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الرئيسية > أنباء البطريركية > 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches
10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches
God of Life lead us to Justice and Peace—The Delegates BRIEF diary!

Under the theme ‘God of Life lead us to justice and peace’, and in Busan, Republic of Korea and during the period 30th October 2013 – 8th November 2013 the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) was held.

Our Holy Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch was represented by eleven members led by Mor Eustathius Matta Roham, Metropolitan of Jazirah and Euphrates. The delegates were: Mor Gregorios Joseph, Mor Justinos Paulos Yousef Safar, Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin, Mor Osthatheos Ishaq, Mor Theophilos Kuriakose, Mor Aphrem Mathews, Dr Theodora Issa , Rev Deacon Theodore Issa, Mr George Hazo, In addition Mor Eusebius Kuriakose was attending the assembly in his capacity as an Advisor. Further, we had Miss Hala Hamidie and Miss Christine AL-Khoury from our church in Syria.

According to the WCC’s website, the assembly had the mandate to set the future agenda of the council, to elect governance officials and to speak with a public voice on behalf of the churches. It is also a unique moment for the whole fellowship of member churches to come together in prayer and celebration. South Korea was selected to host the assembly because of the unique ecumenical “horizon” that the witness of the Korean churches offers the wider ecumenical movement. The assembly theme, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” was not merely a slogan for the event, but provided a focus for theological reflection, worship and meditation, as well as for planning programmatic activities before, during and after the assembly.

On the first day of the assembly Mor Eustathius Matta Roham chanted the Holy Gospel during the opening prayer in Aramaic. H.E. was also requested by the assembly organisers to lead one of the Bible Studies that were held for the duration of the assembly every morning following the daily Morning Prayer.

On the second day of the conference, Mor Eustathius Matta Roham read the Ecumenical greetings of H.H. Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas - Patriarch of Antioch and All the East to the 10th Assembly of the WCC in Busan, South Korea. Delivered during the Theme Plenary. While Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin was a member of the Policy Committee, Mor Theophilos Kuriakose was a member of the nomination committee and our Dr Theodora Issa was a member of the business committee. Further, our Dr Theodora Issa was requested by the assembly organisers to moderate one of the ecumenical conversations (EC) that were held, this EC was under the title ‘Economy of Life: Overcoming Greed to eradicate Poverty’. The EC was guided by the verse from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15) and ran for 90 minutes over four days of the assembly duration. The objectives of this EC were (i) To engage in theological reflection on an ‘Economy of Life’, and in the theological and social analysis of greed, its influence on the everyday life of people, the Christian community, and on the global economy; (ii) To discuss the role of churches and theologians; and, (iii) To outline concrete actions and projects among churches and between churches and other global partners in order to combat greed at all levels, thereby promoting an “Economy of Life, Justice and Peace for All”. On the first meeting of this EC Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin led the attendees in prayers in Syriac (Aramaic) after briefly talking about the importance of the Syriac language. Thereafter, Rev. Dr. Konrad Raiser spoke about Theology of Overcoming greed and promoting Economy of Life, followed by Rev. Suzanne Matale Economy of Life: Overcoming greed from an Ubuntu theology.

On the second session of this EC, Bishop Julio Murray and öKR Dr. Ulrich Moeller talked about the CEC-CLAI dialogue on globalisation in the Context of Economy of Life showing a video clip on this activity. Then Pierre Martinot-Lagarde spoke on work with justice and dignity. Thereafter, Prof. Carlos Larrea and Dr. Lucas Andrianos talked on greed lines and indicators, and finally Ms. Rosario Guzman talked on international financial transformation and overcoming poverty and inequality.

During session three of this EC, the participants worked on setting the ecumenical agenda for fighting greed and promoting the Economy of Life. The EC Leadership Team were: The Moderator: Dr. Theodora Issa, Rapporteur: Dr Lucas Andrianos, Facilitator: Rob van Drimmelen, advisors Mshana Rogate_Reuben and Ms. Athena from the WCC. The EC was concluded with prayers led by Dr Theodora Issa who recited an English translation of a prayer by our forefathers ‘O Merciful Lord’ then led the attendees with Our Lord Prayers which she prayed in Syriac and each of the participants prayed in their own languages. The EC came out with some affirmations and challenges to the WCC that formed part of the Public Issues committee document presented to the assembly. During the Assembly Mor Eusebius Kuriakose presented during one of the plenary sessions on the missionary work in India and the activities of our Syrian Orthodox Church in India to help the poor and the destitute. During the Assembly our delegation had the chance to have two confessional meetings with our Orthodox (Eastern and Oriental) brethren – and had three side meetings with our Oriental brethren for discussions of issues of interest to our churches. During the Oriental evening prayers that was held at the prayers hall, our Dr Theodora Issa carried the candle to the alter and read the supplications including prayer for the release of Both H.E. Mor Gregorious Youhanna Ibrahim, and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Boulos Yaziji. While Mor Eustathius Matta Roham and Rev. Deacon Theodore Issa met with the press discussing the issue of the kidnapping of the two archbishops with an article published in the daily magazine MADANG that was published throughout the assembly. Also H.E. Aydin was interviewed by the media. During the assembly meetings several points of order and points of clarifications regarding issues of interest to our church were raised by all especially Rev. Deacon Theodore Issa and Mr. George Hazo. Our delegation also had the chance to meet with heads and members of delegations of different churches from around the world. Furthermore, Dr Theodora Issa and Rev. Afodyakno Theodore Issa met with the Australian delegation and had a commemorative photo with them.

On Wednesday 6th November 2013, Dr Theodora Issa was elected to the Central Committee thus gaining a new seat for our Holy Syriac Orthodox Church, thus now we hold two seats in the Central Committee one is held by Mor Eustathius Matta Roham, and the second by Theodora where it is the first time a female represents our church at such a stage. On the final prayer meeting the new members of the Central Committee were requested to approach the stage where they were blessed and as they departed they were handed an EGG by the welcoming committee from the church members in Korea which resembles the resurrection of our Lord.