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Contributions by Mennonites to the ecumenical movement were acknowledged with appreciation by Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, associate general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) during her address at the 16th Assembly of Mennonite World Conference.
“The ecumenical family learns from your commitment to a theology of peace,” said Phiri, while addressing the assembly on 23 July, in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
“Since the foundations of your churches, you have remained steadfast to the message of our Lord Jesus to love our enemies and therefore reject violence in the struggle for justice,” she added.
Phiri went on to say that the historic “peace churches” to which the Mennonites belong have helped a much larger body of Christ to accept the New Testament imperatives of non-violence.
“People from other traditions are often drawn towards a wider vision of peace and active non-violence, which is needed now more than ever to combat religious extremism, which is currently threatening every region of our world,” commented Phiri.
Phiri also invited the participants to join the WCC “pilgrimage of justice and peace.”
She said, “The pilgrimage of justice and peace is a journey of faith and discovery, an ecumenical initiative of the World Council of Churches. The worldwide fellowship of Christian churches invites all Christians to deepen their relationship with God and each other by joining together in prayer, witness and service for justice and peace.”
Phiri added that the theme of the conference, “Walking with God,” with such subthemes as “walking in doubt and reconciliation, walking in autonomy and community, walking in receiving and giving and walking with God stepping forward,” is in synch with the WCC's call to the pilgrimage of justice and peace.
The Mennonite World Conference* represents the majority of the global family of Christian churches rooted in the 16th-century Radical Reformation in Europe, particularly in the Anabaptist movement.
The Mennonite World Conference exists to be a global community of faith, a communion (koinonia) in the Anabaptist-tradition that facilitates relationships among Anabaptist-related churches worldwide, for fellowship, worship, service, and witness, and also relates to other Christian world communions and organizations.
Source: oikoumene.org (July 24, 2015)
*Mennonite World Conference (MWC) represents the majority of the global family of Christian churches rooted in the 16th century Radical Reformation in Europe, particularly in the Anabaptist movement.
MWC membership in 2015 included one international association and 102 Mennonite and Brethren in Christ national churches from 56 countries, with around 1.4 million baptized believers in close to 10,000 congregations. About 81% of baptized believers in MWC member churches are African, Asian or Latin American, and 19% are located in Europe and North America.
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