October 2021 marked the centenary of the formation of the International Missionary Council at Lake Mohonk in New York state,” notes Stanley, in beginning his lecture, originally given at the World Council of Churches 11th Assembly.
He then goes on to explain that the International Missionary Council was one of three principal forebearers of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The International Missionary Council lasted for 40 years before being integrated into the WCC.
“Surely, the questions we face in the world churches in our own day are the ones that should concern us,” notes Stanley, then goes on to suggest that the very issues facing the International Missionary Council are strikingly relevant to today.
For example, he continues, the International Missionary Council wrestled with the question: “What place, if any, is there for nationalism in the world church?” It’s a question many churches grapple with today, as well as the question of racism, a main topic in the meeting of the International Missionary Council in Jerusalem in 1928.
Rev. Michael Blair, general secretary, United Church of Canada, and a member of the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, introduces Stanley, and notes the importance of the lecture.
“It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the contribution of the work of mission engagement in in the ecumenical movement,” he says.