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Ecclesial and Social Visions of Indigenous Peoples Consultation Report

Around 35 theologians and leaders representing communities, churches and organizations of indigenous peoples in 16 countries in many parts of the world attended a consultation from 21-26 October, 2008 in Baguio City, Philippines. This consultation was called in response to a proposal by the Ninth General Assembly of the WCC to facilitate the theological contributions of indigenous peoples to enrich the life and work of the WCC. In solidarity with the struggles of the largest indigenous peoples' population in Asia, Baguio City in the Philippines was chosen as the context for this theological conversation.

WCC Programmes

The Fourth Panorthodox Preconciliar Conference met in Chambésy, Geneva

In brief comments to the Fourth Preconciliar Panorthodox Conference which met recently at the Orthodox Centre of Chambésy, near Geneva, the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, assured the participants that the WCC and its member churches are accompanying them in their work in thoughts and prayers, "knowing the importance of the decisions that the conference was preparing."

Kobia sees changing landscape

New expressions of Christianity. The growing prominence of the global South. The impact of globalization. Increasing religious diversity. These factors and others are contributing to a "rapidly changing ecclesial context," one that World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia addressed in his comprehensive report to the Central Committee on Thursday.

Aide Memoire from the Global Consultation on Genetics, New Biotechnologies and the Ministry of the Church

Aide Memoire summarizing the discussions at a 2-5 December Global Consultation on Genetics and New Biotechnologies held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Participants stated that "the creativity of science needs to serve the common good" and alerted about the risk of biotechnology leading to "increased dependency and threat to biodiversity". "Communities can be devastated by the intrusion of genetically modified seeds and bio-piracy", participants said. They recognized the "need for dialogue with scientists", so as to move "beyond a reactive mode", and called for the "restoration of the churches' prophetic voices and public witness in the growing debate regarding the ethical use of genetics and biotechnologies".

WCC Programmes

Rev. Dr Letty Russell

Writing to Dr Shannon Clarkson, the partner of Rev. Dr Letty Russell, who died on 12 July 2007, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia expresses the Council's sadness over the loss of "one of the most renowned woman theologians in the world," who "has left her mark on the World Council of Churches."

General Secretary