Transformative Ecumenism Movement Launched in Nairobi

by Cheon Young Cheol

The Transformative Ecumenism (TE) Movement was launched on Saturday, August 19, 2023, at the Desmond Tutu Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The launch came after three days of a consultation on transformative ecumenism that began on August 17 and was attended by over 100 people, including eminent religious leaders from Kenya and across the globe.

“We, as a community of transforming disciples, dare to, together in the Transformative Ecumenism Movement, encourage and empower each other to boldly share the good news of transformation with the world,” said Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum, General Secretary of the Council for World Mission (CWM), in his special remarks at the launch. “I would like to thank the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), its General Secretary, Rev. Dr Fidon Mwombeki, and all the colleagues for hosting this event. It is significant to launch this new movement with the leadership of AACC here in Africa,” he continued.

“We regard this launch, which is a product of a decade of discernment and collaborative deliberation on the needs of the current generation in the ecumenical movement, as indeed a milestone,” noted Rev. Dr Fidon Mwombeki, AACC General Secretary, in his welcome remarks. “We are launching the movement to connect globally, to look beyond institutionalism to connectivity, to look beyond big individualized names to communities in post-modernism, and accept our responsibilities, to look beyond competition to achieve true solidarity and complementarity,” he continued.

Rev. Dr Sam Kobia, former General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, delivered a good will message in which he emphasized that the Transformative Ecumenism Movement deals with the past in the present and the need for a new birth to be relevant in the world.

In her keynote address, Prof. Puleng LenkaBula, Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa (UNISA), reflected on transformative ecumenism for another world. She noted that transformative ecumenism must extend beyond religious differences, and call to name the challenges that the global ecumenism must address.

Speaking on behalf of the young people, Ms Vivian Ritho appreciated the ecumenical leaders present for trusting young people and expressing their commitment to mentor and accompany them as present and future leaders.

The launch concluded with a closing prayer led by Dr Rommel Linatoc, praying that the Triune God would be with the Transformative Ecumenism Movement on its journey. The launch of the Transformative Ecumenism Movement is a significant milestone for the ecumenical movement. Presenting itself as a spirituality of life and a vision of the world that ensures a life of justice and dignity for all, transformative ecumenism calls for a movement of transformation through bold and prophetic expressions of discipleship.

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