“Women in Mission on the Move of the Spirit: Mentorship for Transformation”

After two days of interchanging experiences and imaginations, group discussions, plenaries and songs, around 50 women coming from different contexts came out with a message and recommendations for the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism.

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, the first day of the Conference, we read the message in two different moments. The message search to make visible the holistic participation of women in mission, highlighting concrete actions for justice, peace and reconciliation, as well as challenges concerning theological education and the lack of representation in its curriculum, between others. The following paragraphs are part of this message and recommendations:

The women’s pre-conference acknowledges that the existing images of the church called to mission are not inclusive of women’s experiences and imaginations. The static understanding of the church structures does not allow full participation of all the people of God, especially women. With the global reality of limited access to leadership roles for women as well as existing prejudice against women’s leadership, we therefore call the churches, mission agencies and the World Council of Churches to have intentionality for women’s leadership roles.

6 March 2018, Arusha, Tanzania: Women’s preconference to the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism. From 8-13 March 2018, Photo by Albin Hillert, WCC

We also acknowledge that many churches have been complicit, tacitly and intentionally, in perpetuating racism and discrimination particularly against persons who are historically unrepresented or people with disabilities. This has been reflected primarily in systems and structures of oppression, including the enslavement of persons and the trafficking of human beings. It has also been recognized that Christians have historically acted against the gospel participating in economic and systemic exploitation of resources especially in the so-called global south that has resulted in perpetual poverty, conflicts and wars. While we acknowledge that some churches have confessed the sin of racism and economic exploitation, it is not enough. This change in heart and mind (metanoia) will be a true sign of the move of the Spirit that leads to transformative discipleship and reconciliation.
Women also call the CWME conference delegates and participants to join in the mobilization of churches, mission agencies and ecumenical partners to develop applicable teaching tools and resources to transform historical narratives to reflect the truth about policies that oppress and dehumanize. We need advocacy and awareness-building about the enslavement of persons, racism, xenophobia and homophobia. In the face of increased refugee populations, we recognize that the refugee and migrant crises are a product of war, climate change, and dehumanising conditions such as poverty, sexual and gender-based violence, conflict and famine.

You can find the complete message and recommendations in the following link:
http://www.oikoumene.org/en/