Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY)
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|Based in :||Ethiopia|
|Present in :|
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|WCC Member Since :||1979|
At the turn of the 19th century, Ethiopian Christians began proclaiming the gospel with the help of the Lutheran missions in the country. From these joint efforts the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) was instituted as a national church in 1959. It takes its name from its first congregation in Addis Ababa, Mekane Yesus, meaning the "Place of Jesus". The EECMY believes that she has been called by the triune God to proclaim Christ to his people in diverse social and cultural contexts. The church professes that the holy scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments are the holy word of God and the only guiding source and infallible method/doctrine of all the church's principles and practices. The EECMY believes that all powers and duties exercised by the church are committed to her for the furtherance of the gospel through the word and the sacraments. She therefore lives and acts to fulfill the great commission.
Under the central office, the church is organized in synods and work areas, a gospel ministry department (Christian education, youth, Sunday school, theology, evangelism, counselling, Christian-Muslim relations, Bible translation, music ministry and university students' ministry), a development and social services commission, a peace commission, and communication services. In the 1970s the EECMY developed the theme "Serving the Whole Person", later on often quoted and referred to as holistic ministry. This has been a guiding principle throughout the years for all church work, be it evangelism or development. The concern is for the spiritual needs of the human being as well as for their physical and human needs. Therefore the EECMY has been integrating physical development and spiritual services. The 1972 statement of the national synod of the EECMY in which these views were expressed was an important contribution to the ecumenical reflection on development cooperation.
In the spirit of holistic ministry, the gospel ministry departments at the levels of the synods and the central office have been charged to coordinate the spiritual ministries of the church, to produce Christian educational materials, to conduct consultations on theological and doctrinal issues and formulate statements to guide the life and ministries of the church, to develop curriculum guides for Bible schools, to focus on discipling and training youth leaders, to do leadership training, to visit synods, presbyteries and work areas to advise and encourage on matters related to theological issues and church ministries. The priority areas of the development and social services commission are: integrated rural and urban development through community-based and gender-balanced projects towards food security, assistance to needy children, youth, disabled and destitute people through education, rehabilitation, skill-training and social support, Christian and academic education through formal and non-formal training, preventive and curative health care services, community water supply, environment conservation, appropriate technologies, sustainable development, social health programmes with a focus on HIV/AIDS and family planning, emergency assistance to the victims of natural and human made calamities.
The peace, justice and advocacy commission, established in 1998, aims at making the prophetic voice of the church heard and equipping the members of the church for peace-building. This is achieved through training, integrating peace education into development and evangelism programmes, lobbying, conflict management, interreligious cooperation, etc.