World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Press centre / News / Conference on World Mission and Evangelism embraces the cross

Conference on World Mission and Evangelism embraces the cross

Conference on World Mission and Evangelism embraces the cross

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

13 March 2018

“We can embrace the cross when we hold that there is no spirituality without life and spirituality is impatient life against the disorder of humanity,” said Rev. Dr Vuyani Vellen, one of the speakers at a plenary on the theology of the cross at the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME).

Vellen was invited to speak about the spiritual dimensions of embracing the cross in the last thematic plenary of the CWME, being held in Arusha, Tanzania, 8-13 March.

Moderated by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Kenya, the plenary opened with a strong testimony from His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphren II, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, the Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, about the ongoing work of the church in a country marked by persecution, destruction and violence.

The patriarch’s testimony was seconded by a short reflection on poverty in Latin America and the theology of the cross, by Rev. Dr Roberto Zwetsch, from Brazil.

“More than ever we need to pray and trust in the strength and power of the spirit of Christ. And thus empowered, we need to concretely embrace the pain, the struggle and the hope of our peoples”, he said. “One must take up the cross of Christ as the cross of the crucified, of yesterday and of today”, added Zwetsch.

The plenary, “Embracing the Cross”, which aimed to provide the participants with essential missiological aspects of theology of the cross and its focus on life-giving, hope and resurrection, was closed with a reading of excerpts from Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, delivered in Washington D.C., 28 August 1963.

Keynote Address by His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

Prof. Dr Vuyani Vellem: The Spiritual Dimension of Embracing the Cross

Rev. Dr Roberto E. Zwetsch: Testimony on “Carrying the Cross of Poverty”

Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith: Carrying the Cross of the Experience of the Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network

Rev. Dr Sang Chang: I Have a Dream

Other documents related to the conference

Learn more about the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism

Download free photos from the CWME and accompanying events (password: WCC)