candle GETI 2022

Tavis Donta Tinsleys poem The Souls of Black Young Adult Folk” is just one among many reflections representing the fruits of the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute 2022.  

The last stanza may well represent the defining feeling of the entire compilation:

O Young people with unacknowledged voices, vibrant thoughts, fluctuating emotions
You are not the future” you are an actuality of the present.
I had a dream . . . that you found your sanctuary and stop being sanctioned. For baring your soul.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Global Ecumenical Theological Institute, or GETI, at its core, is an opportunity for young and emerging ecumenists to express a theologically informed and contextually grounded ecumenical theology and to seek constructive solutions for challenges in changing religious and societal landscapes today. In this volume, eighty-eight emerging ecumenical theologians and facilitators who gathered at GETI 2022—held in conjunction with the WCC 11th Assembly explore the theme Christs Love (Re)moves Borders, in a contextually-rooted and theologically-accountable manner. 

How does Christ remove and move borders as an incremental movement toward justice, reconciliation, and unity in our world?

In this compilation, edited by Rev. Dr Kuzipa Nalwamba and Rev. Dr Benjamin Simon, GETI 2022 participants and facilitators explore this question through essays, poetry, and personal life stories as they theologically, philosophically and positionally probe the signs of the time, namely, healing of memories, ecological response-ability, body politics, diakonia and reckoning with the effects of digitalisation. 

The compilation of reflections on these themes includes plenary keynote lectures and responses, followed by students’ contributions.

It is an intergenerational and interdisciplinary theological discussion grounded in scripture and in Christs love,” as editors Nalwamba and Simon describe it in the introduction. May Gods Spirit make the words in this book serve to contribute to the breaking of borders so that all of creation may have life abundantly.”

Why is such a compilation important to the ecumenical movement? In the preface, WCC general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay describes the collection as the fruit of the academic and experiential learning of young and emerging theologians. 

It is a contribution towards the Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and Unity rooted in Christs boundless, cosmic love for the flourishing of all of creation,” writes Pillay. 

Or, as Tinsley writes in the poem “The Black Locksmith,” it is a way to witness how we learn to pick the locks.”

Ive learned to pick the locks with my ears.
Oh, the locks made from the words of those with trauma and closed hearts. 
Oh, the locks...
that forbade me from understanding a different point of view.

Christs Love (Re)Moves Borders: Reflections from GETI 2022” is available for free.