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“Arusha Call to Discipleship” issued

“Arusha Call to Discipleship” issued

CWME participants. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

13 March 2018

Participants from the World Council of Churches Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) issued a “Call to Discipleship” on 13 March, the closing day of the conference. More than 1,000 people gathered in Tanzania for the CWME, and all are engaged in mission and evangelism, coming from different Christian traditions across the world.

“Despite some glimmers of hope, we had to reckon with death-dealing forces that are shaking the world order and inflicting suffering on many,” the statement reads. “We observed the shocking accumulation of wealth due to one global financial system, which enriches few and impoverishes many.”

This global imperial system has made the financial market one of the idols of our time and has strengthened cultures of domination and discrimination that continue to marginalize and exclude millions, the statement continues.

“Discipleship is both a gift and a calling, to be active collaborators with God for the transforming of the world,” the statement reads, then goes on to list the many ways in which people might follow a call to transforming discipleship.

“We are called to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ--the fullness of life, the repentance and forgiveness of sin, and the promise of eternal life--in word and deed, in a violent world in which many are sacrificed to the idols of death and many have not yet heard the gospel,” reads one such call.

Another reads: “We are called to discern the word of God in a world that communicates many contradictory, false, and confusing messages.”

Participants also described their call to care for God’s creation and be in solidarity with nations severely affected by climate change.

“We are called as disciples to belong together in a just and inclusive community, in our quest for unity and on our ecumenical journey, in a world that is based upon marginalization and exclusion,” the list continues.

The document also emphasize breaking down walls and seeking justice with people who are dispossessed and displaced from their lands, including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and to resist new frontiers and borders that separate and kill.

“We are called to follow the way of the cross, which challenges elitism, privilege, personal and structural power,” the document concludes. “We are called to live in the light of the resurrection, which offers hope-filled possibilities for transformation.”

Arusha Call to Discipleship

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