Short-term seminars on contemporary subjects that confront and challenge churches have been
held, particularly oriented towards the wider formation of the laity. A few examples include:
Overcoming Violence against Women: the Theological and Ethical Challenges (September 2002),
Towards a Theological Statement on Disabilities and the Church (November 2002), Human
Sexuality (April 2003), Women in Mission (June 2003), Interpreting the Bible in Pluralist Contexts
(July 2003). Most of these seminars were organized in cooperation with various teams of the WCC.
More recently, a “Staff Liaison Group” was created, bringing together colleagues from Geneva and
Bossey for planning and organizing seminars on issues of common interest. Apart from these,
Bossey hosted other seminars organised by outside groups and international ecumenical
organisations.

2. Visiting Professors
While colleagues from the WCC staff were invited to teach in areas of their expertise, contacts were
developed with member churches and ecumenical institutions in order to secure the presence of
visiting professors with time-limited mandates. As a result, a visiting professor from the
Netherlands will strengthen the Bossey faculty with responsibility in the area of social ethics.

3. Publications
The Ecumenical Institute has published and widely distributed its Academic Programme (in WCC
working languages). Projects for the publication of books containing findings of the research
programme had been delayed for technical and financial reasons.
                                                  6

                          Dialogue with Neighbours of Other Religions
                             (Inter-religious Relations and Dialogue)

1. Bilateral and Multilateral Interfaith Dialogue
A consultation in October 2002, "Christians and Muslims in Dialogue and Beyond" brought
together forty persons, including leaders of major world Christian and Muslim bodies involved in
dialogue. It examined the present state of relations between Muslims and Christians, assessed what
has been achieved or attempted in dialogue and co-operation and reflected on the challenges in three
areas: reciprocal listening and working together in education, fostering citizenship and upholding
human rights, striving together in seeking justice and overcoming violence. The consultation
suggested the priorities for the local and regional collaborative work, and its findings will be
discussed in local and regional settings.

The three reports of the October Consultation opened the discussions in two seminars held in
Lebanon (May 2003) and Turkey (June 2003). The seminar in Turkey was co-sponsored with the
(Turkish) Intercultural Dialogue Platform, and the WCC delegation was able to discuss issues of
human rights and religious freedom with many of the interlocutors. It was opportunity to learn more
about the impact of recent political changes on the place and role of religion in Turkish society and
polity. There was also an exchange on the Churches’ positions regarding Turkey’s integration in the
European Union. The situation of Muslims in Europe was raised with government representatives
who expressed appreciation of the role of Churches in relation to the migrant communities.

2. Religious Plurality and Christian Identity
The "Ecumenical Considerations for Dialogue" approved by the Central Committee has generated
many requests from inter-faith partners to publish it in their own contexts.

Relations with the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) increased and IRRD was
asked to facilitate the ongoing process of developing a common theological and ethical basis
between Jews and Christians. Faith and Order, IRRD and the ICCJ are preparing for a study project
to discuss the inter-relationship of Jewish-Christian dialogue and the churches’ self-understanding.

A multi-faith workshop preparing for the Visser’t Hooft Memorial Consultation on Religion and
Violence brought together staff from DOV, Faith &Order, International Affairs Peace and Human
Security, IRRD, Bossey and people of other faiths to design the 2004 consultation. The theme
chosen is “Religion, power and violence - a consultation for inter-religious peace building”. An
interfaith study guide is suggested, for use multi-religiously and in our respective communities.

3. Promoting Relations with Neighbours of Other Faiths

a) Christian-Jewish relations
The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the International Jewish Committee for Inter-religious
Consultations (IJCIC) organized a Jewish-Orthodox Christian consultation in May in Thessaloniki
and invited a representative from the WCC. The consultation was more descriptive than entering
into any particular issue in depth. From the Jewish side, there was insistence that Orthodox
Christians come to terms with anti-Jewish manifestations in liturgy and worship. There was a
concerted Jewish – Orthodox Christian call to the Israeli government to give official recognition of
His Beatitude Irenaios, the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

b) Christian-Muslim relations
In response to requests for assistance from churches and related institutions, the WCC offered its
contribution to inter-religious educational events they planned and organized. Christian-Muslim
                                                  7

seminars were co-sponsored in Kaduna, (Nigeria), Kuala Lumpur, (Malaysia) and Cairo, (Egypt).
Much of the preparatory and organizational work was done by partner bodies but the WCC could
offer its good offices, expertise and facilitation of contacts with Muslim resource persons.

In the light of the interest of major world Islamic organizations in maintaining regular contacts
with the WCC, a coordination meeting was held in Lebanon in June 2003. In addition to exchanging
insights into the state of Christian-Muslim relations, the meeting explored ways of ensuring that
Muslims are more attentive to, knowledgeable about and - if needed and possible - involved in,
intra-Christian dialogue. The meeting also evaluated the role played by the WCC, often indirectly,
in making possible certain forms of intra-Muslim dialogue. The diversification of Muslim partners
of the WCC was affirmed and the search for more inclusive Islamic participation in WCC dialogue
activities was encouraged.

c) Other faith relations
Discussion with a visiting delegation from Myanmar focused on the possibility of a Christian-
Theravada Buddhist consultation capitalizing on the recent visit of the WCC general secretary to
Southeast Asia. This consultation would address the missionary understanding of Theravada
Buddhism and Christianity and how they relate to religious liberty and a religiously plural world.

WCC staff were invited to an inter-religious gathering organized by the Buddhist monastery in
Turin mid-May on the theme spiritual contributions for a multi-religious Europe and to a
weekend seminar on Spiritual Resources for the Construction of the new Europe.

d) Indigenous Beliefs and African Traditional Spirituality
A consultation in December 2002 in Dakar brought together representatives of the mainline
churches, African Instituted churches, African Traditional Religion, Islam and representatives of
Voodoo from Haiti. The significance of the concept of "The African Person" as a person identified
in a web of relations provided an enriching contribution to the discourse on the role of values in our
world today. The thrust of the consultation - to provide space for the integrity of African cultures,
religions and traditions - was much appreciated and the discussion focused on how to create this
space in the midst of the overwhelming domination of Christianity and Islam and how the specific
contribution of Africa could effectively enter into a synergy with other competing visions.

e) Annual staff meeting between WCC IRRD and Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue
Among issues in the meeting in Rome in June were the joint project "The Contribution of Africa to
Religious Life in the World", which involves a multi-faith meeting in 2004. The question of
proselytism was discussed in relation to Hindu-Christian relations and it was decided to embark
upon a common project as of 2004. This would be a multi-faith process, involving a hearing with
people of other faiths, a theological work on the issue of proselytism and conversation in relation to
inter-religious dialogue and concluded through a statement or code of conduct. Work on inter-
religious prayer will continue.

f) Current Dialogue
The June issue of Current Dialogue (no. 39) published articles on Religion and Violence. In
December 2002 the issue (no. 40) focused on the 'Guidelines for Dialogue and Relations with
People of Other Religions' and the report of "Christians and Muslims in Dialogue and Beyond".
                                                   8

                                    Ecumenical Focus on Africa

1. Ecumenical Accompaniment for Peace and Reconciliation Processes in Africa
Staffing for the Ecumenical Focus on Africa (EFA) was not in place until May 2002. Active lines
of communication were established with key ecumenical contacts in several countries (Liberia,
Sierra Leone, Angola, DRC, Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea). The Africa Peace Monitoring Group
(APMG) met regularly to review and evaluate situations and advise on appropriate action.

The Ecumenical Accompaniment for Peace and Reconciliation Processes provides a framework and
mechanism for infusing ethical values into these initiatives by:
  increasing the "sense of ownership" of the peace processes by the civil society and the people to
   safeguard a lasting peace;
  feeding in human rights questions and reconciliation mechanisms in the process;
  keeping the wider ecumenical family informed and thereby enable them to assist with advocacy
   work as appropriate.

Initial contacts have been established for the Somalia Peace Talks where the partners involved have
welcomed WCC's accompaniment.

In Uganda, where fighting has been continuing in the North for over a decade, the EFA facilitated
high-level contacts between the representatives of the government and the rebels. This opened
possibilities for further dialogue. The role of faith communities (Christian and Muslims) is
increasingly accepted by the warring parties.

2. Sudan Peace Talks
To reach a common understanding on the role of the ecumenical envoy at the Machakos Peace
Talks it became necessary to discuss the matter with all the key players. Meetings were held with
IGAD officials, ministers in the Sudan and Kenyan governments as well as those from SPLM/A,
and diplomatic envoys from countries accompanying the peace process (USA, UK, Norway, Italy,
Canada, Switzerland). Both Parties (GOS and SPLM/A) was to warmly welcome the involvement
of the ecumenical movement through WCC. Both recalled the role played by WCC in brokering the
Addis Ababa Peace Agreement in 1972. The sensitivity of the issue at hand requires a high level of
trust because highly confidential matters are involved.

While the table around which such negotiations are carried out cannot be expanded much further,
the Parties concerned agreed that the process could and should be envisaged whereby
insights/experience gained through peace processes from below (churches and civil society) can be
shared. Ethical values will be injected into the process, especially as the churches consider justice as
an inevitable element if the peace being sought is to endure and last.

A Sudan Resource Group was formed comprised primarily of people associated with the WCC and
based in Nairobi with the WCC President from Africa moderating to advise and assist the
ecumenical envoy. Alongside with WCC, the Sudan Ecumenical Forum (SEF) and its Core Group
remain the key bodies to whom the ecumenical accompaniment is accountable.

The Inter-Religious Council for Dialogue based in Khartoum has embarked on dialogue between
Muslims and Christians in Sudan. In consultation with SCC it was agreed to explore the possibility
of looking at the dialogue within the framework of the peace processes. Follow up work will be
coordinated with the IRRD.
                                                  9

3. The Journey of Hope Continued
In May 2002 the EFA with the participation of LWF and WARC convened a meeting of the AACC
presidium and the regional fellowships. The outcome was a major breakthrough in ecumenical
relations in Africa and the way forward for the AACC leadership. The main achievements were a)
an agreement that WCC seconds a staff person to serve as AACC interim general secretary; b)
designing a visioning process for AACC at its fortieth year (2003); c) gaining better clarity of the
relationships between AACC and the sub-regional fellowships.

Under the metaphor "journey of hope" adopted by the Harare Assembly in response to the
Africa Plenary the EFA joined with the Education and Ecumenical Formation team to
organize a consultation "The Journey of Hope Continued in September 2003 which
involved around 100 African educators, resource producers, ecumenical bodies and
churches to explore ways of renewing theological education and ecumenical formation in
the continent for the mission of the church and the benefit of society. In response to the
resulting plan of action the ecumenical partners from Europe and North America stated
that, "our accompaniment on the journey of hope in Africa is intentional, strong, and
heartfelt, and will remain a significant part of our on-going work."

4. EFA web site (within WCC web site)
Initial work has begun on a web site to promote spaces for engagement and exchange of
experiences for mutual inspiration. So far information about initiatives taken by churches,
communities, social movements is limited to a small circle of experts. The EFA web site
features stories of "journeys of hope" and people are invited to share experiences from their
own contexts.

5. NEPAD
The EFA formulated a concept paper on the ethical and spiritual basis for a new vision for Africa.
This served as a background document in preparation for a consultation, convened jointly with
AACC and SACC on ecumenical response to NEPAD (New Partnership in Africa's
Development) held from in March 2003 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The deliberations were held
under the theme “Behold I create a New Africa”. The action plan adopted by the consultation provides
a framework for collaboration between the ecumenical movement and NEPAD in translating that
theme into reality.

6. Continuing tasks
The EFA will continue monitoring efforts of churches in the areas of ecumenical social
responsibility and democratic change in Africa and efforts aimed at promoting ethical values in
public life.
                                                   10

                                    Decade to Overcome Violence

1. Accompanying churches and movements in processes of study and reflection
"Violence and Peace: An Interfaith Exploration into the heart of Religion" was the theme of the
weeklong consultation organized in collaboration with the Bossey Ecumenical Institute and Inter-
religious Relations in June 2002. About 45 participants representing various religious communities
took part in this event that relied a great deal on mutual trust and respect to search for traces of both
violence and peace in their religious traditions. There were case studies from Indonesia, Sudan, and
the Middle East and discussion on DOV’s four thematic foci. However, the complex relation
between religion, violence and power was an issue that dominated the discussions.

A Study Guide: Why violence? Why not peace? Was developed in collaboration between DOV and
ecumenical formation staff. The study guide is based on the four themes of the Decade. The English
version of the booklet was developed, printed and distributed in 2002, the German version in 2003.
Both English and German versions have been through re-prints and translations into other language
versions are ongoing.

Carried out in collaboration with JPC, the work of engaging the churches on violence against
women has continued with the help of an office set up in Edinburgh. A letter was sent to the
churches from the WCC General Secretary invoking information on actions and projects they have
undertaken on violence against women. The WCC resources on violence against women have been
documented and tabulated and are now available at the University of Glasgow (for more
information see the project's web site, linked to the DOV web site). Contacts have been maintained
with the network of women theologians and representatives of the Christian World Communions.
Correspondence was initiated with writers for the proposed WCC Publication "Reconciling
Memories: Women’s ways of Dealing with Histories of War and Conflict".

2. Annual DOV Theme
Following the recommendation of the CC 2002 to have an annual theme for DOV, the 2003 annual
DOV theme - "Sudan - Healing and Reconciliation" - is being addressed by a number of events
and world communions over this year and the next several years. DOV aims to work closely with
the Sudan Ecumenical Forum in developing the theme and drawing from the experiences in Sudan
as well as nurturing the peace process and the churches' contribution to it. Discussions have begun
to prepare proposals for the annual DOV focus on the US and on Asia, possibly including Myanmar
for the years 2004 and 2005. Contacts have been made with the Myanmar Council of Churches and
the US Conference Board to help with the decision making process. More information on the theme
is available on the DOV web site at http://www2.wcc-coe.org/dov

3. Facilitating information and communication
An inter-active, multi-lingual web site for the DOV was launched globally on December 10, 2002,
as a platform for sharing resources, announcing events, connecting with DOV coordinators and
activities across the globe. The DOV web site has rapidly become the most popular section of the
WCC web site. The site is visited fairly frequently but submissions are not as high as we would like.

The DOV communicator (working until September 2002) and WCC Visual Arts coordinator have
produced a DOV-related video on violence in Sierre Leone. The video, produced in cooperation
with the Ecumenical Council of Denmark and Danish TV, is completed, and is currently being sub-
titled into English.

From regions and countries, some examples of different initiatives and events that have been
organized under the DOV umbrella include:
                                                    11

   Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) made the DOV part of their strategic planning. A survey was
    conducted among their programs to determine where violence is encountered and how it is being
    addressed. In their annual strategic planning seminar the DOV and related themes were
    emphasized.
   In historic statements and under the leadership of the WCC, religious leaders from the US,
    Germany and other European countries took clear positions against war as an instrument of
    politics. Some of the churches clearly and explicitly taking position against war put it in the
    context of DOV.
   The Justice and Peace Commission of Gulu Archdiocese (Northern Uganda), the Church of the
    Province of Uganda, the Orthodox Church and Muslim leaders appealed to the Lord's Resistance
    Army in Sudan (LRA), the Uganda Government, the suffering people, and the international
    community to end the violence and particularly the abduction of children for military purposes.
   In September 2002, the Pacific Conference of Churches launched the DOV during its 8th
    Assembly, under the theme "Holy Spirit Weave Us Together in Your Peace".
   In May the Caribbean Conference of Churches launched the DOV combined with seminars on
    implementing DOV.
   South Pacific: The church, government and the legal profession, a women's activist and a
    medical practitioner shared their perspective on the Elimination of Violence during a public
    forum at the Pacific Theological College. Entitled, "Violence against Women and Children: A
    Theological Perspective", the forum hopes to not only highlight current strategies and challenges
    facing the various sectors of society committed to the elimination of all forms of violence, but to
    also identify ways to incorporate the issue into theological education and debate, as well as
    within the community of the church.
   In Cameroon each year since 1998, the Easter Week Campaign mobilizes Catholic, Protestant
    and Muslim believers as well as all people of good will against a social plague, in the light of
    faith. This year, with the slogan "together for security in Justice and Peace", it is insecurity in the
    cities and country sides of Cameroon that will be in the center of round-table discussions, social
    evenings and ecumenical services in Bamenda, Bafoussam, Douala, Nkongsamba, Garoua,
    Eseka and Yaounde. An animation handbook has been printed for groups and the community.
                                                    12

                                          Unity of the Church
                                         (Faith and Order team)

1. Studies
Since the Central Committee, drafting groups have furthered the work on the Nature and Purpose
of the Church, and on hermeneutics, and a second Consultation on Theological Anthropology
was held in El Paso in February 2003. The work on ecclesiology has also involved a number of
Seminars with Orthodox theologians in Sibiu and Thessaloniki.

The El Paso Consultation gathered some 20 participants representing different regions, churches and
expertise, including prominent scientist-theologians. It focussed on contemporary challenges – war,
violence, injustice, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and issues of genetechnologies and artificial intelligence.
The focus was on the question ‘What does it mean when Christians and churches proclaim and
confess that human beings are created in the image of God? The reflections took into account
work being undertaken in the WCC by the Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network (EDAN),
the Advisory Group on Issues of Human Sexuality and the Decade to Overcome Violence. The
resulting text is centered on the basic belief that human persons created in the image of God are
relational beings, and that whatever destroys, distorts or violates their ability and their destiny to life
and to foster caring and mutually nurturing relationships are against the will of God, and that the
churches have to give witness to this truth.

The work, undertaken with the JPC team, on Ethnic Identity, National Identity and the Search for
Unity was taken forward by a specialist consultation of biblical scholars in Bangor, Wales in June
2003.The scholars explored Old and New Testament texts dealing with themes that are evident in
the local self studies produced by Councils of Churches in Sudan, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Ireland,
including land, violence, issues of inclusion and exclusion, boundaries, the extent of Jesus’ mission
and the unity of the early Christian communities.

With the decision of the expanded meeting of the WCC Officers in November 2002 to place the
concern for theological reflection on peace in the Faith and Order team, work began to clarify and
refine the emerging proposals for the reflection process. A draft document was discussed at the
meeting of the Faith and Order Officers in January 2003 and was further developed by a small group
of scholars meeting at Cartigny in April 2003. In the light of these discussions, an outline of the
study was presented at the meeting of the Standing Commission in July 2003.The study focuses on
five themes and is participatory in its approach.

As part of Faith and Order’s participation in the work around DOV a workshop on healing and
reconciliation out of contexts of violence with biblical scholars and theologians in Africa was
organized in Johannesburg in May 2003.

2. Work with constituencies
In September 2002, a major consultation of United and Uniting Churches was held in Driebergen,
the Netherlands. The previous such consultation was held in 1995. This group of Churches, who
have sought to take the risk of moving into union, and who receive advice from the Faith and Order
Secretariat, addressed a number of questions to Churches and Christian World Communions
concerning their identity and the mission of the Church in today’s world.

Work continues with the Christian World Communions and Joint Working Group between the
WCC and the Roman Catholic Church.
                                                 13

In the context of cross team work, the Interim theological statement A church of all and for all has
been completed and is before this meeting of the Central Committee for action. This statement has
been a collaborative venture with the Ecumenical Disabilities Advocates Network (EDAN) and the
JPC team.

Work on issues of human sexuality – particularly the series of three Bossey Consultations -- has
involved considerable staff time and cross-team work. Some of the lessons gleaned from this
process will be the subject of a Hearing at this meeting of Central Committee.

3. Follow-up of 2002 Central Committee recommendations
In 2002, the Central Committee made a series of recommendations to Faith and Order through the
Programme Committee, Policy Reference Committee and on the basis of the Report of the Special
Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC. Most of these recommendations strengthened
the existing work of Faith and Order in the areas of ecclesiology and baptism. In collaboration with
the Commission World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) and the team on Inter-religious
Dialogue, the issue of religious plurality is being addressed by a series of Consultations (15
members) at Bossey to explore how far – if at all- it is possible for the member churches to move
beyond the San Antonio and Baar Consultation positions. Work on a statement for the Ninth
Assembly was set in motion by the Standing Commission in Strasbourg in July 2003.

4. Other issues facing the Commission and Team
Governing Bodies: In January the Officers of Faith and Order met with staff , and a meeting of the
Standing Commission took place in Strasbourg (transferred from Lusaka for financial reasons) in
July. The Officers further developed plans for the meeting of the Plenary Commission to be held in
Kuala Lumpur in July-August 2004, and discussed the ongoing studies of Faith and Order.

At their meeting in January 2003,the Faith and Order Officers began to explore the role of Officers
of the Commission. Since the Standing Commission no longer meets annually but every 18 months,
convening a meeting of officers has been found important. This necessitates a change concerning
their role and relationship to the Commission and staff. A draft document on their mandate was
discussed and has now been the subject of discussion at the Standing Commission in July.

The financial constraints have led to postponing meetings and publications (the latter makes
reception processes very difficult) and to reduce the size of conferences, which makes it more
difficult to maintain appropriate balances. Although new attempts have been made to identify
possible hosts for meetings – churches and universities – and to continue working by e-mail as
much as possible, the face-to-face encounter of persons wrestling with issues of unity, faith and
order in a multilateral forum and framework is essential. There are high expectations placed on this
team on the issues of ecclesiology, the nature of unity and common recognition of baptism (cf. The
Report to the CEC Assembly at Trondheim); with regard to worship materials; in respect to
dialogue processes by Christian World Communions and Uniting churches, and on issues of
violence and reconciliation.
                                                   14

                   Ecumenical Advocacy and Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts
                      (International Affairs, Peace and Human Security team)

The Report on Public Issues will provide a more comprehensive update on WCC work in conflict
situations and human rights. The following are additional highlights of activities in this programme:

1. Peaceful responses to conflicts and war
A major part of this work comes under the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine
and Israel (see page 29).

In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States and the consequent
military strikes in Afghanistan there were a series of armed attacks by religious extremists against
Christians, churches, hospitals, schools and other institutions in Pakistan. At the request of the
member church and the NCC a WCC pastoral delegation visited Pakistan in November 2002 to
express solidarity with the churches and Christians there, to listen and learn from the people about
the situation in the country as a result of the war in Afghanistan and to understand the challenge
facing the churches in the country. A written statement will be filed at the 59th Session of the UN
Commission on Human Rights and the International Affairs team continues to monitor the situation.

An International Ecumenical Conference on Terrorism in a Globalised World was convened by
NCC Philippines, the Christian Conference of Asia and WCC in Manila in September 2002 with the
participation of around 135 people from 28 countries, including people of other faiths. The
Conference noted that the “war on terror” had worsened the vulnerability of religious minorities in
many countries. Emergency laws enacted in all the regions are sometimes being used to victimise
and silence political opponents. The Conference called for upholding international and national rule
of law and refraining from indiscriminate branding of people, nations and others as terrorists. The
participants recommended forming a multi-religious People’s Forum on Peace for Life. The CCA
convened a meeting of the sponsoring bodies in February 2003 to follow-up.

The Middle East Council of Churches Executive Committee meeting in January 2003 endorsed the
request of the Jerusalem church leaders and the MECC General Secretary for the WCC to take the
lead in setting up the Jerusalem Ecumenical Center and administering its funds. International
Affairs has agreed to continue to take this responsibility until 2006, pending review. Having now
raised the necessary funds, the WCC is in the process of setting up the Center in association with
the Jerusalem church leaders and the MECC.

2. Ecumenical advocacy
The Sixth Annual Human Rights Programme was jointly organised by CCA and WCC in Jakarta
in December 2002. The 30 participants were young pastors, seminarians and human rights
defenders, mostly from the conflict regions of Indonesia. The programme, intended to equip human
right activists particularly in situations of conflicts, included an introduction to international human
rights instruments; study sessions on the theological basis for human rights work; monitoring and
documentation of human rights violations in critical situations; and effective ways of undertaking
advocacy work at the national and international levels on crucial human rights concerns.

The 58th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights took place in Geneva from
17 March to 25 April 2003. This year the WCC focused on human rights violations in Nigeria,
Pakistan, Indonesia and Sudan. Briefings were arranged, as were meetings with members of the
commissions, Special Rapporteurs and government missions. Written statements as well as oral
submissions were made. WCC staff accompanied the delegations and a half day seminar with the
International Service for Human Rights was organized.
                                                 15


Current developments of Truth and Reconciliation processes in different countries, especially in
Peru and Sierra Leone, were shared at a panel at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, stressing
the role of the churches and religious communities in these processes. The participation at an
International Impunity Tribunal in Colombia helped to deepen the understanding of the present
situation and to highlight WCC’s commitment to a peaceful solution to the conflict. A close follow-
up of the process focusing on an international instrument to prevent forced disappearances, as a way
to overcome impunity and grant justice, was made together with delegates from the South,
specially during the UN Commission on Human Rights.

An ecumenical consultation on small arms was held with the Fellowship of Christian Councils and
Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA) in Ghana in late November. Nine West African national
councils of churches as well as representatives from the AACC, FECCLAHA and a variety of peace
and human security organisations participated. A comprehensive and practical Programme of Action
was adopted to include awareness building at the community level, capacity building at the regional
level and facilitation and international advocacy at the level of the WCC. The WCC has followed up
with seed funding for peacebuilding and disarmament programmes to the nine participating NCCs
as well as substantive grants to FECCIWA and the AACC.

In preparation for the United Nations Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and the
Programme of Action 7-11 July 2003, WCC staff participated in:
 A governmental grouping called the Human Security Network in New York at the Canadian
    Mission on March 27. WCC/CCIA members Ernie Regher and Rubem Cesar Fernandes were
    invited as expert advisors and speakers.
 A consultation of governments on Arms Brokering in Oslo on April 24.
 A meeting by Ambassador Inoguchi, Japanese ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament
    and chair designate to the UN Biennial meeting on June 13.
 Four meetings of the “Geneva Process” to support the implementation of the UN Programme of
    Action on Small Arms and Light weapons from February to June, hosted by Quaker UN Office,
    UNIDIR and the Programme for Strategic and International Security Studies (IUHEI).
 A seminar in June on the UN programme of action on small arms hosted by the Geneva Forum
    previewing the “Biennial Progress Report” published by IANSA and "Biting the Bullet".

In May, WCC staff participated in a Roundtable Discussion organised by UNIDIR on Nuclear Non-
Proliferation in Africa in the Post Cold War Era, on the occasion of the launch of the book The
Treaty of Pelindaba on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone by Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji
Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Head of the United
Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).

3. Public issues and other matters affecting the team
In addition to the fuller report on Public Issues, a Seminar on state-church relations and what the
prophetic role of the church means in different contexts was organized with Christian government
representatives and Church people with experience of working in public office from Namibia,
Norway, South Africa and Sweden. The seminar was hosted by the South Africa Council of
Churches in Johannesburg in March 2003.

At the request of the All Africa Conference of Churches, WCC seconded Melaku Kifle to work with
AACC for one year to support AACC’s efforts to re-vision its mission, carry out plans for AACC’s
November 2003 Assembly and provide leadership until a new general secretary was elected.
                                               16

              Mission and Evangelism: Promoting the Ministry of Reconciliation
                          (Mission and Ecumenical Formation team)


In November 2002, the teams of Mission and Evangelism and Education and Ecumenical Formation
were merged. Both programmes share common issues and both also have a "movement" character
in the community. There is also the need to maintain the integrity of the three programmes under
this one team -- Mission and Evangelism, Ecumenical Formation, and the Ecumenical HIV/AIDS
Initiative in Africa.

1. Conference on World Mission and Evangelism
Preparations for the next World Mission Conference were central in the work of the team and the
CWME Commission (meeting in April 2003). Venue, date and title of the conference have been
decided and invitation letters sent out. A conference organizer has been appointed.

2. Mission Study and Relations
Work concentrated on issues relevant for preparing the CWME conference, through consultations,
papers and publications (IRM): the relevance of the missio Dei theology, mission in secular
contexts, theology of religions, healing and reconciliation as renewed focus of missiology. A
particular emphasis was laid on the dialogue with Pentecostal and charismatic theologians on the
question of Spirit, healing and mission (consultation in Ghana in December 2002).

Meetings attended to foster relationships included a meeting of representatives of European
Mission Councils in Basel, Switzerland; the International Consultation on the Impact of the
Globalization on World Mission of the World Evangelical Alliance; the Missions Commission in
Vancouver, Canada; and the meeting of the British and Irish Association of Mission Studies in
Edinburgh, Scotland.

The team maintained relationships with the CWME constituency and in particular with evangelical
mission bodies. Contact is constant with the Roman Catholic church and mission bodies through the
Roman Catholic consultant in the team. The supportive work of the International Network Forum
on Multi-cultural Ministry has continued.

3. Evangelism
An Ecumenical Letter on Evangelism (ELE) was published in September 2002 in four languages,
with an article on the Project Night Church, in the Cathedral of Copenhagen, Denmark, which
represents an effort to do mission and evangelism in the context of a Western post-modern and
secularised society. The issue also included the statement, “Following the Traces of God in This
World”, which was written by the participants in the Seminar “Sharing the Good News in the
Middle East”, held in Aleppo, Syria, June 2002.

Following the internal reorganisation in the WCC, the programme executive for evangelism was
appointed co-ordinator of the new Mission and Ecumenical Formation team, resulting in a wide
range of new responsibilities and increased workload.

Networking included participation in the meeting of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of
Peoples in Rome; travel to Athens, Greece, in preparation for the World Mission Conference March
2003; participation in a WCC delegation to China invited by the China Christian Council, and
participation and preaching at the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s General Assembly in Denver,
Colorado, in May 2003.
                                                  17

4. Community and Justice (Urban Rural Mission)
The URM (Urban and Rural Mission) Working Group met at the beginning of February 2003 to
analyze its future work vis-à-vis the new internal organization of the Council and to revise the
planned regional and global activities in light of the financial uncertainties. Regional meetings to
support the preparatory process towards the Mission Conference will be held, culminating in a
global conference in May 2004.

5. Health and Healing
The desk has received information that the Consortium, of which WCC is a part, has won the bid
for the "Communities Responding to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic" (CORE) Initiative of USAID,
which targets resources and technical assistance to faith- and community-based organizations
world-wide. This gives recognition to WCC as a body providing advice to faith communities on
matters related to community mobilization and AIDS, and will give new financial support for the
technical assistance that the team will be offering.

The Partnership Consultation was held in Nairobi, Kenya in May 2003, followed by the Health
Co-ordinating Agencies meeting.
                                               18

                           The Challenge of Ecumenical Formation
                           (Mission and Ecumenical Formation team)

1. Promoting and delivering ecumenical formation
The WCC Round Table Working Group on ecumenical formation for partner agencies has begun
its work. A group of WCC staff has begun to develop an approach to ecumenical formation in the
House.

Following the restructuring, a rearrangement of staff responsibilities has made it possible to
maintain relationships with OIKOSNET and its constituent associations even though administrative
responsibility no longer resides with the WCC.

The work on preparing a Resource Book on Holistic Education is in its final stages.

With respect to Inter-faith Learning, there has been participation in an NGO consultation on
Interfaith, Spiritual and Values Education. The Comenius Institute, Germany published “Shared
Learning in a Plural Word” which consists of papers from EEF consultations.

Two issues of EEF-NET have been produced and the ecuspace.net website has been used to make
other writing on ecumenical learning available.

2. Ecumenical Theological Education
The experience of working with the three regional consultants (Asia/Pacific, Latin
America/Caribbean and Central & Eastern Europe) has proved to be a useful strategy.

The ETE Working Group held its annual meeting to reflect on the experience of doing theological
education ecumenically and contextually. The Working Group also approves funding requests for
faculty and library development.

An emphasis of ETE is the participation of women in theological education. One of the means of
doing this is the Sarah Chakko Theological Endowment Fund. Another instrument is the Feminist
D.Min course based in San Francisco Theological Seminary. ETE encourages, e.g. through the
development of a curriculum, the engagement of theological education with the issues of
HIV/AIDS.

Three issues of Ministerial Formation have been published.

3. Scholarships
The Scholarships Working Group met twice to approve awards and to discuss policy. 93 awards
were made – 75 for individual study and 18 for group training.

There has been regular communication with National Correspondents and the constituency to
improve understanding of the programme and to improve the quality of applications. Changes have
been made in the administration to ensure the efficient functioning of the programme. The lack of
funding for theological studies continues to be a major concern.
                                                   19

                       The Ethics of Life and Alternatives to Globalization
                                (Justice, Peace and Creation team)

1. Economic globalization: affirming alternatives
The vision of another world at the World Social Forum III held at Porto Alegre, Brazil from
January 23-28, 2003, created a unique space where over 100,000 diverse people, organisations and
political groups to share similar visions of a world with justice, sustainability and peace for all.
More than 70% of the participants were young people. This time, the churches, the ecumenical
family and its related agencies were visible. The WCC organised five workshops which were well
attended.

The WCC was invited by senior officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to dialogue
about development issues. In response, the WCC General Secretary, in letters to the President of the
World Bank (WB) and the Managing Director of the IMF, proposed a series of encounters between
the institutions that will discuss the fundamental questions regarding world development today. The
first Encounter between WCC and the WB/IMF was held in February 2003 and focused on:
“Evolution of institutional mandates and related views/concepts of development” to allow
discussion of the historical progression of institutional mandates as well as the institutions’ different
views and operational paradigms of development that are manifested in trade, financial and other
socio-economic policies. A seminar on "Towards a Caring Economy: Women Transforming
Economic Globalization" preceded the encounter.

A WCC-CLAI Seminar on Youth and Globalisation brought together young people from 12
countries in Latin America in April in Buenos Aires. The seminar focused on globalisation, foreign
debt, and international trade and their consequences for young people and the churches. The
participants prepared a variety of projects addressing economic justice in the local context. Most of
them also continued as participants in the following WCC-CLAI consultation on globalisation.

The WCC and the Latin American Council of Churches organised a consultation on “Globalizing
the Fullness of Life.” The churches in Latin America had prepared a document critical of the neo-
liberal economic policies in Latin America called, “Seeking Solutions-Moving Forward: The
Protestant Churches say enough is enough.” Based on this document and inputs from international
speakers on trade ( WTO) and finance, particularly on the issue of debt, the consultation produced a
statement on how churches can work for a fullness of life for all people. The consultation drew over
70 participants and took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a country which is heavily indebted. The
major aim of the consultation was to enable churches to analyse critically the neo-liberal policies in
Latin America manifested through the Free Trade Area of the Americas and the financial policies of
the World Bank and IMF and WTO. JPC and the WCC regional desk cooperated in the planning of
the consultation and extensive coverage was organised by the WCC Public Information team.

2. Being church: strengthening voices of women, youth and racially oppressed and indigenous
peoples
In order to energise itself and to reflect on directions for its work, the JPC Team called together 20
church leaders from all parts of the world to reflect on some of the challenges to ecumenism in the
21st century – particularly in the context of globalisation and the war on terror. A helpful
differentiation was made between globalisation as a process which is inevitable and historic and
globalisation as a project, controlled by centres of political and economic power. Some
programmatic implications from the discussion were drawn up.

Based on decisions taken at the end of 2002, the Indigenous People’s Programme has been
relocated to La Paz, Bolivia as of June 1, 2003. A moving ceremony to open the office was attended
                                                20

by church leaders in La Paz and representative staff of WCC. A memorandum of understanding has
been signed between WCC and CLAI (Latin American Council of Churches) and Eugenio Poma has
been appointed as a staff member of CLAI. The Justice, Peace Creation Team will maintain its links
with the La Paz office and with the network of Indigenous Peoples developed by the WCC over the
last several years. From Bolivia, the programme will continue to challenge the churches worldwide
to ensure that the theological and spiritual contributions of Indigenous Peoples are nurtured.
Additionally, negotiations have begun with the NCC India to ensure that the solidarity that WCC
has built with Dalit Peoples in India is also maintained.

A Study Guide on the theme of Transformative Justice was recommended by the Central
Committee in 2002. As a follow up, four resource persons from different parts of the world met in
Geneva in March 2003 and July 2003. The Study Guide will be disseminated to member churches
and ecumenical partners, articulating the understanding of Transformative Justice as a step forward
in the struggle against racism. Responses from member churches, church related anti-racism
programmes, Indigenous Peoples and Dalits will be solicited in preparing the Guide.

36 stewards have been selected to attend the WCC Central Committee. A one week ecumenical
leadership training seminar has been prepared for the days prior to the Central Committee.

The WCC will welcome six interns from September 2003 to September 2004. The teams to host the
interns are: Church & Ecumenical Relations; Justice, Peace, Creation; Faith & Order; Public
Information; International Affairs; Diakonia & Solidarity.

3. Caring for life: reflecting on the ethics of life and life-sustaining alternatives
JPC has been following up on the 2002 Central Committee decision on issues related to genetic
engineering.. The debate on genetically modified crops became a major issue in 2003. The concern
for GMOs and food aid is now taken up by Action by Churches Together (ACT), the Lutheran
World Service (LWS) and the WCC/JPC Team.

In preparing for the Caring for Life Plenary at this year’s Central Committee, the working group on
genetic engineering met with representatives of the United Methodist Church (UMC) in May 2003
in Washington DC (USA) at the invitation of the UMC. The working group explored the ethical and
theological challenges posed by human genetic technologies with the help of scientists active in
stem cell research and theologians working on genetic engineering. It also benefited from the
discussion on Artificial Intelligence and Biotechnology at the meeting of the Faith and Order study
group on Anthropology in 2003 in El Paso (USA).

The JPC team has also embarked on a survey of statements on biotechnology and genetic
engineering by churches and ecumenical partners.
                                                  21

                                      Diakonia and Solidarity

1. Relocation of regional desks and other team issues
In November 2002, the WCC Officers decided that the regional desks for the Middle East and the
Pacific would be relocated to the regions. Implementing this decision has involved considerable
work. In the Pacific, a consultation with leaders of member churches in the Pacific was held in
Suva, Fiji in March to discuss the relocation. Although the decision was a painful one for the church
leaders, they expressed their commitment to WCC and to the new office. Necessary steps were
taken to open the office and to relocate staff to Fiji in early June. Registration of the WCC Office in
the Pacific is expected to be completed by July 2003 and an opening ceremony will be held once
that is accomplished. In the Middle East, consultations are on-going with church leaders in the
region and recruitment of a new Programme Executive will begin in mid-July, with hopes of
opening the office later in the year.

The reduction of programme staff in the WCC Office in New York from three to one, coupled with
the retirement of the remaining staff member, has also required sustained attention. An enlarged
meeting of the US Board in February 2003 discussed the consequences of this decision for its work
and gave guidance to staff in following up these issues. Recruitment is underway for a new
Programme Executive for USA with particular responsibility for relationships, and who is expected
to be in place shortly after the Central Committee meeting. The office will move into smaller space.
WCC programme staff in New York include the UN representative, the fund development officer
and the programme executive for the USA. D&S staff are working closely with staff in Budget and
Planning and International Affairs to ensure that, although located in two different locations, WCC
staff in New York function as a single office.

The former RRES staff visited US partners in October 2002, strategic planning was done to achieve
more coherence for the team as a whole, and relations with ACT and Aprodev strengthened. An
external evaluation of the Strategic Initiatives Fund was undertaken, with the final report expected
in July 2003. The team engaged in dialogue with specialized ministries/agencies on a number of
issues and is working to support the agencies’ efforts to increase their collaboration. The regional
desks provided support for visits by the WCC General Secretary and other staff.

2. Ecumenical work on children's issues
The Asia desk facilitated 6 National Consultations on children in collaboration with NCCs in
Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka in the second half of 2002. In
Latin America a Consultation on the Dignity of Children was organised in Buenos Aires through
CLAI in November 2002. In co-operation with NCCs in the Caribbean, research and analysis was
initiated on the programmes and projects related to improving the situation of children with
HIV/AIDS. The Europe desk was involved in several programmes to address the issue of street
children, abandoned children, in Russia, Romania and Armenia through partners in these countries.

3. Uprooted people
WCC’s work with uprooted people, which is now included in the Diakonia and Solidarity team,
focused on supporting regional working group meetings in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East
and Europe as well as organizing the Global Ecumenical Network meeting on Uprooted People in
September 2002. Staff, sometimes joined by partners, have actively advocated on protection issues
with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) both through formal meetings
and through informal contacts. Staff have also participated in meetings of the Steering Committee
for Humanitarian Response, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, and the International Council of
Voluntary Agencies --all of which are working to improve the humanitarian response of the
international community.
                                                22


4. Regional initiatives

a) Africa
Through ecumenical enablers and its staff, the desk planned and participated in the Core Group and
Round Tables of a number of partners, including those in Burundi, South Africa, Sudan (SCC) and
Uganda (Church of Uganda/PDR). The core group of the African Regional Group met in January
2003 and the full regional group will meet in September. In April 2003, the Africa desk participated
in the Round Table in Madagascar and facilitated the Round Table that took place in the same
month in the Democratic Republic of Congo - both are new Round Tables.

The accompaniment of the process of renewal of AACC has culminated with the election of the
new General Secretary in the beginning of May.

An evaluation of previous Round Tables was carried out in Nairobi by Corat Africa with the
participation of Christian Councils from Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana, Botswana, Tanzania,
Kenya and Lesotho. Management development has been carried out with FOCCISA and a meeting
on ownership and sustainable development was organized with FECCIWA in Nigeria.

b) Asia
In September, the Asia desk organized a consultation of ecumenical development agencies and
mission boards from Europe and North America and South Asian Church leaders on Social and
Human Development in South Asia. In December 2002 the Asia desk organized several meetings
in Geneva, related to partnerships in the Philippines, East Timor and Sri Lanka. The South Asia
Ecumenical Partnership Programme (SAEPP) was launched in a meeting of the ecumenical
partners and South Asian NCCs in Colombo, Sri Lanka in March 2003. Through SAEPP,
programmes of five South Asian NCCs in the area of Peace and Reconciliation, Combatting
HIV/AIDS, Capacity Building/Leadership Development and Inter-religious Co-operation will be
supported for a period of three years.

The Asia Desk coordinated the CCDB Bangladesh Round Table in 2002 and also attended the
CASA Round Table Meeting held in March in Delhi, after a gap of eight years. This has helped to
begin a process of mending the estranged relation between CASA and WCC. The Asia Desk and
CCA, together with EDAN, organised a consultation on Ecumenically Disabled Advocacy Network
in Asia, in Bangkok in March. This new initiative brought together 25 disabled persons from 16
countries in Asia and led to the formation of an Asian ecumenical network of disabled persons.

The Asia Desk organised the visit of a delegation of Government Religious Affairs Bureau
Officials and Church leaders from People’s Republic of China to Norway, Germany and
Switzerland from March 19 to April 4 as part of a study visit to understand how churches engage in
social development work and how church state relations are seen and function in these European
countries. The delegation visited WCC on 26 March. In April, the Asia desk organized a seminar
on the “Current situation of the Church in China” at the Ecumenical Centre and also facilitated
the visit of a seven member delegation composed of the new leadership of the China Christian
Council to WCC. A delegation from the Myanmar Council of Churches visited WCC in May.

A capacity-building programme for second line Church leaders from Vietnam, Laos and
Cambodia was organised by Asia Desk jointly with the Christian Conference of Asia and with the
assistance of the Ecumenical Enablers Team in Asia (EETA). Asia Desk organised a consultation of
Ecumenical Enablers’ Team in Asia (EETA) in Bangkok. EETA’s function will be to assist the
WCC to implement capacity building programmes in the regions by acting as a pool of resource
                                                23

persons for training programmes and serve as facilitators in training sessions and workshops
organised by churches and councils.

c) Caribbean
Regional group meetings were held in October 2002 and May 2003. The May 2003 meeting was
preceded by the regional launch of the Decade to Overcome Violence with a visit to Vieques. Since
2001, the regional group meetings have developed a new character with the strong participation of
National Councils of Churches and close coordination of work at the programmatic and planning
levels with the Caribbean Conference of Churches. Presently the Caribbean desk is giving high
priority to increasing communication between the English-speaking Councils, the CCC and the
Protestant Federation of Haiti.

Follow-up has continued on the research project on New Religious Movements and on
Concentration Policies of the Agencies. Reports have been completed on Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica,
Trinidad and the Dominican Republic which will be used as to analyze the impact of the agencies’
concentration policies on the region. Mediation initiatives intended to strengthen relations and
communication between churches and ecumenical organizations in the Caribbean were carried out,
with particular emphasis on Haiti. Support and training of members of the National Councils of
Churches with respect to stopping the violence in the Caribbean were carried out. The Protestant
Federation of Haiti and about 15 church representatives participated in the Ecumenical
Management Development Plan. The desk continues to play a role in mediating between the
Caribbean Conference of Churches and European specialized ministries/agencies.

d) Europe
The WCC Europe desk and the Eastern Europe Office coordinated a wide range of diaconal and
development programmes in Central and Eastern Europe in 2002-2003. Programmatic work was
closely coordinated with the Conference of European Churches (CEC). Examples include the
national ecumenical platforms in support of the churches’ social service which were developed in
Albania, Armenia, Belarus, FYR of Macedonia, Russia and Slovakia.

New initiatives were taken in Moldova and Ukraine, and in former Soviet Central Asia. A
consultation on Central Asia was organized in Geneva in May which brought together local partners
with specialized ministries/agencies to develop an ecumenical strategy for the region. The WCC
network of church-related diaconal partners was widened and new joint initiatives in the field of
training and capacity-building with church partners, information-sharing and advocacy were
planned. The European Regional Partnership Group met in April in Slovakia, bringing together
some 70 representatives of ecumenical and church-related organizations in Europe.

In the Balkans, the WCC South-East Europe Partnership developed networking and enabled new
ecumenical projects in the areas of refugee return, capacity-building, and peace and reconciliation,
especially in Serbia and Bulgaria. A range of educational, training and youth projects were
undertaken. A special website was developed to encourage tolerance and exchange
(www.balkanchurches.net). The Ecumenical Women’s Solidarity Fund in former Yugoslavia
completed an intensive year of healing and reconciling work with women and children and prepared
to mark its tenth anniversary in 2003.

A strategic planning process of WCC’s work in Central and Eastern Europe was completed and the
mandate of the WCC Eastern Europe Office (based in Eastern Poland) was renewed. Efforts were
devoted to conceptual and theological work in the area of the social witness and service of the
churches and an international conference on Orthodox witness and service was planned. Particular
                                                 24

attention was given to strengthening analysis and sharing knowledge among the churches in Europe
through the WCC web page (www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/europe.)

e) Latin America
Staff participated in the CESE Round Table in October 2002, convened the CLAI-European
Agencies Round Table in November and participated in the Regional Group Meeting, held in
December in Nicaragua.

A high point in the work of the desk was the Joint CEC-CLAI Consultation on Mission and
Cooperation which was held in April 2003 in Hamburg, Germany, in close collaboration with
EMW. Among issues identified for further common discussion were: mission of church in society
and ecumenical mission; community contexts; evangelization; Pentecostal trends in different
churches; minority/majority roles of the churches and implications for citizenship and civil rights;
globalization and economic justice; growing fundamentalism; and cooperation and partnership.
Follow-up will be discussed in a joint planning meeting with CLAI in August 2003.

As the next Assembly will be held in Brazil, the Latin America desk has been particularly busy with
Assembly preparations throughout the period.

f) Middle East
The Middle East desk continued to monitor and plan necessary follow-up for four Round Tables in
the region: the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Department of Service to Palestine Refugees (DSPR),
the ICNDR in Lebanon, and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC). The core group of the
Middle East Regional group met in September 2002 in Damascus and the regional group met in
April 2003 in Egypt. These meetings provided a forum for discussing diaconal work in the region in
light of the continuing Israel/Palestine conflict and the war in Iraq. In this regard, the Middle East
desk provided translations of a number of WCC statements and documents into Arabic.

The Middle East desk participated in the Gulf Churches Conference, organized by MECC, in
Kuwait in October 2002. Hosted by the local churches in Kuwait, this meeting brought together
representatives of different churches in the Arabic Gulf, most of whom serve migrant workers. This
was followed by the MECC Partners Meeting in Kuwait from 1-5 November which included
meetings with local Kuwaiti churches.

g) Pacific
The Pacific desk organized the representation of the WCC to the 8th Assembly of the Pacific
Conference of Churches (PCC). One of the main events during this Assembly was the launching of
the Decade to Overcome Violence for the Churches in the Pacific region. The WCC President for
Oceania, Bishop Jabez Bryce, officiated in the launch.

The PCC Round table core group met in November 2002. This meeting endorsed the proposed
programme that resulted from the Assembly and agreed on an external evaluation of PCC structures
and programmes since the time of the last review in 1999. The Pacific desk also organized the last
in the series of consultations on finance and management programmes as part of its capacity
building programme. The main result of the consultation was the unanimous call of the participants
to support the activities of the Pacific Churches Finance and Management Society.
                                                 25

                                  Communicating the Fellowship
                                    (Public Information team)

1. Issues affecting the team
Since the last Central Committee meeting and through 2003 the Public Information Team (PIT) has
been impacted by major staffing transitions. In addition to staffing reductions, all but one member
of the team either began work with the WCC or had a major redefinition of their position in 2002-
2003. The WCC's financial pressures have also meant that some of the teams have had to reduce or
eliminate their printed publications to their specific networks. New ways of sharing information are
being explored and supported, including electronic means of distribution, while ensuring access to
essential information for all of WCC's constituency.

While staffing and resources have been reduced, expectations and demands remain high. Indeed the
emphasis on "raising the visibility" of the WCC has been given more priority by the governing
bodies and WCC leadership given the financial pressures and heavy competition for funds in the
global market place, and the increased need for a strong and clear voice of the churches in the
international arena.

2. Media Relations
In addition to daily tasks of preparing and distributing press material and responding to media
enquiries, the media relations office has:
 Expanded the press material available in four languages.
 Created a "news flash" service in response to media feedback for shorter alerts - providing a
    short description of action in four languages, with a link to full text on the web.
 Added service of offering selected free photos for use with WCC press material for added
    incentive for publication.
 Incorporated the North American media distribution list due to staff reduction in the US office;
And are
 Developing targeted press distribution lists.
 Developing a WCC media calendar and expanding services for press on the WCC web site.

3. Web
The WCC web site is undergoing some fundamental changes technically, conceptually and
structurally:
 Technically, more of the pages are moving onto a database system that provides easier searching
    and archiving possibilities. Other technical improvements allow for greater interactivity, so that
    people can enter and link to their own information on selected parts of the site (the DOV web
    site launched on December 11 for example), or so that work done in different locations can be
    loaded locally (e.g. EAPPI reports loaded directly in Jerusalem).
 The concept of "on-line services" that allows individuals to indicate areas of interest and
    register for electronic publications and information updates has become operational and is being
    used initially with WCCNews, Contact, and Behind the News: Visions for Peace - Voices of
    Faith. The service expands WCC contact with the general public, as well as more opportunities
    for cost-effective distribution.
 Facilities for on-line giving have been added, and campaigns to promote this tool for
    fundraising begun through cooperation with the Budgeting and Planning team.
 Conceptually, the team will be working strategically on redesigning the site to allow for
    thematic access to information, including better search by issues and keywords and the
    consideration of other domain names.
                                                  26

4. Visual Arts
Staff and financial cuts have made it necessary for more strategic focusing for WCC video and
photo services. Given the extraordinary resource of Photo Oikoumene as a unique and professional
photo service of the ecumenical movement, PIT is working on improving the on-line service and
providing selected free photos with media products. The priority of the service is the visibility of the
WCC and the work of churches through the use (with credit) of the photos.

Recent video productions have included Facing the Future, produced with the WCC youth desk
and WSCF. However, due to staff cuts and strategic focus on PhotoOikoumene, future video
productions will be out-sourced.

Other items, such as the new WCC display developed with the Publications and Research team,
provide resources to project the image of the WCC. As we move into the future, the intention is that
more resources will be integrated and use multi-media (stories, photos, exhibits, powerpoint,
broadcast video) to project a cohesive and engaging image of the WCC.

5. Programme Liaison
Staff cuts in 2002 eliminated the positions of cluster communication officers, and combined the role
of "programme liaison" with the team coordinator to link programme activities with communication
services and products and assist with strategic communication of priority issues and activities.
Setting up meetings with each of the programme teams in the first quarter of 2003 was part of the
efforts in helping both teams prioritize activities and develop better collaboration in communication
activities.

Production of Behind the News: Visions for Peace - Voices of Faith, oversight of WCC News
developed jointly with Publications, and helping to develop resources such as the Ending
Occupation: Voices for a Just Peace video are part of the activities of the position.

The coordinator/programme liaison officer now serves as the WCC liaison to ENI. Strong
cooperation with ENI continues, with support on covering issues and stories, and looking at ways to
connect services. This year the WCC has renegotiated its annual grant to ENI, reducing the grant by
15% in line with other cuts made by the WCC in 2002. This takes into account the ENI business
plan to broaden its financial base while maintaining WCC's strong and essential support for a news
service sharing stories of church and ecumenical life.

A number of events were selected for high priority coverage through efforts engaging the entire
team. One example of the integration of programme, web, and media communication is highlighting
the voice of the WCC and the churches against the war in Iraq. In particular, press, web and photo
coverage of the strong statements of the Berlin 5 February meeting, Executive Committee, and the
General Secretary on 20 March; providing, with Faith and Order and Inter-religious Relations and
Dialogue, prayers to accompany the Day of Prayer called for by the Executive Committee; an on-
line petition campaign in support of the church leaders statement which resulted in over 9,000
individual supporters and a wide dissemination through a fascinating variety of networks; and
submitting an opinion article by Konrad Raiser to the International Herald Tribune, published on
April 8. Coverage showed that the WCC's strong position, the virtually unanimous position of the
churches, the inclusion of calls for prayer, and addressing issues of religious language, were the
right approaches in this intense media debate, and illustrated good cooperation among different
teams in the WCC that helped in forming strong messages and actions.
                                                  27

                                   Telling the Ecumenical Story
                                  (Publications and Research team)


1. Publications, Sales and Distribution
Major efforts and new initiatives have been undertaken to improve the distribution and to
coordinate the production of WCC printed materials.

Since the summer of 2002 the team has set up a new distribution network. The aim is to put in
place, parallel to on-going efforts with sales through the churches, a network of professional
commercial distributors to increase the distribution of WCC publications in university and
theological libraries and bookshops.

A new initiative has started with Editions du Cerf in Paris, the largest publisher of religious
publications in France, for the publication of a number of books in French. Plans are underway to
co-publish five or six titles a year. The first co-publication, a French translation of Konrad Raiser’s
book, For a Culture of Life, was launched on 12 June, 2003 at a meeting with representatives of
ecumenical bodies, French churches and the press. The WCC general secretary was present. Two
other titles will be published in 2003.

In collaboration with the Public Information Team, a new leaflet on the WCC has been prepared in
the five working languages of the WCC plus Portuguese. WCC Publications also prepared a small
flier on the WCC in Norwegian for the CEC General Assembly in Trondheim in June. WCC
Publications co-edited with the Conference of European Churches the document Charta
oecumenica. Publication of the DOV Study Guide in English/French/ German and Spanish was
completed in May 2003.

Since the last Central Committee, WCC Publications has published six books and co-published
five others, as well as two issues of the Ecumenical Review. Preparations are on-going on a
document on the Special Commission to be published in the four working languages as well as
Russian, Greek and Arabic.

A project to put the Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement onto CD-Rom is being studied; this
would allow for regular updates. Work is going forward with the publisher on the Brazilian
Portuguese edition of the Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement, due out in February 2004. In
collaboration with the Public Information Team, a preparatory process for publication of documents
and materials for the Ninth Assembly in Porto Alegre has begun.

A policy to centralise production and printing of WCC materials, effective January 2003, for
production, printing, and distribution of WCC print publications is being coordinated by the
Publications and Research Team. The aim is to include all documents which are intended for
distribution outside the Ecumenical Centre. The advantages include:
 Through involvement in the Publications Board, teams will be informed of plans for
    publications and other material so overlap can be avoided and creative integration encouraged.
    Colleagues throughout the WCC will have access to all plans for production of materials.
 The WCC will be better able to present consistent, clear messages.
 Editorial control of periodicals, reports, and other publications will remain with the teams, but
    an overall graphic style for all publications emanating from the WCC will be implemented.
 Teams will propose publications they wish to produce and maintain financial control over their
    publications budget.
                                                 28

2. Library and Archives
A major process of staff change and reorganisation was initiated at the end of 2002, in the context
of the plans to create an Ecumenical Research Centre between the Geneva and the Bossey
Libraries (with funding from the Pictet Bank). By June 2003, the new staff resources, both for the
permanent positions at the library and for the short term positions (until the end of 2004), with
regard to the implementation of the Pictet project were in place. The project is to create a single
library on two sites (Geneva and Bossey) in order to develop the collections and make them more
coherent and accessible to researchers and students.
 The new computer system for paper, photo and audio/video archives is now in place and
    qualified staff have been hired on a limited 2-year contract to implement the new system in the
    context of the Ecumenical Research Centre project.
 Cooperation between the Public Information team’s PhotoOikoumene and Web staff and the
    photo archives has been developed.

3. Language Service
The service has been affected by staff reductions. The appointment of a 50% translator for Spanish
was delayed but is hoped to be filled by the time the Central Committee meets. The staff is working
hard to:
 ensure that the capacity of the Council to communicate in several languages is maintained and
    improved, as a matter of principle.
 work with the WCC teams in identifying translation and interpretation needs and to set priorities
    and guidelines to respond to these requests. To this effect a Language Policy paper has been
    drawn up and discussed with the teams.
 update and work on the "ecumenical terminology" to allow for consistent translations and
    interpretation of ecumenical language (as illustrated, for example, around the term "ecumenical
    worship").

In preparation for the next Assembly to be held in Porto Alegre, early planning is required to
identify the needs and take the necessary action so that staff and others who might be called to help
in the interpretation and translation are trained adequately.
                                                29

                            International Ecumenical Initiatives

               Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel

Since the programme was launched in August 2002, 40 Ecumenical Accompaniers (EA’s) from
more than 30 churches and ecumenical partners in 7 different countries have participated in the
programme, coming from: Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom
and the United States. They were placed in and were accompanying the work of a large variety of
local churches, Palestinian and Israeli organizations located in the Gaza Strip, several towns and
villages in the West Bank (Jayyous, Tulkarem, Bethlehem, Zababdeh, Jenin, Hebron and Ramallah)
as well as East and West Jerusalem. Their tasks included accompanying health teams crossing
military checkpoints; assisting organisations engaged in human rights, peace, information and
ecumenical efforts with fieldwork, research, documentation and reporting on issues; working with
the Christian congregations in Jerusalem, visiting church schools and homes, and accompanying
church leaders on local travels and meetings; accompanying humanitarian workers delivering relief
aid; delivering vocational training and sessions on non-violence to women's groups. The EA’s
produced numerous articles as well as dozens of photographs, which have been put up on the
programme's website and distributed globally to churches, NGOs, media, UN bodies and
governments.

The WCC International Affairs (IA) team has been coordinating and managing this programme with
a group of national coordinators from nine countries who have either asked to join or sponsor EA’s;
each being a consortium of churches and ecumenical organizations: Canada formed by 4
churches/organizations, Denmark with 3, Finland with 1, Germany with 7, Norway with 4, Sweden
with 12, Switzerland with 5, the United Kingdom with 3 and the United States with 4. The
WCC/EAPPI staff is composed of a 50 % programme assistant and a 50 % administrative staff in
Geneva and one full-time local programme coordinator in Jerusalem working with the IA
Programme Executive for Middle East affairs, who serves as the Executive Coordinator of the
EAPPI. National coordinators are responsible for the recruiting and in-country training of
accompaniers. IA organizes two face-to-face meetings of all coordinators annually and works
through email and conference calls in between. WCC is now in the process of hiring two more staff
for the Jerusalem field office.
                                                 30

                      Ecumenical HIV/AIDS Initiative in Africa /EHAIA)

EHAIA is a tri-partite undertaking among churches in Africa, churches and their agencies in the
North and the WCC, with the aim of making churches “AIDS competent”. The Plan of Action
developed in a consultation of church leaders in Nairobi in November 2001 was made operational
on the WCC side through a document passed by the Executive Committee in February 2002.
EHAIA started as a special WCC program in April 2002. The speed with which EHAIA was
established was to some degree achieved at the expense of participation of churches in Africa and in
the North; this was criticized by some National Councils of Churches in Southern Africa.
During the period under report three regional coordinators were appointed and their offices were set
up with various church bodies or NGOs as hosts (Harare for Southern Africa, Nairobi for Eastern
Africa, Accra for West Africa) in addition to the already existing office in Kinshasa for Central
Africa. Four regional reference groups, each consisting of ten experienced persons in the local
churches’ HIV/AIDS work, were appointed for each region and have met to guide the work in the
respective regions. Prior to this, the international reference group met parallel to the last Central
Committee Meeting here in Geneva. Procedures for managing this special program within the WCC
administrative structure were also worked out. A theology consultant was added to the coordinator
positions with support from other programs of WCC. The consultant’s objective is to bring
HIV/AIDS into the curricula of theological training institutions for lay and clergy.

Examples of programme activities
The services of the coordinators and the theology consultant were highly sought after by churches,
including non-WCC member churches, but also by government institutions, international
organizations and representatives of other faiths. A few examples of EHAIA’s work are:
   The Central Africa Coordinator was instrumental in bringing together the DRC Inter-Faith
    Platform and supporting its awareness activities.
   A theological reflection seminar in Yaounde, Cameroon, had theologians from six countries
    read the bible in the presence of a person living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), exposing some of
    them for the first time to a person openly discussing her sero-positive status. Many took up the
    theological challenge. This became obvious when a seminar lead by the theology consultant
    nearly a year later in Brazzaville had many of them bring along PLWHA, whom they had started
    to work with after the first event.
   The theology consultant published a HIV/AIDS Curriculum based on an earlier version of
    MAP International. It will be complemented by a methodological book to be published later this
    year.
   The Plan of Action was printed in four languages and distributed in large numbers for
    implementation by the churches. Two editions of “EHAIA Newsletter” were sent out
    electronically. Four of the older HIV/AIDS publications of WCC were revised and reprinted
    because they are still in high demand.
   EHAIA was heavily involved in organizing an inter-faith conference linking churches with UN
    organizations and other sizable donors in Nairobi in May, with AACC as the local hosting
    organization. These donors recognize the special contributions churches can make if they
    become involved in the fight with projects commensurate to the size of the challenge.
   The country mapping of church activities in the field of HIV/AIDS was continued. 24 reports
    have been received so far.

								
To top