“What are some of the future directions that we can derive from reflections that we’ve had in Arusha so that the energy and the enthusiasm that we created in Arusha cannot be lost?” This key question was posed by Metropolitan Dr. Geevarghese Mor Coorilos, moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME), during a recent working group meeting on discipleship at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, Switzerland.
Those gathered were continuing to follow up the World Council of Churches (WCC) Conference on World Mission and Evangelism held in Arusha, Tanzania in March 2018. They met at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey to reflect on the Arusha Call, a document compiling ideas from more than 1,000 people gathered in Tanzania.
Jennifer Martin from Jamaica, member of WCC`s CWME and co-moderator of the international reference group for the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, who works with the Caribbean and North American Conference of Mission, reflected following up on the call is in its early stages. “The work has just begun,” she said. “The real work is outside of the church. The real work is going out and working with people in the trenches.”
Rev. Dr Peter Cruchley, Mission Secretary for Mission Development at the Council for World Mission (CWM), reflected that among the council’s priorities is developing missional congregations. “Discipleship is very central to that,” he said. “We need to come to an understanding of discipleship that creates peace and justice.”
The working group worked to point out fresh, innovative elements that the Arusha Call to discipleship is lifting up. The group also discussed the Arusha Call with an eye toward the WCC 11th Assembly in 2021.
The theme of the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism was “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship.” A tradition of the International Mission Council and the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, mission conferences are held roughly every decade.
The recent working group also reflected on meeting the Arusha Call in the context of today’s world. “Arusha has given us a language but really we need to transform that into some kind of action and engagement,” Coorilos said. “Where are the disciples? Who are the disciples?”