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3rd Explorations in Evangelism meeting: "Evangelism and the legacies of colonization and enslavement"

The Explorations in Evangelism is a process of regional meetings co-organized between the Evangelism Programme of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Council for World Mission. The primary objective of the project is to explore the work on evangelism at the grassroots level, in different contexts. In this process, major emphasis is placed on creating spaces, through exposure visits, for personal encounters with local communities, getting a firsthand taste of what constitutes evangelism work in various local contexts.
3rd Explorations in Evangelism meeting: "Evangelism and the legacies of colonization and enslavement"

Photo: WCC

Event details

When

23 - 28 June 2019

Where

Toronto, Canada

Contact Name

Kyriaki Avtzi, WCC programme executive on Evangelism

Contact Phone

+41 22 791 6045

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The Explorations in Evangelism is a process of regional meetings co-organized between the Evangelism Programme of the WCC and the Council for World Mission. The primary objective of the project is to explore the work on evangelism at the grassroots level, in different contexts. In this process, major emphasis is placed on creating spaces, through exposure visits, for personal encounters with local communities, getting a first-hand taste of what constitutes evangelism work in various local contexts.

The first exploration addressed ‘Evangelism in the City’, (2015) in the context of Sydney, Australia whereas the second exploration (2017) in Johannesburg, South Africa explored ‘Evangelism from the Margins’. This third Exploration in Toronto, Canada will be addressing ‘Evangelism and the legacies of colonisation and enslavement’, a painful inasmuch as an urgent issue, particularly in light of the global upsurge in racial violence which builds on centuries of colonial violence.

In many contexts, church services are the most racially segregated time in the life of a community and country. Despite having a biblical vision of as the Christian church as a place where there is ‘Neither Jew nor Gentile, Male nor Female, Slave nor Free’, (Gal 3:28), in practice churches are racially and ethnically divided.

Engaging with communities impacted by the legacies of slavery, the exploration in Toronto will explore how the various communities of African descendant peoples are engaging in the task of sharing the gospel, not just within their own ‘cultural’ community, but across culture.

In particular, the third exploration will seek to interrogate:

  • How these communities are being decolonized and how they have decolonized the gospel, how the consciousness of the transatlantic slave trade impacts their programming worship, theology, understanding of the value and dignity of all persons and skin colour; and how they are engaging with the dominant white church communities?
  • How the understanding of sexual identity and its politics impact the ability to work with the younger black community and specifically the Black Lives Matter movement in the Canadian context?
  • How does evangelism impact the challenges of the prison industrial complex and deportation and a consequence of the legacies of slavery?

The exploration will consider how proclamation of the Gospel is at the heart of inviting the repentance and conversion which is central to inviting racial justice in all communities, churches included.