It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we mourn the demise of our beloved ecumenical mama, Dr Agnes Abuom. Her passing is an immense loss to the global ecumenical movement, where she played an extraordinary role as a visionary leader and a steadfast advocate for justice and peace. She dedicated her life to promoting unity, mission, and reconciliation through the ecumenical movement. She paved the way for Transformative Ecumenism and continued to work to renew the ecumenical movement, always firmly based on her unyielding faith.
Throughout her long distinguished ecumenical career, Dr Abuom tirelessly worked for gender equality and empowerment. She championed the cause of gender equality and empowerment, breaking barriers and inspiring female leadership and paving the way for many women to assume leadership roles within the Church and ecumenical movement. She herself broke countless barriers to serving the WCC as its president and moderator and the global ecumenical movement with dignity, integrity, and simplicity of her leadership.
She always represented the voices of marginalised communities, particularly those from the global south. Her efforts were instrumental in ensuring that the perspectives, experiences, and concerns of churches in the Global South were heard and taken into account in shaping the international discourse on faith and justice. With her leadership, she greatly contributed towards successfully holding the WCC assemblies in Busan in 2013 and Karlsruhe in 2022. Dr Abuom has been a faithful supporter of the world mission, including the recent World Mission Conference 2018 in Arusha, Tanzania.
Dr Abuom’s contributions to the global ecumenical movement will forever be remembered in our collective memory and continue to guide and inspire us as we strive to carry forward her legacy. In this time of sorrow, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to Dr Abuom’s family, friends, and colleagues, who have lost a remarkable soul. We also extend our warmest thoughts and prayers to the African Churches and the entire global ecumenical community.
Rest in Eternal Power, Ecumenical Mama!
Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum
Image caption: Dr Agnes Abuom at the International Theological Colloquium on Transformative Ecumenism, January 2016, Moshi, Tanzania.